The Milan Brand Committee: activities

Foto 1 Seminario 14 luglio 2012 424977_10150943974948715_1574478856_nReshaping the story of the city

A Milan Brand Committee (14 experts and representatives of significant social, economic and cultural sectors) has been in operation since 2012, after a planning seminar was held in the presence of the Mayor of Milan – see Milan Brand Committee. The Committee has acted in conditions of civic voluntary work and has essentially planned and assisted two aspects of one fundamental process:

  • a historical and identity-related overview of the city
  • a proposal for new narrative itineraries within the context of Expo 2015 and the constitution of Milano Città Metropolitana.

The activities carried out (2013-third quarter 2014) and, as a general outline, those to be carried out in the fourth quarter of 2014 and in 2015 are indicated below.

Process adopted (with particular emphasis on October 2013 – October 2014)
  1. Definition of general methodological guidelines and a joint programme between the City Council (Department of Business, Territorial Marketing, Tourism and Trade) and La Triennale di Milano, but also open to contributions from other parties.
  2. Primary objective: to start and broaden a public debate on the areas of potential for the city, the sense of belonging (for inhabitants and for all those who live and work in the city) and the image that the city conveys to all those who enter into direct or indirect relationships with it.
  3. In order to raise awareness among the population of the main issues involved in this debate, the programme started from of opinion polls, entrusted to Ipsos, the results of which were published on the Triennale website, now moved to this site.
  4. This formed the basis for an exhibition on the symbolic heritage of the city at La Triennale from 7 April to 2 June 2014, curated by Michele De Lucchi and opened by the mayor of Milan, Giuliano PisapiaFoto 4 bis Mostra Triennale Presentazione 7 aprile.
  5. The exhibition consisted of three sections: the history (with its symbolic heritage); the formation of the present situation (and thus currently relevant issues concerning the identity of the city); the start of a debate on changes (with input from seven famous illustrators who chose one aspect of the issues and gave their free interpretations of it).
  6. At the same time there was also a cultural and entertainment programme to get the population more involved. The installations from La Triennale were taken to seven squares where they showed the works of the illustrators. A programme of shows created and interpreted by the civic schools of entertainment in Milan was held on the stages. Readings, dialogues, music and dance: from tradition to change in the city.
  7. From October to December 2013 the exhibition and shows went on a tour with the participation of the population in the districts of Milan and with a selection of schools.
  8. In the media, through public meetings, and with the creative involvement of the population and professional sectors of the city, the issues received feedback and expressions of interest from the community to discuss the matter of symbolic identity (an analysis and documentation is being published by Egea, as is the general catalogue of La Triennale, on this site under the heading Publications).
Calendar of events (to May 2015)

One recent public meeting in late June, at the Museo della Memoria at Platform 21 of the Stazione Centrale, focused on some themes of change, which are already largely agreed upon in the city (through research data and feedback), with a view to creating new ways of presenting the city.

These include: the transition towards the metropolitan city; the pre-eminence of the quality of life for everyone  (environment, culture, innovation); the promotion of cultural heritage also from an economic standpoint; improved recapitulation of local and global aspects of Milan; the need to make the various spirits of the city more communicative and synergetic.

  1. This leads to a need for greater participation:
    • continuing the process into the suburbs;
    • in the main centres of the metropolitan area;
    • cutting across sectors that are socially significant for the issues involved (such as schools);
    • in innovative professional and technical areas in the productive, economic and creative sectors.
  2. The methodological approach to the management of public branding policies are also redefined and rationalised, with greater definition of the processes and products involved in the drafting of a programme of “identity in terms of competiveness and attractiveness”.
  3. In the meantime, an international forum is being prepared for February during which Italian and international experts from outside the city will assess of the new identitary and symbolic profile (in other words, the “brand”) of Milan with a view to bringing about a convergence of internal and external perceptions. The forum will aim to secure the strengths in the way the city is presented at the Expo and as part of the implementation of Milano Città Metropolitana.
  4. Phase two will come with the opening of the Expo – for which the Committee is working on a special communication project – and Phase three will involve organising events and initiatives on the subject during the months of the “international showcase” until the end of 2015.
A new approach to the management of Phases 2 and 3 for a legacy of strategic interest for the city

foto 4 Pisapia su stemmi Milano. safe_imageFor the management of Phase 2 and Phase 3, it has been considered necessary to strengthen the key areas of planning and implementation, with rationalised organisation in order to cope with the increase in operations.

  1. The goal is to create the conditions for a permanent legacy which, after Expo 2015, will remain at the service of the cultural and promotional interests of the city.
  2. The City of Milan considers that it is essential for there to be a convergence between public and private bodies to support the initiatives introduced so far in order to implement an effective brand policy. Technical cooperation with La Triennale, right from the outset, is considered to be important for implementing the project.
  3. In September 2014 an initial agreement was brought about with the signing of a document on operational harmonisation (For the Identity and Reputation of Milan, see the home page of this website), initially signed by A2A, ATM, Fondazione Fiera Milano, MM, SEA, Università degli Studi, and La Triennale. After the forum has taken place, the plan is to expand participation (with actors representing the economic, associational and cultural life of the city) with the most appropriate forms of organisation.

For the Identity and Reputation of Milan

  1. The undersigned, legal representatives or otherwise delegated to sign this Deed, representing bodies working for the public good and in the service of the general interests of the City of Milan, aware of the importance of the development of the theme of identity concerning the image of the city for events both within and outside the community, and of the need for constant interaction and synthesis in the vocational and cultural pluralism of the different spirits in society with regard to the institutions, hereby take note, with profound appreciation of the work carried out so far with civic spirit by the Milan Brand Committee, as instituted by the Mayor of Milan, and hereby constitute themselves as the promoters of a new entity – which in this initial phase is associational in nature with a view to creating stable forms of aggregation – whose mission is constantly to continue the work in order to achieve the objectives described, in the general interest of the city and of its citizens.
  2. In particular, as an essential feature of the mission of this new associational entity, they take on the work so far carried out – and rendered public – by said Committee and, in an interconnected and functional manner, they undertake to assist in the organisational, scientific and professional transformation of what has been achieved so far, in order to focus on the themes involved in the identity and reputation of the city. This applies to the territorial and institutional context at the local, national and global levels, to such events as may involve them in the image and in any significant changes to the relationship between the city and its users as regards the collective symbolic heritage, both tangible and intangible.
  3. Said support is expressed in the contribution, with effect from 1 October 2014, of membership fees, professional resources and service instruments as part of an operational project that will arise from a programme of initiatives for the benefit of the city and of its most important democratic institutions, with the decision to render operational this intent – as agreed upon during a preparatory analysis carried out in the presence of the Mayor of Milan at the Palazzo Marino on 22 September 2014 – in such ways and means as the Promotion Committee, as constituted by the undersigned, may decide, including the approval of Articles of Association and executive regulations.
  4. It is understood that the operational framework – which will have the support of a qualified advisory body promoted by explicit commitment to the project of the coordinating chairman of the rectors of the universities of Lombardy – will take into account the need for analysis and planning, of which the Milan Brand Committee has so far given evidence, in order to invest both the time for formulation and research and submission of solutions designed to improve the level of information and communication in which in the interest of the city may be offered to the attention of the population and of public opinion, with purposes generally oriented towards improving the attractiveness of the city.
  5. In view of the imminence of the challenging six-month period of Expo 2015, as well as of the imminence of the launch of the Città Metropolitana di Milano, the Promotion Committee considers it both appropriate and urgent that the activities indicated herein should immediately ensure streamlined and expert organisational services, making use of such synergies as have already been experimented, especially through the agreement between the City of Milan and La Triennale di Milano. This will thus create the conditions for contemporaneous verification of the methods to be used for the exercise of shared, vigilant and targeted responsibility that the undersigned undertake to exercise.
  6. The undersigned are also aware of the strategic importance of participation in this initiative by persons who play an important role in the social, economic and cultural fabric of the city, as an expression of a plurality of identities and vocations. Constituted as a Promotion Committee, the undersigned undertake to promote greater access to their associational agreement by ensuring – predictably within one year – greater scope for participatory initiatives in such appropriate forms as may be agreed upon.

Milan, 8 October 2014


The Milan Brand Committee

The Milan Brand Committee

Stefano Rolando (chairman) – Professor of Theory and Techniques of Public Communication and Public Communications Policies at IULM University, Milan. Former general director to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and of the Regional Council of Lombardy

Laura Agnoletto – Architect and expert in social design

Armando Branchini – CEO of Altagamma, Professor at Bocconi University

Antonio Calabro – Director of the Pirelli Foundation, member of the Presidential Committee of Assolombarda

Monica Gattini Bernabò – Director-General of Fondazione Milano (Civic Schools)

Davide Milani – Spokesman for the Archdiocese of Milan

Alessandro Olper – Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Milan

Marco Percoco – Professor at Bocconi University in Public Management and Policy Analysis

Fulvio Ronchi – Designer, head of the Visual Identity laboratory at the Politecnico University of Milan. Former Art Director of Olivetti and visual identity coordinator (1985-1995) for the Prime Minister’s Office

Patrizia Rutigliano – president, FERPI – Italian Federation of Public Relations, director of Institutional Relations and Communication, SNAM

Emanuela Scarpellini – Professor of European History at the University of Milan. Coordinator of the degree course in Communication Sciences, University of Milan

Roberto Serafini – Director of the RAI headquarters in Milan

Massimiliano Vavassori – Director of the Study Centre of the Italian Touring Club

Paolo Verri – Events Manager for the Italian Pavilion, Expo 2015, Chairman of the Matera Committee for European Capital of Culture, former Director of the Turin Book Fair, former director of the Torino 150 Unità d’Italia Committee.