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Italy in 10 selfies – Fondazione Symbola

Italy in 10 selfies 2021

facing the future with a human-scale economy


Every year “Italy in 10 selfies 2021” takes a snapshot of some of Italy’s strengths, based on reports published by Symbola Foundation. The dossier has been realized in collaboration with Unioncamere and Assocamerestero, with the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

From 18 October to 8 November 2021, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv presents on its Facebook and Instagram profiles the 10 “selfies” that tell about contemporary Italy.

“We need to find a joint mission to revitalize the economy – says Ermete Realacci, president of Fondazione Symbola – Tackling the COVID19 pandemic and the climate crisis is not only necessary but also, as the Assisi Manifesto states, represents a significant opportunity to make our economy and society more sustainable, healthier, and therefore more future-proof. It is a fundamental challenge that requires the best technological, institutional, political, social and cultural resources. It has to be taken forward without leaving anyone behind, without leaving anyone alone. Europe has accepted this challenge by mobilizing significant assets around the themes of cohesion, green transition, digital economy, innovation and by committing to the goal of reducing CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. Italy can give an important contribution to this challenge in many sectors in which it already plays a leading role, as we outline in this dossier, related to a way of producing that is attentive to quality, the environment and human relations. A stronger and at the same time more sustainable economy: starting with the circular economy, in which Italy has achieved results double the European average and much higher than those of all major countries. Italy can be the outpost of an economy that is stronger and more sustainable, and on a more human scale”.

Few people know that:

– Italy is a superpower in the circular economy, with the highest percentage of recycling on the total amount of waste: 79%, higher than the European average, thus saving 63 million tons of CO2 equivalent.

– The largest renewable energy operator is Italian. ENEL is the most capitalized private electricity company on European stock markets.

– 432,000 Italian companies have invested in green products and technologies over 2015-2019. They innovate the most, export the most and generate the most employment.

– According to a study by Oxford University, Italy ranks second in the world to export technologically advanced green products and has the potential to be first.

– Italy is first in Europe for number of design companies with 15.5% of the total.

– We are world leaders in terms of trade balance in the yachting sector.

– In the wood furniture sector, Italy leads the European circular economy with 93% of recycled wood chipboard and is third in the world in terms of trade balance for furniture.

– We are leading the way in sustainability in agriculture, with emissions (30 million tons of CO2) well below France (76 million) and Germany (66 million).

– We are European leaders in pharmaceutical production, with 32.2 billion, just behind Germany with 32.9 billion.

– We are the first European exporters of bicycles, with 1,779,300 bikes sold abroad. We are world leaders in the production of saddles, with 53.9% of the world total.


The full report can be found on the website of Fondazione Symbola.

  • Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura Tel Aviv
  • In collaboration with: Fondazione Symbola