1 day, 4 squares, 10 tons of waste collected, more than 3000 volunteers.
On March 12th we gave birth to #wakeupRoma, the biggest initiative to clean up Rome ever made! The event has been organized by our startup accelerator LUISS ENLABS together with Retake Roma, a voluntary movement of citizens devoted to restore the beauty and cleanness in the Eternal City.
Piazza Vittorio, Porta Maggiore, Villa Paganini and Piazza Anco Marzio were invaded by thousands of people armed with gloves, spray’s of all types, brushes, scrapers and sponges. They worked hard to get rid of all the illegal graffiti, clean up the green areas that were covered in dirt, remove abusive posters and stickers from the walls.
Why We Did It
You may wonder why a startup accelerator decided to organize and promote such an event. The answer is simple. We believe that Rome has what it takes to grow as a business hub at an international level. This is what we work for every day by investing in startups and bringing innovation to the city. In saying this, we understand that the perception of our city abroad is somehow damaged.
When writing about the Eternal City, unfortunately the international press has started to publish articles like this one which appeared on reuters.com: Its Glory Faded, Decaying Modern Rome ‘Needs a Miracle’. The “brand” of Rome is damaged and we are truly worried about this. How can a city like this attract capital and investment? This is why we decided to do something about it and help restore it’s beauty.
We met the founders of Retake Roma some months ago during HITalk, one of the many events we hold in our headquarters. We suddenly fell in love with them, with their vision and their positive attitude towards problems. They don’t complain about the dirt in the city, they remove it! When we met them, they were used to doing small “retake” actions/events, with 20-30 people. We decided to “accelerate” their initiative the same way we do with our startups. We worked with them to grow the initiative in order to reach the scale we reached on March 12th.
A Success Beyond Any Expectation
We knew we were about to do something big, but we didn’t expect such a result! More than 3000 (!) citizens participated to restore dignity to our beloved city. All the materials and tools needed for the cleaning activities were donated by over 50 sponsoring companies (you can see the list of all of them below); Bulsara Adv curated the communication campaign while our startups and a few VIPs helped us spread the word over the last few months. The event hashtag, #wakeupRoma, has been a trending topic on Twitter for many hours and we are still collecting all the pictures and videos made during the day by the participants. It is safe to say that since our event the four squares in question have never been so beautiful and clean
Do you want to know more about #wakupRoma? Drop us a line!