The context

Lombardy – a leading region which poses many challenges

Because of their specific traits, Lombardy and its capital city Milan may be looked upon as pilot areas in that they have been a long time driver of development and an ideal environment to pioneer solutions to problems. Lombardy is the Italian region with the largest density of population, businesses and wealth. With its some 9 million inhabitants, it accounts for 15.6% of Italy’s overall population.

Lombardy is one of Europe’s powerhouses and one of the richest EU regions. It accounts for one fifth of Italy’s economy. Lombardy employs 18.4% of Italy’s total workforce and unemployment is 3.8% versus 9.5% on a national level. Businesses represent 15% of the national total. Industrial production contributes approximately 36% to Lombardy’s economy. Services are approximately 62% and agriculture 2.1%. Lombardy is Italy’s major agricultural geography and ranks fourth in total cattle and milk-cows. Lombardy’s artisans represent ‘a wealth’ both in terms of their professionalism and heritage. This sector is worth one sixth of the region’s economy and weighs between 18 and 20% in the overall national figure. Lombardy is Italy’s prime financial market. Loans and deposits  represent 25.8 and 23.4% respectively on a national level. Lombard imports are about 40% of Italy’s total imports, while exports are about 30%.

Approximately 40% of Italy’s multinationals are Lombardy-based and 800 foreign and multinational businesses have their Italian offices in this area, which confirms the internationalization of the Lombard economy. Lombardy has more universities and spends more in scientific research than any other region. Paradoxically yet, vis-à-vis the encouraging figures above, Lombardy today faces a number of problems that are largely generated by this context. Massive migratory flows, substantial well-being, vast borders and a variety of cultures, people and environments make Lombardy an immense social laboratory. This is where Fondazione Cariplo operates, with the aim to contribute to improving and solving existing critical issues.