Apr 27, 2022

Sylff Orientation FY2022 for the Institute of Political Education “Pedro Arrupe”

—Sylff Steering Committee, Institute of Political Education “Pedro Arrupe”
• Giovanni Notari, SJ, Director (top row, third from left)
• Massimo Massaro, Sylff Chair (top row, left)
—Sylff Fellows, Institute of Political Education “Pedro Arrupe”
• Zeno Franchini (top row, right), (middle row, left to right) Francesco Montagnani, Danila Taccone, Federico Prestileo, Luca Carmelo Aiello
—Sylff Association Secretariat, Tokyo Foundation
• Mari Suzuki, Executive Director, Tokyo Foundation (top row, second from left)
• Yoko Kaburagi, Program Officer (bottom row, left)
• Maki Shimada, Program Officer (bottom row, right)


An online orientation for the Sylff Program 2022–23 was organized by the Institute of Political Education “Pedro Arrupe” on April 1, 2022, with members of the Sylff Association secretariat attending.

After an introduction to the Sylff Program by the Sylff Association secretariat, the new fellows made presentations of their action-oriented research topics designed to benefit the local community. The Institute’s Sylff program is called the “Idea-Action Research Program,” which provides a framework for fellows to apply scientific ideas to the resolution of real social issues through community engagement The following are their research topics:


Zeno Franchini: The status and effectiveness of inclusion practices in Palermo and how to create the foundations for new forms of activism and political and social struggle

Francesco Montagnani: The marginality in contexts undergoing redevelopment, with an emphasis on the decision-making practices that direct them through the construction of legitimate knowledge of the territory starting from the rearguard

Danila Taccone: Survey on the awareness regarding the rights, skills and vision of the future of girls in the age group 16-30 of a marginal neighborhood of the Palermo area in order to facilitate a process of self-narration based on the use of new technologies

Federico Prestileo: The effects of the change in public space that took place in the village of Sant'Erasmo in Palermo starting from some urban regeneration interventions that have changed its face

Luca Carmelo Aiello: Investment in the civil economy sector, with reference to the management and support of sustainable entrepreneurship paths from an economic and social point of view


The meeting ended with speeches by Mari Suzuki, Executive Director of the Tokyo Foundation, and Father Giovanni Notari, SJ, who both reaffirmed the goals of the Sylff program.

Despite the physical distance between Italy and Japan, the orientation session served as a great opportunity for the Sylff Association secretariat to learn more about the unique features of Institute’s program, notably the alignment of research and action at the grassroots level.

The island of Sicily, where the Institute is located, is one of the most marginalized areas in Italy with high unemployment and poverty rates but also with great potential not fully expressed. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, it is home to a large number of immigrants, contributing to its diversity while at the same time posing the question of their effective integration into local society. Fellows at the Institute are tackling such issues through multiple approaches, including not only academic research but also community action focusing on minority groups.

We hope that the new fellows will take full advantage of the Sylff program to advance their research and social activities and embody the Sylff mission in becoming leaders capable of transcending differences.