Francesco Starace takes the rostrum. The Enel CEO was invited to give a lecture at the CONI School of Sport’s ‘Giulio Onesti’ Olympic Preparation Sports Centre in Acqua Acetosa, Rome. The second of the conferences organised by CONI to study the evolution of the sporting world – as seen through the eyes of the most eminent representatives of Italy’s business and social fabric – was held in the main lecture hall on 23 October.
Sport is a formidable instrument of knowledge and a gift that should be nurtured as much as possible
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
“Talking about sport here is problematic, because you are all more expert than me,” Francesco Starace said, addressing an audience of Presidents, Federal Secretaries, directors, athletes, students and other exponents of the sporting world. The CEO therefore focussed on technology, affirming that it is not possible to “direct its evolution”, but, on the contrary, “it has its own dynamic” which cannot be influenced. “Throughout the world, people are leaving the countryside and going to live in cities, which in some cases will become urban settlements of 20 to 40 million people,” explained Starace. In this context, the CEO pointed out that “sport is one of the main vehicles with which we try to return to our personal human nature. It helps us to understand ourselves better, and at a much deeper level, and to know our limits and our talents.”
But sport is also often competition. “Thanks to technology, we can compete with ourselves or with people a long way away.” In his analysis, Francesco Starace then pointed out that another dimension of sport that is destined to grow in the near future is “that relationship with nature and natural laws, for example, by paying greater attention to preventing energy wastage.” Finally, the CEO invited his audience to reflect on the value of sport from a different perspective. “It is one of the few things that allows us to travel through time: we can compare our present selves with how we were in the past, or how we will be in the future thanks to a combination of technology and materials.” In summary, for Francesco Starace sport can be considered “a formidable instrument of knowledge and a gift that should be nurtured as much as possible.”
At the end of the lecture, CONI President Giovanni Malagò handed the Enel CEO a Rome ’60 commemorative medal, thanking him for his talk and explaining that his visit had been a source of great pride the organisation.