Italian Creative Industries Illustrate Commercial and Cultural Value of the Arts Worldwide

Italian Ambassador's Dinner, May 8, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/

From food and design to visual arts and music, the creative industry is a vital sector for its global economic and social contributions. It adds $2.2 billion (USD) in global revenue, making up 3% of the world’s GDP while also generating nearly 30 million jobs. Passionate about the creative contributions of his nation to the world, Ambassador Armando Varricchio, the Italian Ambassador to the United States, welcomed guests to his residence in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018, for a dinner discussion on advancing the creative economy through cultural and commercial diplomacy.

This sixth dinner of Meridian’s Global Leadership Council Salon Series: Entreé to Dialogue brought together creative influencers across museum and culinary arts, book publishing and design, along with commercial and public-sector leaders, to explore how the arts, science and business can advance economic goals as well as improve quality of life for people around the world.

The night began with warm regards from Italian Ambassador Varricchio and Meridian’s CEO and President Ambassador Stuart Holliday. Guests heard from experts Marco Ausenda, President & CEO of Rizzoli International Publications; Davide Cremese, CEO of Boffi USA; John Jenkin, CEO of Kartell; Dodge Thompson, Chief of Exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art; and Fabio and Maria Trabocchi, Founders of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants.

Examining the intersection of food and design, chef Fabio Trabocchi underscored the convening power of food and its role as a peace-building tool. Boffi CEO Davide Cremese elaborated on this theme, acknowledging that while kitchens are often the most expensive investment, they are the hearts of every home and elevate the convening power in tandem with food. This theme was highlighted among other speakers, illuminating the importance of collaboration among industry, art and science. Others discussed the role of governments in supporting the creative industry through copy right and intellectual property legislation, particularly in the increasingly digital marketplace for film, books and music.

Meridian is proud to collaborate with Ambassador Varricchio and the Italian Embassy in Washington to promote commercial and cultural diplomacy through the lens of the global creative economy. This event would not be possible without the generous support of the Meridian Global Leadership Council whose members are committed to supporting Meridan’s mission of advancing global leadership and public diplomacy.

Project summary

Italian Creative Industries Illustrate Commercial and Cultural Value of the Arts Worldwide | May 2018
Number of Attendees: 97
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Italy
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy, Entrepreneurship
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Diplomatic Corps