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What is Generative Welfare

The current economic crisis has caused negative socio-economic consequences. The number of poor in Italy increased by one and a half million between 2011 and 2012, when it hit record levels. The number of unemployed has also been increasing in the last years, now exceeding 3 million people. These issues are particularly severe among the young, determining economic, psychological and social consequences. Poverty in Italy has become a structural problem, which is gradually widening social inequality and undermining the fundamental rights of citizens. This requires policymakers to take actions and social forces to drive cultural change.

Public expenditure in Italy is still managed as a “cost” rather than a social “investment”. The current welfare system needs to shift from the traditional approach, based on collecting taxes and redistributing resources (mainly through transfers), towards a new approach capable of regenerating resources and producing social returns, by making beneficiaries responsible for helping themselves and others.

This cultural proposal, named “generative welfare” (GW), was launched by the Fondazione Zancan with its yearly Report in 2012 and 2013.

The symbol of GW recalls the “koru”. It is a Māori word denoting a spiral, derived from the shape of an unfurling silver fern. It conveys the idea of creation and perpetual motion, with a constant return to the starting point. This concept is very much in line with that underlying "generative welfare", which implies welfare systems capable of re-generating resources and yielding social returns, for the benefit of both beneficiaries and the entire society. 

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