The People We Are - September 2015

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September 2015

Monthly Newsletter of the Professional Women’s Association of Rome

Impossible is only a stepping stone to success. Michelle Bassanesi, pilot, entrepreneur, PWA Woman of the Year 2014-15


PWA is an international hub in the heart of Rome where ideas and values, tradition and innovation, diversity, culture and professionalism meet and intersect. On our journey into the future our travel companions are respect, ethics, and a sense of social responsibility.

Welcome back! After a long, hot and sunny Roman summer what better way is there to get back in action than catching up on PWA news? And there’s much to catch up on! The new Board and Teams have been busy planning an extraordinary season with sparkling ConneXions and intriguing and engaging Conferences that will allow us to grow both professionally and personally. In October we will inaugurate a new, elegant and interactive website that will facilitate communication and information sharing between members but also with the world. Brand new is also the format of the PWA Newsletter, now the People We Are online magazine available for download on Issuu. Together with Lisa R Tucci, co-editor, we will be bringing you current and interesting articles, fun and useful monthly columns on culture, health, social media and more opportunities for interaction through online communication. Your satisfaction is our goal so please do tell us how we are performing by sending feedback to .




Editing Team

Hanna Suni editor and layout designer Lisa R Tucci co-editor

in this issue

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September Conference: Creativity - Think Through Your Fingers What is the Connection Between Creativity and Workplace Wellness? Let’s Get Creative: Some Resources at Your Fingertips That Can Go Straight to Your Brain! Frontier Flyer Michelle Bassanesi - Woman of the Year 2014-15 The Three C’s of Collective Leadership PWA in 2015-16 Estate Romana Summer Party Photo Recap Culture Corner - The Future Of Our Past: A Special Night Health in our Hands: Are You a Sun Worshiper? Then Read This First “Town and Country ConneXion” Italia-Africa Business Forum at RBS Scholarship Opportunities with The Performance Coach and The American Academy

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18 22 3

PWA September Conference BEWARE OF THE UNCONSCIOUS ROBOT CREATIVITY: think through your Fingers willingness to keep trying new things •

SERATONIN which is the good mood effect of what we’ve created

Above all, Creativity improves our ability to solve problems!

“Not all prisons have bars: there are many that are less obvious, from which it is difficult to escape, because we do not know we’re prisoners. Those are the prisons of our automation which inhibit imagination, the source of creativity.“ Today’s reality can be described as complex and adaptive. Hence we become jugglers, trapped into standardized manners, acting in automatic mode and relying almost exclusively on an internal GPS fixed on an old familiar route, in the hopes of gaining efficiency and saving time. In our steadfastness, we end up losing our flexibility and our capability to deal with those small unexpected events that are typical of a fast and furious lifestyle. By infusing our lives with Creativity, we can get off the hamster wheel and truly start living.


CREATIVITY can save us from becoming unconscious robots, providing us with the tools to take control and live our life to the fullest, in the NOW. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF EXERCISING OUR INNER CREATIVE PROCESS? Creativity is a basic human need that remains unchanged throughout our life, although, at some point many of us forget about it. In fact, Creativity makes us feel well, as during the creative process we produce: •

ADRENALIN while trying and re-trying to achieve our objective

DOPAMINE and ENDORPHINS, hence the pleasure we feel when we achieve our small victories, and which provide critical nourishment to our

HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR CREATIVITY ALIVE ? Play is a primary and very natural way to train our creativity. Play is also our natural way of adapting and developing new skills. It is what prepares us to emerge and what keeps us open to serendipity and new opportunities. This is one of the key founding principles of the Lego® Serious Play® method (LSP), which is a facilitated thinking, communication and problem solving technique for organizations, teams and individuals, based on the concepts of “hands knowledge” and “play with a purpose”. “DRIVING HOME” SERIOUS ISSUES WITH LSP Our hands are connected between 70 to 80 percent to our brain cells. Our brains are limited in how much information they can consciously handle at one time but with the help of all the neural connections in our hands, we “know” a lot more at any given moment than we think we know. That’s why the LSP technique combines play with a purpose (i.e. serious play) with the use of our hands, namely the use of bricks, to create a metaphor of reality and turn complex issues into solutions: When we “think through our fingers”, we unleash insight, inspiration and imagination. Try it to believe it!

About Our Speaker

SIMONA ORLANDI Born in Milan, Simona Orlandi’s professional background is about big companies and multinationals, growing over a period of 20 years in marketing intelligence ― meaning, marketing research & analysis and insight generation. Leading large teams, she quickly discovered that her true, deep passion was embedded in people development and support. So she undertook a parallel and very personal learning and training process to become a certified business trainer and life coach. Simona recently launched her own business, SAM Insight_to_go with the ambition of combining the talent and techniques stemming from extensive experience in marketing intelligence and insight generation with her newly acquired skills and

principles typical of coaching and training. Dividing her professional activity between coaching, training and consultancy in marketing intelligence, she has expanded her skills as a certified facilitator of LSPLego Serious Play®. She is now applying this methodology to different kinds of workshops and team building. A native of Parma, Simona moved to Rome in 2003, and now lives in Tuscia (VT). She enjoys being part of Connectance, a professional network of coaches and trainers specialised in experiential training and emotional intelligence. She is convinced that PWA is the right place to exchange even more experiences and competencies.

Siamo un team di consulenti specializzati in strategie di sviluppo. Da oltre 10 anni collaboriamo con aziende, start up e professionisti di diversi settori, a cui offriamo un supporto costante nella realizzazione di piani di marketing, progetti di comunicazione e strategie per l’acquisizione di nuovi clienti. Ci occupiamo del lancio di nuovi prodotti, di campagne pubblicitarie, di marketing e strategie di vendita, con un’attenzione particolare al canale Internet. I nostri clienti ci vedono come un partner più che come un fornitore di servizi: questo approccio ci piace particolarmente perché sappiamo che alla fine porta a risultati concreti!

www.s a b i a n l a b .i t 5

What is the connection between creativity and workplace wellness?

by Linda Naiman


orkplace wellness isn’t just about physical health, it is also characterized by a motivated, engaged and inspired workforce who do great work.

The presence of creativity indicates a healthy life force energy and spirit of an organization. A healthy organization is a sustainable one. Unhealthy organizations tend to devalue creativity. I frequently receive emails from people who are miserable and frustrated because they feel creatively unfulfilled at work, bored by the daily grind, and stressed by the accelerating demands of productivity. When managers discourage new ideas, creativity and enthusiasm is stymied. The result? Disengagement.


photo LinkedIn

No matter where you are in the hierarchy of your organization you have the power to create. You may not be creative in the way creativity is usually defined, but you can create healthy relationships, a winning attitude, and a caring environment that brings out the best in people. Appreciating others, engaging in purposeful conversations and the ability to resolve conflicts are essential ingredients for co-operation and collaboration. Most employees want to feel their work makes a valuable contribution to success of the organization, and healthy workplaces encourage creativity. We need more humanity and fewer algorithms.

Create meaningful dialogue Dialogue is the single-most important factor underlying the productivity and growth of the knowledge worker (the people who get paid to think). Ram Charan in his essay on Conquering a Culture of Indecision said the root of business is relationships, and that dialogue is the basic unit of work in an organization. Healthy relationships are at the heart of a company

Use art as a catalyst for engagement When I interviewed people for Orchestrating Collaboration at Work, the book I co-authored on arts-based learning for business, the number one reason companies use the arts, is to cultivate employee engagement.

Dialogue is characterized by incisiveness, creativity, and synergizing diverse points of view into a cohesive understanding that illuminates new insights, enabling decision-making and action. The quality of dialogue determines the quality of idea generation, problem-solving and how people make decisions. How people feel about one another impacts the outcome of these decisions.

For example, Bonnie Goren, training manager of a large U.S. news organization says, “Some of the greatest difficulties business leaders face, revolve around the need to instill passion, gather energies toward a common vision, and motivate change in employees. Traditional communication methods between leaders and staff typically do not reach deeply into employees—where passion, vision, and ability to change reside. The arts have the potential to touch the minds and hearts of employees, and truly engage them.”

7 simple steps you can take to ignite and inspire passion at work

Art creates a crucible for transforming leaden thinking into the gold of wisdom.

1. Match the passion of employees to the mission objectives of your company. Sir Richard Branson built his empire by helping people find work they love to do, and creating driven, loyal teams that will go the extra mile to achieve excellence. 2. Tell employees what needs to be done and let them figure out how to do it. 3. Stop shooting down other people’s ideas. Instead coach them on thinking through ideas to improve on them, and following through, by taking action. 4. Collaborate with employees to overcome organizational constraints that deplete energy (eg: tracking down info needed to get work done, too much red tape, too many meetings, etc.). 5. Provide occasions for informal social interaction for you and your team to get to know each other not just as professionals, but as human beings, to enhance camaraderie and build trust. 6. Ask questions that spark energy and insight. 7. Craft meaningful and exciting work.

Art is an instrument for meaning-making, sensemaking, image-making and creating deeper levels of conversation about what matters. Arts-based learning develops creativity, community and connection. Art forms include storytelling, visual arts and theatre improvisation. You can easily incorporate the arts in your workplace by asking people for stories about their best customer experience, or best boss, or best team experience. When envisioning the future, ask people to sketch what it looks like to them, and tell a story about the picture. The arts play vital roles in helping us find our authentic voice, and remembering who we are as human beings. I believe when we are in touch with our humanity, we envision better futures, make wiser decisions, and create sustainable enterprises.



Let’s Get



Or…some resources at your fingertips that can go straight to your brain!

Feeling stuck? An ‘oldie but goodie’ ― One of the first, and still going strong, is The Artist’s Way ― a book, video course and now online program designed to get those creative juices flowing. Start with writing Morning Pages ― three pages of anything that comes to mind as soon as you wake up, and your day and life will unfold in new dimensions.

If you really want to see creativity in motion and be inspired to use your hands, your brains, and perhaps a whole lotta recycled materials…then look no further than Maker Faire Rome, which once again will be hosting hundreds of makers from all over Europe. Great for kids, families, and anyone who loves to see that youth is not just wasted on the young… Mark your calendars for the next Maker Faire: 16-18 October, this year at Rome’s La Sapienza Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5.



Quantum Learning – Unleashing the Genius in You – One of over a dozen books authored by Education leader, Bobbi DePorter. This book will show you concise skills for taking the next steps to tapping into your greatest resource: Your mind. Depending on how you learn, there’s a tool there for you. dp/0440504279 You can catch Bobbi as a workshop and plenary speaker at the upcoming WINConference, taking place in Rome, 30 Sept-3 Oct; another wealth of resources for inspiring your next big step.


And finally, take a nice scroll over to InRomeNow. com or to take in all that one of the most vibrant cultural scenes around has to offer. Be sure to check out the new and unfamiliar as well. There is always something to catch the eye and energize your batteries.

Like Corporate Art. L’azienda come oggetto d’arte ― In collaboration with LUISS Creative Business Center, Rome’s National Gallery of Modern Art has invited artists and companies to focus on emphasizing the relationship between the business world and artistic creativity. GNAM viale Delle Belle Arti 131 (Parioli) Tues–Sat, 10–18, Sunday & holidays, 14-10:30; through 11 October

Or L’eleganza del cibo: Tales about food & fashion / A major exhibition for Expo 2015 looking at the relationships between nutrition, craftsmanship and the creativity behind the Made in Italy label. More than 160 creations from the 1950’s onward, some seen publicly for the first time, include accessories, clothing, photography, videos, holograms, video mapping and visual-art. Food-inspired fashion by Armani, Prada, Etro, Gattinoni, Ferragamo, Moschino, among others. Mercati Di Traiano, Via IV Novembre 94 Tues–Sun, 9:30–19:30; through 1 November

by Lisa R Tucci Art&Media Communications Quantum Learning SuperCampItaly






17 SETTEMBRE - 18:00




photo credit:

Frontier Flyer Michelle Bassanesi PWA Woman of the Year 2014/15 “Just do it, stay focused, believe in yourself, have fun�



lmost a century ago, Giovanni Bassanesi, known as “the man who defied Mussolini from the sky”, Michelle’s grandfather, was fascinated by flying. Although suffering from air sickness, he obtained a pilot’s license. On 11 July, 1930, together with Gioacchino Dolci and logistics organizer Randolfo Pacciardi, he flew over the city of Milan, departing from Switzerland, (or more precisely Lodrino, a small village in Canton Ticino), and “jettisoned” 150.000 anti-fascist propaganda leaflets, advocating justice and freedom. On the return flight, leaving Dolci at Lodrino, Bassanesi continues alone to Zurich, but over the Gottard pass, due to bad weather conditions, the plane crashes and Giovanni fractures his left leg, only to get arrested and expelled for violating Swiss law. Granddaughter Michelle Bassanesi has had her share of pitfalls too: Juggling with non-aviation and aviation related work and study together with life’s challenges. Moving from Australia to Italy at the age of 15, recovering my mobility after a bad accident in 1993 that left me three months in a wheelchair; being a single mum; losing my ‘Little’ sister to cancer a few years ago, just to name a few, says Michelle. I came to the point in my life when I finally realized I could start living my dream today. And she took off for her flying career in 2000, aged 38, deciding to follow her flight path to success. Twelve years later, Michelle shares her passion among women in aviation at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In retrospect, says Michelle, Women have been involved in aviation since its earliest days. From E. Lillian Todd, who designed and built aircraft in 1906, to Helen Richey, who became the first woman pilot for a U.S. commercial airline in 1934, women have assumed a variety of roles in the industry. At the close of the 20th century, Astronaut Eileen Collins became the first female Space Shuttle Commander. During the last two decades, the number of women involved in the aviation industry has steadily increased and women can be found in nearly every aviation occupation


today. Yet, women pilots represent only six percent of the total pilot population. As a mentor, Michelle offers her experience in building relationships over time, seeing successful women do great things. On 13 June 2013, Michelle pursuing her dream of flight, posts a picture in Google plus entitled, Flying Rosies & Dreamcatchers. She’s convinced that female pilots have earned their place as pilots in the male-dominated skies. To this end, she has facilitated aviation support groups for various aviation associations around the globe, and has organized 8 worldclass conferences in Europe. [See] She has engaged, inspired and educated over 600 young women to pursue their dreams in various programs, providing women the necessary tools to develop their careers and leadership skills. In 2013, Michelle flies, arriving second, in her first air race, the All Women’s Air Race Classic! Today, she is a European and American certified instrument commercial single and multi-engine pilot, flight instructor with instrument privileges, advanced ground instructor, and flight dispatcher. She has 1477 hours in the air and is 23 hours from achieving another milestone: her ATP – Airline Transport Pilot certificate. To read about this experience, see “My unique view of the world” . Her desire to have fun also teaches her to learn from mistakes, to discover extra options when in doubt. When safety is at stake, on a steep learning curve, unafraid of getting hands dirty, pulling each other up by sharing and working together to overcome differences, Michelle considers knowing yourself and being prepared to change plans the essence of teamwork. Preparation for ‘the race’ just as in ‘real life’ is essential; from food and hydration, to strategy and communication with each other.

by Valerie Baxter PWA President

Michelle always introduces herself as, “I’m Michelle Bassanesi, I’m from Australia and I’m a pilot!” So, just who is Michelle Bassanesi from Australia and a pilot? What does Australia mean to her? What does she feel when she flies? As a child in Australia, Michelle was unaware of diversity, of difference. Against a backdrop of nature, flowers and fruit, Michelle remembers her childhood environment: the smell of the river from her house close by, oleander flowers and eucalyptus, the sun. At school, the smell of asphalt and canteen, outdoors ― immersed in space and at one with sounds of nature mixed with the type of music played by aborigines, a social life characterised by barbecues … Migrating to Italy at 15 meant the excitement of doing something new, although at that age, reasons were unknown. Michelle was forced to come to terms with the impact on her life, she had to fight the war of ‘difference’. A new threat, domestic terrorism reared its ugly head, preventing her as she frequented an American school to visit her friends from embassies in Rome. Making a conscious effort to define herself, she bought books that the Italians read so she could integrate herself into a different culture. Convinced as a teenager that if she wanted something she had to get up and go for it – no excuses, she turned difficulties into opportunities… Impossible is only a stepping stone to success.

“Women have been involved in aviation since its earliest days. From E. Lillian Todd, who designed and built aircraft in 1906 to Helen Richey, who became the first woman pilot for a U.S. commercial airline in 1934, woman have assumed a variety of roles in the industry.”

Grandfather Giovanni Bassanesi

The photos eloquently celebrate a cross section of those women who’ve made it, and those who are now striving to succeed as mentees, inspired to work towards their dreams, asking questions, identifying the barriers that stop women from flying.

Michelle with daughter Nicole

“I came to the point in my life when I finally realized I could start living my dream today.”

In August 2011 – almost a century after her granddad got his pilot license – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognizes Michelle Tatia Bassanesi with inclusion in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database. Pilot certification standards have evolved over time in an attempt to reduce pilot errors that lead to fatal crashes. FAA standards, which are set in consultation with the aviation industry and the public, are among the highest in the world. To be officially recognized as a pilot has a more profound meaning to Michelle: It’s me – no pretending, it’s real, it’s completeness, it’s happiness, it’s beauty. A high flyer in business, as in her aircraft, Michelle today continues as COO/CFO at Centro Pilota srl, the event services company started by her grandmother over 40 years ago. Her success as a person and entrepreneur, stems from the realization ― first during a trip to South Africa, and upon returning to Australia as an adult ― that racism is an adult trait, totally absent in kids. Integration into a different culture requires continuous metamorphosis. She believes flying has taught her to understand diversity, to make conscious efforts to define oneself, transferring this knowledge to real life.

Life in PWA for Michelle started as an elected board member after less than six months as a member. She touched the ground running as she transformed the Professional Women’s Association of Rome into a nonprofit organization and as PWA Treasurer, successfully set up online payment and reservation solutions. As a conference speaker, demonstrating that despite all kinds of obstacles, impossible is a stepping stone to success, she went on to inspire 300 women with her amazing story; participating in City of Rome’s Da Venere a Minerva, a PWA seminar on leadership and female empowerment. Michelle believes in “giving forward” and dedicates an incredible amount of her energy to mentoring: the Leadership Development for Women in Aviation Conference in Johannesburg, and the Women Fly program in Seattle. Michelle is currently responsible for the allocation of scholarships within PWA and Mentoring coordinator, establishing new paths to success for women in leadership and personal growth. For this and many other reasons, Michelle truly deserves the PWA Woman of the Year award conferred upon her this summer. Michelle is forever an avid student. At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,

she’s working toward her B.Sc in Aeronautics with minors in Aviation Safety and Management. She has been inducted to membership in the prestigious Alpha Sigma Lambda Society, first in leadership and scholarship, and she is on the Dean’s List many times over. Michelle’s beautiful daughter, Nicole, who received the Woman of the Year award on Michelle’s behalf (in the U.S. during the official ceremony), is now a certified teacher of Italian to foreign nationals, and follows her mother’s example of “giving forward”, by volunteering time and expertise both in PWA and in the community. Like Granddad, like grandmother, like mother, like daughter, like granddaughter! Who knows where other tailwinds will take them?

Interested in aviation? What is needed to achieve an Airline Transport Pilot license in the USA What is needed to achieve an Airline Transport Pilot license in Europe


The three “C’s” of Collective Leadership

by Valerie Baxter PWA President


hen organisations are outperforming their best competitors, you will find that a dramatically higher percentage of their workforces are passionate and engaged about delivering on their company’s strategy than those who are not. Creating an environment and articulating a vision that inspires passion and engagement is a challenge for every leader. Leadership at the highest level is all about driving organisational behavior. The timeless challenge of leadership is to bring together a group of diverse individuals and create an environment where they will work together effectively toward common, shared goals. This is best accomplished through the notion of Collective Leadership, which brings an organisation together as one. Collective Leadership is about approaches that can help develop passion and engagement among individuals, while keeping accountability and clear execution of strategy. The ability to obtain the best of the teams’ innovation and creativity, while maintaining discipline and focus on execution, is the best of both worlds. However, creating that culture and


environment is no easy task. Leaders can build the foundation for collective leadership through the A-B-C’s of leadership. The “A” represents an “As One” environment, the leadership ambition, in which those in the organization behave “as one” in pursuit of shared goals and objectives. Achieving that organizational behavior should be the ultimate ambition of anyone who has the privilege of leading a group of individuals. The B’s and C’s are the building blocks of effective leadership that need to be in place for an organization to behave “as one” in pursuit of shared goals and objectives.


The leader must establish clarity about what the organization will seek to achieve; clarity around the purpose of the enterprise and those strategic goals. If you know where you’re going and you establish clarity so people understand your goals, you have a chance to get to your destination. And you have started to lay the essential foundation.


You have to create a climate that supports organizational behavior. There are many ways you can think about climate.

Sometimes we use the words “culture” or “values” to describe it. Many traditional leadership models focus on the attributes of a successful leader as traits to be emulated. Instead, if you want collective leadership to be successful, the attributes of the organization—its values, culture, or climate—are what’s important, rather than the traits of the leader. Why does Google allow employees to dedicate 20% of their time to innovate and work on any project they want to work on? The company wants the very best from them, and it wants them engaged with a real sense of ownership. Consequently, trust is an attribute that you have to be able to establish as part of that climate.


Does the group of individuals working together toward shared goals have the capability needed to reach those goals? Successful organizations make enormous investments in capability. Part of it is building culture. Part of it also is building a sense of belonging. But a big part of it is building capability. Communication is also important, but that really is part of creating clarity. If you get people talking about what they would like to see in a well-run organization, many times they also bring up the word “courage” to describe an organization that is willing to try new things and perhaps take some risks. But clarity, climate, and capability are the essentials. If the C’s are properly in place, the B’s can help you achieve the organizational behavior and collective leadership you need. They are:


You want people to feel as though they are a member of your team so they want to work toward your shared goal: To feel as if they were a part of something bigger.


The only way people are going to behave in the way you want is if they believe in what they are doing. One way to get employees to believe is to make strategy development a participatory process. Technology platforms have given us new ways to collaborate. If you use them in a thoughtful, deliberate way as part of strategy development, you can create ownership

among employees in the strategy. This will help them believe in and increase their commitment to the strategy.


If the other B’s and the C’s are in place, you have a chance to achieve the organizational behavior and collective leadership that will take place and allow the organization to function as one. One of the challenges to overcome — leaving the organization or not performing their best—is amplified by a generation gap between leaders and employees. Leaders often are part of the Baby Boomer generation whose upbringing by parents who lived through World War II led many of them to believe in doing things with a hierarchical style and strict, rigid accountabilities. But when these leaders look at the diverse individuals on their team, they often find a group of Millennials who had a different upbringing. When the Millennials are given a task, many of them immediately think about whom they can contact in their network to collaborate with to complete that task or solve that problem. So the leader has to have a discussion with the team about how they want to work together. If the team believes networking is essential to delivering on the strategy, you try to enable that. As you work on that, you still need accountability and clear execution of strategy. You can blend those concepts to have a networked, collaborative team that still is accountable for delivering on strategy. Organizational behavior can be attained when teams look at each facet of the organization and ask how they can blend the concepts of networking and hierarchy to optimize the performance of that particular process. For example, the collaborative process can draw out the best possible thinking from the team on a new value proposition the organization wants to take to market. Many organizations are so complex and of such a scale that a single, one-size-fits-all approach will not optimize the performance of individuals. On the other hand, collective leadership, when properly cultivated, through engagement and passion, can lead you to the accomplishment of shared goals and the objective of delivering products and services that people love.


PWA in 2015-16 Looking for a place in Rome where you can to network and develop professional and personal skills? PWA is your Association! The first Wednesday of each month is dedicated to an informal ConneXion where members and guests can socialize and get to know each other over a tasty glass of Italian wine. The top-notch conferences with varying, current topics and international expert speakers will delight us the third Wednesday of each month.

ConneXions 7 October 4 November 2 December 13 January 3 February 2 March 6 April 4 May 8 June PWA ConneXions at different Roman venues Stay tuned via direct email, social media and our website

Be a part of it!


16 December X 8 March 15 June Sum

X-mas Party IWD mmer Party

Save the dates PWA conferences Hotel Aleph Rome

Via San Basilio 15 (Via Barberini)

Conferences 21 October

The Dreambuilder by Cristiana Durante

6 November

Crimebuster: Overcoming Fear by Laurie A. Schlag

20 January 17 February 16 March 20 April 18 May Check out 17

Estate Romana Summer Party Friday, 12 June, 2015

The enchanting garden of Circolo della Pipa was the setting for the PWA Summer Party where members and friends met to bid farewell to our past season.

Members of the previous Board and the new Board and Team joined together to inaugurate a new, exciting 2015-16 season that will be full of news and activities!


The party was filled with joyous background tunes, delicious food and lots of smiles. To close, dozens of sparklers were lit to celebrate the start of a dazzling summer 2015!

Woman of the Year 2013-14 and exciting Social Director Maria Grazia Caiafa (on the right) handed the title over to Nicole Giacomarra who received the prize and cut the cake on behalf of her mother, Michelle Bassanesi, Woman of the Year 2014-15.


“The Future of our Past: CULTURAL CORNER a special night at the Imperial Fora”

I am extremely pleased to inaugurate this new column in the PWA Newsletter dedicated to the cultural treasures and events around the Eternal City. It is not easy to select only one monthly highlight as the city offers so many different opportunities to discover its treasures with special visits and day and night-tours. I personally aim to visit all the new sites because for me it is more than a job, it is a real pleasure to see new museums, archaeological sites and temporary exhibitions. It is a great emotion to learn and discover new things at every visit! One of the most interesting current sites in Rome is the show with new technology (reconstructions, videos, lights and special effects) in the area of the Imperial Fora. It is the area built from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD standing near the Roman Forum. A big part of it was destroyed in 1924-1932, when Mussolini decided to open Via dell’Impero (now Via dei Fori Imperiali), the long and large road that damaged the archaeological site permanently cutting it in half. Presently it is very difficult for us to understand and imagine how big and marvelous the Imperial Fora were at their origin! Thanks to scientists and giornalists Piero Angela and Paco Lanciano, the stones now tell their long and complex history through special audio systems in 8 different languages. The project of a 3D virtual


reconstruction of the Fora was started in 2014 - to celebrate the Bi-millenium of Augustus’ death (14 AD) - in the Forum of Augustus, inaugurated in year 2 BC. It is fascinating to watch how impressive this Forum was with its colonnade, decorations, inscriptions, the Temple of Mars Ultor and the colossal statue of Augustus that stands over 12 meters high. The new site opened in 2015 is even more interactive. The visitors start from Trajan’s Forum, passing though a new underground tunnel, before finally ending up at Caesar’s square. The Forum of Caesar, the first of the Imperial Fora, was desired by Julius Caesar to celebrate himself as a descendant of the goddess Venus to whom the temple in the middle of the area is dedicated. Special effects, sounds and lights allow the spectators to travel through the centuries and to participate at different historical events: The edification of the forum, the daily life in the square, the Caesar’s assassination, a terrible fire and the destruction of parts of the Forum. The two sites, Forum of Augustus and Forum of Caesar, can be visited every evening 21-midnight until 1 November. Fore more information and to buy tickets visit

by Laura Rizzi, PWA member, archeologist, art historian, tour guide and founder of L’Altra Roma



Are you a sun worshipper? Then read this One of the most frequent questions I receive during my dermatological consultations is: “How could I get rid of these spots on my hands/face/chest?�. Actually there are different types of skin spots, different by color and origin. In this article I’d like to talk about one particular type of skin spot: solar lentigo or sun spots. Without a doubt they are the most frequent type of spot I observe among my patients. What are they? Solar lentigo are round spots of different colors (from yellow to brown). Generally at the beginning they appear on the face, but later in age also on other sunexposed areas such as hands, chest and shoulders. Sun exposure causes a stockpile of melanin in the most superficial layer of the skin and this determines the development of the spots. Obviously, the more sun we are exposed to, the bigger is the risk to have lentigo. Over the years almost all people present some sun spots, especially on the face. This is due to the fact that the stockpile of sun damage causes modification of normal melanin production and consequently the formation of solar lentigo. Sun spots could represent a parameter for determining how important sun damage is and therefore how important photoaging is. Considering that aging (natural chronological process) could be accelerated by photoaging even 5-6 times, we need to carefully think about how much time we spend in the sun. Once the diagnosis of solar lentigo is done, how is it possible to remove it? Actually there are different solutions, from cryotherapy to newest sophisticated lasers. The treatment results are excellent in the beginning, but over time they tend to diminish and the spots tend to reappear. Why? This is due to the nature of sun damage; it is irreversible and it continues to trigger an abnormal melanin production. So, if we want to have long-lasting aesthetic results, in addition to ablative treatments it is mandatory to respect a strict photoprotection with sun screens of SPF 50+ and to continue with home anti-spot treatments.

by PWA member Irina Poleva Specialist in Dermatology and Venereology


The Town and Country ConneXion PWA kicked off the 2015-16 season with the September Town and Country ConneXion at La Limonaia in Villa Torlonia. The relaxed and informal aperitif gathered lots of members, new guests and also several friends of PWA over delicious cocktails and oven-fresh pizza and other snacks. Highlight of the evening was PWA Community Director Paola Devescovi presenting her new book on online start-ups. It can be ordered through It was a fun start to a fabulous year, stay tuned for the upcoming ConneXions!

photos and text Hanna Suni

Paola Devescovi signing books for guests

Rotary International members Massimo Berardi and Guido Francheschetti


Entrepreneurs and Institutions getting together for new development opportunities. Italia-Africa Business Forum at RBS

On the 24th and the 25th of June 2015, the first edition of the Rome Business School’s Italia – Africa Business Forum took place in Rome. Several Italian and African entrepreneurs – from 21 Countries – took part in this event and had a chance to deepen their knowledge of valuable business opportunities in the countries represented and to initiate commercial relationships.

Among others, delegates of the Liberian, South African, South Sudanese and Zimbabwean Embassies in Italy, and representatives of the General Directorate for Sustainable Development, Environmental Damage and Relations with the European Union and International Organizations of the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea participated in the event.

There was a very qualified participation of institutional representatives. All of the speakers shared their entrepreneurial experiences and success stories between Italy and Africa with the participants, offering the opportunity for new ventures and relevant stimuli. In his welcome message, the president of the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament, the Hon. Gianni Pittella, said that “the Rome Business School’s Italia – Africa Business Forum represents a praiseworthy initiative to reinforce commercial and institutional relationships between African countries and Italy. More broadly, it is a useful chance to bring Europe and Africa close together and unite them, in a growing perspective of cooperation and synergy”.

Today, Africa is the continent with the highest growth rate and most business opportunities. The wealth of this continent is due to its abundant natural resources, to its workforce and to its strong determination to grow. For Italy, the ninth economy in the world based on exports, Africa represents a market full of major opportunities. Given this background, the Rome Business School’s Italia – Africa Business Forum created a positive environment for dialogue and confrontation, which will be repeated with the aim of contributing to the sustainable and socially responsible economic development of these territories.


Diventa Executive Coach

Corsi di Coaching di The Performance Coach in partenza a Roma ad Ottobre Borse di studio per le socie PWA The Performance Coach è una partnership internazionale specializzata in executive coaching e soluzioni per la leadership. Avendo lavorato con migliaia di leader in tutto il mondo, siamo convinti dell’importanza strategica di favorire la presenza equilibrata di uomini e donne nella leadership delle grandi e piccole organizzazioni. Intendendo sostenere lo sviluppo della leadership al femminile e l’empowerment delle donne professioniste in Italia, The Performance Coach ha attivato nel 2015 una convenzione con PWA Roma per l’assegnazione di 2 borse di studio per la partecipazione ai nostri corsi Coaching: Competenze Fondamentali (corso introduttivo di 4 giorni nell’arco di 3 mesi) o TPC Coaching Practitioner (corso professionalizzante di 9 giorni nell’arco di 10-12 mesi). Il coaching può essere definito come “l’arte di facilitare lo sviluppo, l’apprendimento e la performance di un’altra persona”. È una metodologia oggi ampiamente utilizzata da leader e manager per trasformare l’esigenza di cambiamento in azioni funzionali a raggiungere i risultati desiderati. Integrare il coaching nel proprio stile di leadership significa saper gestire conversazioni

strutturate che facilitano un individuo o un team ad allineare motivazioni individuali e esigenze organizzative, a prendere consapevolezza delle proprie risorse intrinseche e a fare leva su queste per disegnare piani d’azione efficaci e sostenibili per realizzare i propri obiettivi. Inoltre il coaching sviluppa l’intelligenza emotiva, la gravitas e la capacità di gestire lo stress in modo positivo trovando maggiore senso e benessere nel lavoro. A coloro che fossero interessate a conoscere il coaching e a fare domanda per una delle due borse di studio (rispettivamente di €1.950,00+IVA e di €975,00+IVA), segnalo che i prossimi corsi partiranno a Roma il 22 Ottobre 2015. Per conoscere struttura, contenuti e vantaggi dei nostri corsi, e per richiedere il modulo d’iscrizione e/o quello per la borsa di studio, scrivi a mihaela@ La scadenza per l’invio delle domande è il 20 Settembre 2015. In attesa di ricevere le vostre domande vi invio i migliori auguri da parte del team di The Performance Coach.

The American Academy in Rome invites applications for the 2016 Rome Prize For over a century, the Academy has awarded the Rome Prize to support innovative work in the arts and humanities. Through a national juried competition, Rome Prizes are awarded to emerging and established artists and scholars working in several different fields. Ranging from six months to two years, the thirty fellowships include a stipend, room and board, and individual workspace at the Academy’s eleven-acre center in Rome. Submissions due: 1 NOVEMBER, 2015 Visit for guidelines.


ROTARY PRESENTS... ...Rome International their new club for English-speakers in Rome. The Club is addressed to the many foreigners living in Rome, either permanently or temporarily. Some of them have been Rotarians, but do not care to join a Roman Club because they are not fluent in Italian and the themes treated in the Clubs are mainly local. The aim is to offer Roman expats a way to join Rotary and to meet new friends of different professions and cultures. The official language of Rome International is English and it is open to people with a good business reputation from all nations. This international composition will be the occasion for the Club to happily cultivate friendship, business contacts and international understanding integrating each member’s professional skills and personality. The Club will implement social and cultural activities and international projects in favor of a better world, following the Rotary policy of “talking with leaders and taking action”. Meetings are weekly. A member of a Rotary Club is accepted as a Rotarian member by all 29 Clubs of Rome, 86 Clubs of the District and 34.000 Clubs in the world. Rotary International is truly international!

For more information contact Guido Franceschetti Massimo Berardi

The first Rotary Club was founded on 1905 in Chicago. At the time Chicago’s economy was booming and people were after wealth, legally or illegally. Business was permeating the individuals’ lives and there was little room left for fostering friendships. Rotary managed to form a community where friendship was fostered and succeeded in proposing something that was difficult to find elsewhere. In a few years several other Rotary Clubs were founded and the members were happy to find new friends and business relations. The pleasant experience also enhanced their feeling as members of the local community and they felt good about doing something beneficial for the hometown. Today Rotary International implements important actions in favor of the world community. As an example, Rotary started the worldwide vaccination against polio that is going to eliminate the disease from the world in the near future. Rotary’s real potential consists in its 1,300,000 members, professionals, managers and entrepreneurs, a worldwide network that encompasses a huge amount of skills and connections in all fields. This is the strength of Rotary. Rotary talks with leaders and takes action.


Upcoming events October ConneXion Ottobrate Romane Wed, 7 October , 18:30-21:00 The Independent Hotel Via Volturno, 48, Roma Price 15â‚Ź per person

October Conference Cristiana Durante Wed, 21 October, 19:30

Hotel Aleph, Via San Basilio 15, Rome


Membership news New Members Welcome!

We would like to welcome Marilina Colella, Isabella Der Ham, Valentina Ferretti and Stefania Grea and Guido Franceschetti as Friend of PWA who have recently joined our association. PWA is a place that grows with each member, therefore we are looking forward to enjoying PWA together with you!

2015-2016 PWA Board and Team members President Valerie Baxter Secretary Edna Francis Treasurer Michelle Bassanesi Programming Sonia Biondi Programming co-chair Christine Sterpetti Membership Olga Plyaskina Corporate Member coordinator Maria Banks Associate Member coordinator Nicole Giacomarra Social Isabella Cattan PR & Sponsorship Christina Barbiero PR & Sponsorship co-chair Marta Schneider Newsletter Hanna Suni Newsletter editorial consultant Lisa R Tucci Webmistress Rossana Scazzocchio Community Director Paola Devescovi Mentoring Program Manager Maria Letizia Nesta Luisa La Via Mentor Think Tank Michela Lazzè Think Tank Alessandra Tacconelli Social media communications assistant Marny Mancini and Giuseppina Rizzolo Media communications assistant Katia Ingegneri Legal Advisor Caterina Flick


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