Francesco Rutelli, Founder and President, Soft Power Club

Francesco Rutelli (Roma, 1954) is currently the President of ANICA (Italian Association of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia Companies).
Married to the journalist Barbara Palombelli; they have four children and two grandsons.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture of Italy (2006 – 2008). Mayor of Rome (1993 – 2001), elected with the highest popular support ever. Under his leadership, many crucial infrastructures, cultural venues and institutions were created.

Member of the Italian Parliament from 1983 to 2013; five times elected in the Lower House, once in the Senate. Member of the European Parliament (1999-2004).
Over the time, he was the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee (Camera dei Deputati); Chairman of COPASIR (House and Senate Intelligence Overview Committee); Special Government Commissioner for the Jubilee 2000.

Since 2013, Francesco Rutelli decided to step down from any political-institutional position, and to manage both professional and not-for-profit activities. ANICA, the leading national association, elected him unanimously to represent the Italian Cinema and Audiovisual industry, in this very transformational time.

Degree in Landscape and Environmental Planning and Design (La Sapienza University, Tuscia University). He is a journalist, since 1983. Diploma in International Organizations (Italian Society for International Organization, SIOI). Doctor Honoris Causa (John Cabot University; Temple University; American University, Rome). Honorary Academician, Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (the world’s oldest Academy), Florence.

He leads many international initiatives in the fields of culture, creative industries, cultural diplomacy and international dialogue. Among them: Honorary President, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin, 2013-2015; President, Institute of European Democrats, Brussels, 2020-22; Co-chairman of the Italian-Chinese Cultural Forum, established by the Governments of Italy and China, 2017-2021;
Coordinator for the Ancient Cultural and Religious Roads Group in the Pontifical Council for Culture; Special Advisor to the Director-General, ICCROM, 2021-23 (to specially champion the Youth Heritage. Africa Programme);
President, ANICA Academy for Cinema, Digital, Audiovisual, 2021-23. He curated, with “Meeting of Civilizations” Association, the Exhibition “Rising from Destruction. Ebla, Nimrud, Palmyra” inside the Colosseum (October-December 2016, gathering more than 300.000 visitors). He is President of “Priorità Cultura” (“Culture First”) and founder of the International Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize. He is also the founder (1989) and Chairman of the Centre for a Sustainable Future (a nonpartisan think tank on climate change and environmental issues).

He created Videocittà, the innovative Moving Images festival, with 400.000 people attending its three Editions (2018-2020), with VideoMapping, Virtual Reality, VideoArt, Youtuber, Live Cinema events.

In 2014, he created a small company (“Italian Experience”), giving advice to international (USA, GCC, UK) and national companies on issues related to culture, tourism, Cultural Diplomacy, and economic development. He has recently activated a brand new, not-for-profit and non-political, ‘Civic Service School’ – with the support of high-ranking professionals and leaders – aimed at training young citizens of Rome for an advanced, skilled civil service in the Italian Capital City. His recent book “Tutte le strade partono da Roma” has been reprinted 6 times by publishing house Laterza.

In 2020 he launched in Venice the Soft Power Club. The Club convenes a qualified group of global CEOs, leading cultural representatives, intellectuals and high ranking former and acting officials from all parts of the world. The Club’s aim is to define inclusive messages, and pragmatic objectives every year, placing itself as a forum for a renewed, effective multilateralism.

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