September 15, 2011

About me

About me

Alessandro Benetton - About me

 

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lots of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance”

Robert Kennedy, June 6th 1966

 

I grew up in northeast Italy, in the countryside around Treviso. The images of my childhood are related to these places, which I explored as a boy on my bike. Naturally, they include memories of the family business. Benetton was founded a year after I was born, so you could say we are peers, that we grew up together, even if along independent and parallel paths.

A real revolution in my adolescent years was meeting my philosophy teacher during the third year at high school: he was an extraordinary man, a glacier climber, who taught me the importance of studying, most of all as a means for self-discovery.

Following high school, I left for Boston, where I graduated in 1987. This was undoubtedly one of the most electrifying periods of my life. The lectures, the campus life, the journeys into the heart of America: this is where I became an adult.

After completing an MBA at Harvard and training in Goldman Sachs in London, in 1992, I founded 21 Investimenti, my first, and most important, business experience. Here I learned the beauty of being an entrepreneur: it is a lifestyle choice, a way of affirming one’s freedom, of remaining true to oneself.

After the Chairmanship of Benetton Group, 21 Investimenti is my home again.

I love sport, as well as contemporary art and reading. I am married to Deborah and we have three children, Agnese, Tobias and Luce. When I am not at work, I spend most of my time with them.

This blog is a meeting point for my personal and professional interests, and an opportunity to share them directly with people. I called it “Each time a man”, in tribute to the famous speech that Robert Kennedy gave at the University of Cape Town, two years before he was assassinated. This speech has always made me reflect on the value of individuality, and how in every situation, even the most difficult and complicated, each one of us has the privilege of making a difference, of introducing an element of unpredictability into the order of things. It is this, I believe, that makes us free.

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