Architect of a better world
With a number of Patents and Start-ups to his credit, Stefano De Togni is a leading entrepreneur from Verona, Italy. Yet among the first things he tells you is, “I have no appetite for business if the business is oriented to wealth. I’m happy only when I see somebody smiling at me, grateful for the help they received by me.”
This attitude is what defines Stefano, the man who’s out to make a difference. Born in Legnago, in a wealthy family with an older brother, Stefano was always recognized as a charismatic leader of friends, curious about everything, and open to anybody. He loved to play football, tennis, guitar and sing songs with friends.
After Classics studies (Latin, Greek, Philosophy, History) in high school, he studied Economics at Bocconi University, the most prestigious Business and Economics University in Italy. He even spent six months at HEC, the most prestigious Business University in France, as an exchange student. Yet his great interest was always Religion and Philosophy.
Stefano never liked a neoliberal and classic economy. And while he disliked the traditional economic theory and business methods, he pursued it for 30 unhappy years. With no real interest in business, he soon put all his strength and passion in innovation.
Firstly with a Start-up, HSHS, then in AtosORigin, a multinational ICT consultant company. There was never a strategy behind his choices, only a sense of confusion towards anything ‘useless’. “I felt I should have been born into the XIX century, when a handshake was more worthy than a written contract,” opines Stefano.
After studying Knowledge Management in 1993 and having failed with his first Start-up, he returned to work in an ICT company. He found great admiration in his colleagues and managers, who trusted him and gave him a lot of freedom to work in his unique way. Even though he received regular promotions up the company hierarchy, he remained unsatisfied.
In 2004, he started four other innovative Start-ups, one of which was the very successful ‘Jump High Solutions’. Jump High was into Business Development and Account Management with Banks, Local and National Transport operators, and prototyping and development of mobile/web platforms integrated with proximity technologies (Barcode and NFC) in various fields as ticketing, payment, voting, check-in for Internet, etc.
After that, there was no looking back as Stefano fast gained acclaim as a Start-up mentor and business developer. Today, he is a High-end strategic advisor to Diplomats, opinion leaders, artists, Royal families, and UHNM networking for Peace and Development of Culture and Economy in five continents. He continues to be an experienced ICT Start-up owner with a demonstrated history of working in Innovation Development and Digital Transformation.
Yet, Stefano still dreamed of deep refocused humanity goals worldwide. Thus he founded ‘Paradise 360’, an ethical marketplace similar to a social cooperative but directly controlled by him. This is his effort to follow the right path to change the world, from neoliberal capitalism founded on maximization of profit to an ethical, inclusive and supportive capitalism, where the first goal is to help and support the poorest and most fragile people.
“My unique passion is Peace and Love. My second passion is the will and confidence to change the world and be one of the main architects of this change which will require strong and resolute leadership. I’m finding many enemies along this steep road, but just as great friends,” reveals Stefano.
One of his biggest heartbreaks came when he fell in love with a beautiful girl five years younger to him, the only love of his life. But the love affair did not last, wounding his heart for decades.
Eventually, his strengths pulled him through. He’s honest, humble, loyal, and respectful. He’s a dreamer with his head in the sky and feet on the ground. Most importantly, he always thinks of others, especially the poor and fragile, and directs his attention to the less fortunate.
Living a life of such accomplishment, Stefano has been bestowed with many honours. However, he doesn’t consider them his biggest achievements: “I finished Bocconi University on time with full marks. But the most intelligent people are not those with great theoretical knowledge, but those who build something new and concrete in their lives, especially if this innovation is for the common good. So I am proud to have known Mother Teresa of Calcutta more than my 110/110 at Bocconi University. I’m more proud of Paradise 360 which started five months ago, than 10 years of great career in my first multinational ICT consulting company. From a personal point of view, I’m mostly proud of my daughter and my girlfriend.”