100 years from his birth, Fondazione Agnelli remembers l’Avvocato, its Chairman from 1967 until his death in 2003

Fondazione Agnelli was born in 1966 by will of Gianni Agnelli, also known as “L’Avvocato”. The independent research, cultural dissemination and advocacy institution, inspired by the model of Anglo-Saxon foundations, was established for the centennial of the birth of Senator Giovanni Agnelli, Fiat’s founder and Gianni’s grandfather.

L’Avvocato was Chairman of the Foundation from 1967 until his death in 2003, and clearly defined its mission since the beginning, as described in the charter: to research in depth and spread knowledge about the conditions on which Italy’s economic, scientific, social and cultural progress depends, and to support the country’s scientific research and education system. All by approaching studies and analyses with a strictly rigorous method, founded on factual evidence – which was a somewhat innovative trait for social sciences in Italy at the time.

The focus on the future of the Italian society and on young generations’ prospects and education, chosen over 50 years ago as the Foundation’s guiding principles, is still at the core of the work and commitment we renew every day – as is required of an institution that is active and lively, yet maintains a strong connection to its origins.

Today, 100 years from his birth, Fondazione Agnelli – led by Chairman John Elkann – wishes to remember Gianni Agnelli with enormous esteem and gratitude.

We suggest you to watch and listen to the following remarkable statement by Giorgio Napolitano, President Emeritus of the Italian Republic, from an interview he gave a few years ago about his personal relationship with L’Avvocato.


We also would like to remember L’Avvocato Agnelli by highlighting and making available three of his most relevant speeches as Chairman of the Foundation:

  • The speech given on 9 July 1970 for the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Foundation, at 38 via Giacosa in Turin (in Italian);
  • The speech given on 13 October 1987 to explain the reasons that led to the institution of the Senator Giovanni Agnelli International Award for the Ethical Dimension in Advanced Societies (English translation);
  • The speech given in Barcelona, on 29 November 1995, for the opening of the EuroMed Civil Forum (in Italian).

You can find out more about Gianni Agnelli’s role in Fondazione Agnelli’s origin and activities by watching the five Italy, in search of the future videos, curated by Francesco Antonioli and produced in 2017 for our 50th anniversary.


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    Torino, 1970 - Inaugurazione sede Fondazione Agnelli

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    Turin 1987 - Jury for the Senator Giovanni Agnelli International Award

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    Barcellona, 1995 - Forum Euromediterraneo Società Civile