Generali to restore the heart of Venice with the launch of the global community initiative, THE HUMAN SAFETY NET

04 October 2017 - 15:00
  • The Procuratie Vecchie, Generali’s historic home in Venice, will open its doors following restoration by world-renowned architect David Chipperfield to become the hub of The Human Safety Net.
  • A global movement connecting communities around the world to create a net of ‘people helping people’.

Venice, Italy, 4 October, 2017 – Generali Group, one of the world’s leading insurers, today announces the global launch of The Human Safety Net, a new flagship initiative to help some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. The Human Safety Net, powered by Generali, is open to alliances and partnerships with like-minded people and organisations.

Enhancing and protecting people’s lives

The Human Safety Net is based on the idea that communities of ‘people helping people’ can bring about sustainable change, creating a positive ripple effect. It reflects Generali’s commitment to contribute towards a healthy, resilient and sustainable society where people can develop and flourish to their full potential.

Its programmes target key social issues affecting communities where we live and work, including: creating equal life opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds; supporting refugee start-ups; and saving newborns from the debilitating and potentially fatal consequences of asphyxia. All programmes share a common purpose: to unlock the potential of disadvantaged people so they can transform their lives, that of their families and of their communities.

Grand restoration project to reconnect and revitalise Piazza San Marco

As part of its long-term commitment, Generali will create a home for The Human Safety Net in one of its most prized real estate assets: the Procuratie Vecchie in the iconic Piazza San Marco in Venice. As a city with UNESCO World Heritage Site status and synonymous with imagination, ingenuity and openness, Venice is the ideal host for The Human Safety Net.

Generali will undertake a unique restoration of the Procuratie Vecchie that will bring together other parts of the square and the Royal Gardens. When complete, it will re-establish the historic paths and flow to and from Piazza San Marco.

Generali has appointed renowned architect David Chipperfield to restore the building, applying an approach and sensibility that will allow for a respectful transformation of the monumental Procuratie Vecchie into the vibrant heart of The Human Safety Net. The Procuratie Vecchie will provide an open door for people to seek inspiration from programmes, exchange ideas, and volunteer to take collective action. The hub will host regular public exhibitions, events and discussions on pressing social and demographic challenges from poverty to migration.

Philippe Donnet, CEO of Generali Group: “The beauty of Venice is a source of inspiration for the world, and Generali is very proud to enrich the city’s heritage by restoring the area of Piazza San Marco. By opening the Procuratie Vecchie to the public for the first time in nearly five centuries, we are creating new and vibrant spaces where people can meet to discuss some of today’s most pressing social and global issues.

We are grateful to the Venetian authorities for their support in this endeavour. Venice has long been a crossroads of different cultures from around the world, and we hope to build on this tradition through The Human Safety Net and our movement of ‘people helping people’. David Chipperfield Architects was a natural choice due to his love of Venice and shared vision for an architecturally and socially coherent restoration.”

David Chipperfield, Principal of David Chipperfield Architects: “The Human Safety Net and its home in Venice, a city steeped in history and culture, brings together knowledge and inspiration for the common good. I am delighted to be working on this architecturally and socially coherent project, which will convey and connect ideas and people around the world. Working closely with Generali, we have a vision to transform the Procuratie Vecchie into a more active and engaged space, which embodies the global mission of The Human Safety Net, while retaining the dignified beauty and history of the buildings.”

Three programmes

The Human Safety Net for Families promotes equal life chances for children who grow up in poverty. The Human Safety Net will provide support to 30,000 parents during the first six years of their children’s life, which has been scientifically proven as the most formative period. These years shape what children achieve in school, their health, and their future career path.

The Human Safety Net for Refugee Start-Ups takes a different approach to the refugee crisis in Europe by empowering refugees to realise their entrepreneurial potential and build livelihoods in their new ‘home’ countries. This programme aims to help refugees to set up 500 new businesses, creating jobs and opportunities for work.

The Human Safety Net for Newborns works with the medical community and parents to improve prevention and treatment for a devastating birth condition called asphyxia. Asphyxia leaves many babies handicapped for the rest of their lives and tragically can even result in death. This programme aims to train professionals and equip them with innovative technologies, to help save 1000 lives from this potentially fatal condition.

Generali employees from across the Group submitted over 300 ideas for community projects to The Human Safety Net. The three programmes selected share the common purpose of unlocking the potential of disadvantaged people. Generali aims to engage its entire organisation in the initiative, as well as inspiring customers, like-minded individuals and NGOs to collaborate. This chain of ‘people helping people’ is at the heart of The Human Safety Net.

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