For me it is really important to point out that each one of us, despite our background, can do something to make the difference. I am not a politician, I am not a diplomatic, I mean, I am an engineer but I decided to be part of this process.
Fabrizio Callari is an electrical engineer, graduated from Polytechnic of Turin and alumnus of ASP X Cycle. He attended an internship and then worked as a PhD R&D engineer at SuperGrid Institute in Lyon on protection strategies of HVDC electrical grid. In 2017 he came back to Italy to work for the Enel Group where he is currently a Program Management Officer for a business digitization project. Now he lives between Rome and Palermo.
Fabrizio has been chosen as Head of Italian delegation for Young 7 and we decided to interview him to ask him about this experience. The Youth 7 is a Formal G7 Engagement Group Summit held alongside the G7 Summit, bringing together youth delegates to represent the millions of young people who live, study and work across G7 member states and the European Union.
Hi Fabrizio it’s nice to meet you again,
We are curious about your recent experience as Head delegate of Youth 7 in Canada
How did you happen to be part of it?
Actually, It’s kind of funny. I was on facebook and I saw a post ‘Apply to be the G7 young delegate of Italy for the Youth 7 summit in Canada” sponsored by the Young Ambassador Society. They were searching for young delegates in collaboration with the Ministry of foreign affairs.
I said ‘why not?’ I thought I was ready so I applied. At the end of march I received the call and they told me I was accepted as the Head of Italian delegation. I was surprised. Because in this kind of programs there are lots of people who have a political science background and I thought they wouldn’t have accepted me.
Which were your main tasks?
My main tasks, as head of the delegation,, were to coordinate the team, to oversee the consultation process, to negotiate with the heads of other delegations and to bridge the communication with all the stakeholders.
The team had to discuss 3 topics represented by three committees:
- Climate change and environment
- Future of work
- Gender equality
Each committee had to provide policy recommendations that reflected the need of the youth community from all over the world.
How did you come up with these policy recommendations?
At first, each country delegation had to provide a position paper with 5 policy recommendations on every topic. So together with my team we brought the Italian instances and needs providing data, articles and evidence.
For instances, with respect to Climate Change and Environment, we affirmed the necessity to strengthen the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, therefore encouraging Italy and all G7 countries in leading and supporting the sustainable development of less-developed countries.
On the Gender Equality and Empowerment theme, we promoted a collaborative effort of public bodies, the media and civil society to take greater steps towards the elimination of gender-based violence. Regarding the future of work, we encouraged our Governments to embrace the challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to seize its opportunities, investing on education, relaunching research funding and encouraging young entrepreneurship.
These three examples of policy recommendations were also all supported by the survey principal outcomes.
Then we started the online negotiation, starting from the same shared document with all the positions that every country delegation came up with on the three thematic areas. At the end of this process we formulated a Master position paper that was the base for our in person discussions in Ottawa.
I would quote as an example the Master Card on the future of work theme, especially on the topic of Social Security Policies and Financing Mechanisms. The master card was really useful to draw down the priorities of each Y7 representatives so to facilitate the consensus process during the summit.
In parallel with the online consultation each delegation was asked to gather priorities from the civil society. So we decided to create an online survey for Italy that we spread through social media. We received more than 400 answers.
At the same time we consulted the associations to understand which were their priorities. We had the chance to interview the Head of Youth Policies within Libera, Calogero Gangi. Then we talked with people from AISEC in Rome, a global network for youth leadership, and from the association Scosse and Soroptimist International, that advocate for human rights and gender equality.
To give more relevance to our work we have been in contact with Minister Plenipotentiary Alessandro Motta, Head of the G7/G20 Italian Sherpa Office, and his staff to confront our recommendations with the positions of the Italian Government.
Talking with multiple stakeholders guaranteed we didn’t arrive in Ottawa with our priorities alone but we did it with the strength of the people we were representing.
In Ottawa we spent 3 days to collaborate and negotiate with all the delegations to formulate the Y7 positions.
As head delegates, we were tasked to prioritize the recommendations assessing their audaciousness, pragmatism and applicability and to specifically work on the final phrasing of the document, finding a diplomatic middle-ground whenever it was necessary.
It wasn’t an easy task since every youth community had their own priorities but at the end we collaborated and we came up with common instances. As an example, even if we all recognized the relevance of the decarbonization theme, we acknowledged that not all the G7 countries would have followed up on it, so we strategically choose, in terms of recommendation applicability, to call on immediate action on plastics, while, at the same moment, recognizing the urgence to commit on rapid decarbonization.
What are you going to achieve next?
After Ottawa we came up with a call to action, a one page document with bold, pragmatic and inclusive recommendations.
We called upon government and civil society to commit on these 3 priorities at least (1 from each focus area). It is a document that we are going to deliver to actual G7 to make our voice being heard. I really hope they are going to take in considerations our positions.
At the same time we are working on the full list of Y7 policy recommendations. It’s really important. We are going to broaden the conversation one more time and we want to share this document with all the most important italian stakeholders. This our goal. For example, since we refer to water protection on the call to action, we would like to get in touch with Italian associations related with this topic that may be potentially involved in promoting the summit outcome.
(Download the document here!)
Fabrizio, which are your main take-aways from this experience?
For me it is really important to point out that each one of us, despite our background, can do something to make the difference. I am not politician, I am not an diplomatic, I mean, I am an engineer but I decided to be part of this process.
It’s really necessary for everyone of us to – at least – try to change things.
We have to stimulate and involve people to discuss these topics. The reality is that we are already late. I would like that people from the civil society will join the debate. The most is to get people involved. United is better. United we are stronger.
Last thing, if you have the chance to be involved in these experiences, do it. I suggest other young people to apply next year, It’s really worthed.
If you are curious about this experience, Fabrizio is available to give you more information and suggestions on the Young G7 program.
Fabrizio is an electrical engineer, graduated from Polytechnic of Turin. He attended an internship and then worked as a PhD R&D engineer at SuperGrid Institute in Lyon on protection strategies of HVDC electrical grid. In 2017 he came back to Italy to work for the Enel Group where he is currently a Program Management Officer for a business digitization project. Now he lives between Rome and Palermo.
What he says about Alta Scuola Politecnica:
“ASP contributes to broaden your horizons when dealing with complex problems. I understood how my work can impact people’s life not just from a merely technological point of view but more in the social sphere, through relationships. I learnt to listen to the users. I brought this in my work experience. I always think as a customer. I design for them.”