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Abdullah Yacoub Bishara, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with G. F. Dasi

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G.F. Dasi with Henry A. Kissinger, former US Secretary of State

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Toshiki Kaifu, Prime Minister of Japan

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G.F. Dasi with Lady Diana, Princess of Wales

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G.F. Dasi is received by His Highness Soad Abdullah Al Salem Al Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait

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From left to right: Felice Battaglia, chancellor, University of Bologna; the chairman of the Italian Publishers Association; Pio Manzù; Gerardo Filiberto Dasi

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Pio Manzù

The Pio Manzù International Research Centre is an organisation enjoying United Nations general consultative status which has been operating since 1969 to enhance awareness and knowledge of economic and scientific issues of crucial interest for the future of humankind.

The Pio Manzù International Research Centre, a nongovernmental organisation in general consultative status with the United Nations, has been operating since 1969 as an institute for the in-depth study of the main economic and scientific aspects of the relationship between man and his environment.
The Centre’s primary objective is to design and conduct global investigations into specific issues, drawing upon a broad range of expertise which it seeks to make available to those in the public, private and non-profit sectors whose task it is to devise prompt, effective action strategies.
The main aims of the Pio Manzù Centre are thus to act as:

  • a promoter of specific research projects, through the implementation of forms of synergistic collaboration between researchers of different cultural and professional backgrounds;
  • a link between the world of research and the practical socio-political decision-makers providing a forum for a free and frank exchange of views and expertise on both sides.

Founded in 1969 by a group of avant-garde scholars, the Pio Manzù Centre has set up its own network of specialists, a pool of researchers operating in Bologna, London, Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Boston and Moscow. As a non-profit making organisation, the efforts of the Centre today are mainly targeted at making a major contribution towards the up-to-date, functional study of the interactions between technological and industrial development and its impact on the human and cultural environment.
Over the years the Centre has designed and conducted studies of major innovative significance in the fields of scientific and technological research.
From this penchant for cultural exchanges and confrontation stems the true mission of the Pio Manzù Centre which, through the constant quest for common interdisciplinary languages across a whole range of spheres of interest, seeks above all to establish the centrality of man, both in terms of his creative and spiritual capabilities and in the setting of a meaningful relationship with nature and the environment.
The Pio Manzù Centre thus offers public and private decision-making centres a complex, well-differentiated framework of collaboration and integration, much appreciated by a highly authoritative international clientele.
Every year, the work of the analysis and design conducted by the Centre’s own research staff with invaluable contributions from scholars and researchers from numerous academic institutions is presented in the context of the Pio Manzù International Conference.
This prestigious conference which is held every year in Rimini in October, marks the culmination of the Centre’s collaborative research effort and offers an opportunity for joint reflection on the changes taking place in the global context and on the prospects for mankind.
The Pio Manzù International Conference is by any standards one of the most important events on the annual Italian Conference calendar, both as regards the authoritative nature of the invited speakers taking part and the Centre’ commitment in terms of information and publicity. Over the years the work formula adopted has met with the staunch and ongoing backing of many appreciative Italian entrepreneurs, who, through various forms of free association aimed at supporting the Centre’s non profit-making aims and activities, have entered into relationships of collaboration and consultancy with the Centre.
In specific terms, the Pio Manzù Centre is able to offer the following services:

  • broad ranging research into geo-economic and socioeconomic phenomena as relating to specific topics of interest.
  • studies on the social and individual repercussions of innovative technologies and scientific discoveries.
  • monitoring reports and forecasts regarding trends in social phenomena. Specific sectors and global scenarios.
  • professional training projects and studies on the work environment, the man-machine relationship and the impact of computerisation processes.
  • training projects for the management and development of instruments of international cooperation technology transfer and overseas trade.
  • the in-depth analysis of social and town planning issues, environmental design, ecological impact and sustainable development.
  • studies and research regarding social welfare and healthcare services, the concept of health, the development of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and prevention-oriented health care.
  • analysis of consumer trends, the ethics of service provision and the rights of citizens of all age brackets as well as careful examination of bioethical issues.
  • in all these spheres, the Pio Manzù Centre brings to bear its own extensive research resources, availing itself for specific requirements of the expertise of the world’s leading scientific think-tanks. In this, the Centre’s basic approach is to promote the exchange of different experiences in different languages of communication with a transfer of know-how and methodologies from one country market or industrial sector to another.

The origins of the Centre
The Pio Manzù Centre came into being in an intense period of change and upheaval of values and prospects during the social and cultural turmoil of the ‘sixties. It was in this climate of heated political and cultural debate, also marked by student protest and trades union militancy, that a group of intellectuals, scholars and artists perceived the need to create new forms of coming together and research, think tanks and brains trusts, in order to identify, through serious and impassioned study, responses to the mounting anxiety of change in the direction of a ‘new world’.
Thus it was that on April 13 1969, at the Palace Hotel in Rimini, the ‘International Research Centre on Environmental Structures’ was founded at the initiative of Gerardo Filiberto Dasi, the material and spiritual father of the Centre, and a group of 14 scholars and experts in various fields, sharing the common desire to give shape to a form of research that places man squarely at the centre of a harmonious relationship with his environment. With singular farsightedness, the Centre then went on to trace, since the early ‘seventies, the path of the culture of ecology that today dominates our politics and our economic and productive choices. The prospective vision and multidisciplinary approach are elements that distinguish all the research and study activity promoted by the Pio Manzù Centre, laying the foundations for the global intervention and forecasting ability that was to make the work of the Institute so highly appreciated in many sectors internationally.
As expressed in article 2 of its Statute, the aim of the Centre is to act as a cultural melting pot, which, through an exchange of ideas on topical issues, is not influenced by current trends in schematically ideological terms but pursues a mission characterised by a commitment to promoting culture on a non-profit basis and by total freedom from any form of economic or political conditioning.

Who was Pio Manzù?
Pio Manzù, son of the famous sculptor Giacomo Manzù, was a young designer and one of the founder members of the ‘International Research Centre on Environmental Structures’. An internationally trained designer and graduate of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm. He distinguished himself as the designer of one of the most successful models of the Italian motor-car industry, the Fiat 127, as well as of numerous vehicle prototypes of innovative content from both the formal and technical points of view. Such as the NSU – Autonova GT e Fam, the Autobianchi Coupé and the City-Taxi. Car design earned him numerous acknowledgements and awards; in 1962 he won the prestigious international Année Automobile Award with a prototype built by Pininfarina and exhibited at the London Motor Show. He combined critical reflection with his design activity, cultivating a creative effort at no time unrelated to a broad-ranging consideration of the function of design and themes of mobility.
In May 1969, at the early age of thirty, Pio Manzù died in a tragic road accident while on his way to Turin. In memory of their prematurely deceased friend, the founder members decided to call the Institute the ‘Pio Manzù International Research Centre’.

Man does not exist merely to use objects and even less – as people would have us believe today – to consume products. He is faced continually with the demands that his conscience places on his intentions. And these demands cannot be met merely by means of well-designed utilitarian objects. In terms of self-realisation and production, conscience needs to address continually all the complex problems inherent in its own abilities of representation and experience.”  Pio Manzù