Renaissance Man/Women Of The Award

Palazzostrozzi > Renaissance Man/Women Of The Award


A scientific and a technical committee named by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation in America will identify annually a list of men and women who embody today the qualities of a true renaissance person and will choose an individual that will best represent those values.

The committee will seek to identify people who, over the course of their lives, have had an impact in many different fields. Whether it be by breaking new frontiers or displaying extraordinary entrepreneurship, or by supporting philanthropy, humanistic disciplines and the arts, or social causes and global understanding in the international economy or society, these individuals will have been directly involved in serving their or the international community for the common good.

In the context of today’s evolving world and globalization process, this award will carry a symbolic message: it will represent an anchor to the central values of our time – openness, mutual understanding and progress – that have been part of our history both in business and the arts in the western world. Those central roots of our values, of our humanistic-centered society, are to be found in the Renaissance Florentine experience, the link between the greatness of Rome and Athens, and the heritage of what we are today as a civil society.

We, at Palazzo Strozzi, strongly feel that this is a time and age when the dynamics of globalization may risk shuttering the old fundamental values of liberty, democracy, and humanism that have been re-established after the wars, the hardships and persecutions in the 20th century. Today’s societies are confused. Emerging threats from often obscure backward looking groups playing the cards of fear are the more concrete representation of what Samuel Huntington has brilliantly described as the “Clash of Civilizations”. The values of the Humanism, of the Renaissance, the hope for a brighter positive future, need to be a constant reminder that what we are is not the result of an improvised casual recent development but of a long thread that goes back several millennia. And that has found its more recent revival in the actions of the men and women of the Renaissance, inspired, motivated individuals that, with their contributions, big or small that they were, have helped to bring the torch forward.

We feel that those same values and virtues are embodied today in the actions of men and women of our time all across the world. Some of them are pursuing the new frontiers of economic and social progress; others are pursuing those of justice, philanthropic sharing and support of the arts. In this period of rapidly evolving global scenarios, of increased tensions, of crisis of confidence in what the future may have in store for our children and grandchildren, these individuals become the symbol of resistance – sometimes obscure, sometimes spectacular – against the forces of darkness and division. Their Renaissance state of mind and spirit will affirm the power of the intellectual progress developed over centuries by our human society, independently of religious creed, race and cultural roots. It is to the continuity of those universal values, to the symbolic importance of the actions of these few that we want to dedicate this award. In the hope that it will always keep alive our close roots to the Renaissance in a thread that goes all the way back to the virtues of ancient Roman and Greek societies: virtues and values that will always be central in the current, sometimes difficult, search for a global multicultural society.