THE HUMAN BEING AT THE CENTER OF AN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S LIFE
For Silvia Commodaro, Partner of an innovative company for which she is Editor in Chief of three Magazines, she bases her activity on the motto: “You are who you meet.” Close to young people, she is also dedicated to volunteer work, in an exemplary fusion of professional activity and social commitment.
“You are who you meet.” An aphorismatic, direct phrase that has become the motto of Silvia Commodaro, Editor in Chief and Partner of an innovative company for which she is responsible for the three Magazines. An intense, varied professional path, that of Silvia Commodaro, who in this interview summarizes it for us, making it into an engaging tale, full of emotions.
“I don’t particularly like to talk about myself,” the entrepreneur is keen to clarify, “except from the heart; when this happens, the intent is to communicate authentically with those who listen to me or read what I write, diverting the eyes of others from the focus on the person and placing attention on the topic at hand.
When did your passion for books, for reading, begin?
“From an early age, my love for books harmonized my growth, while my benevolent and attentive curiosity for details, which it seemed no one noticed, led me to travel extensively and experience every place that welcomed me with the receptive spirit of one who knows that every moment lived will be a written piece of one’s personal history.
Inside me resonated, and still resonates with conscious awareness, the phrase “You are who you meet.”
After several years in Zurich, I lived, studied and worked in Boston. This period of my life was “revolutionary” in that my gaze widened on the world and everything seemed possible and achievable.”
And after the U.S. experience?
“Back to Italy, I was involved in corporate training, English language teaching, I later collaborated for a well-known publishing signature of children’s books and then devoted myself to projects that led me to the role of Editor in Chief in a corporate reality of which I am also a Partner and that allows me, together with the other valuable members of the team, to make alive my desire to cooperate in work contexts in which everyone has the opportunity to express themselves and make an impact.
Among my responsibilities, besides being in charge of all editorial projects, I have chosen to deal with the scouting, analysis and selection of Italian and international brands related to fashion and beauty. In a rigorous manner I select and publicize, especially to the youth audience, the brands that, after careful verification, turn out to possess an innovative, credible soul as well as a true sustainable spirit. Without compromise.”
What projects are you working on? What’s simmering in the pot?
“There are so many projects I’ve been working on lately, ranging from the editorial, digital, and creative fields. I have been fortunate over the years to cooperate with important institutional and charity entities, while also actively performing service. It is the genuine “spending” in first person that makes the difference in human terms and universal brotherhood.
For the past 27 years or so, there has been a privileged place from which I observe the world, that keeps me firmly grounded in concreteness and “downsizes” with each and every experience my ego to the true inclinations of my soul. Whenever possible, compatibly with my work and mom commitments, I silently serve meals at one of Milan’s Franciscan canteens. Silently and on tiptoe, because only in this way you can approach suffering and hardship. It is the canteen guests who give a gift to me, not the other way around. Their shy but life-filled looks remind me of who I wish to be.”
You often talk about closeness with young people. Can you tell us more about what you mean, how it translates into some of your activities?
“Sure. A wonderful recent discovery was the “Bullone” Foundation, a place of inspiration where the human being is central and young people are engines and carriers of sublime thoughts, capable of contaminating other young people and adults with their experiences. The result is “high” reflections on what is really important in life from the perspective of the Common Good.
The Foundation cares about boys and girls who had or still have experienced illness-cancer, anorexia, HIV, rare diseases, etc. -, but who powerfully moved on, rebuilding their future through unity, hard work and determination.”
In what you describe there is a great concern for humanity, in an ecumenical vision. What are the values of which you are an interpreter?
“Empathy, teamwork, authenticity, meritocracy, and talent enhancement are the values in which I firmly believe. In the company, as well as in personal relationships, I try to implement the model of “Leadership through Humility.” Humility is generally not the first trait that comes to mind when one thinks of business leaders. At the managerial level, traits associated with humility-such as soliciting feedback and genuinely caring about employees’ needs-generate higher levels of engagement and lead to increased job performance, among other positive consequences. My focus wants to be on the growth and development of various work teams as well as individuals so that the best part of each person emerges.
I especially care about the future of our young people, with whom I have learned to communicate in a way that is sensitive to their language, providing my experience as a starting point and reflection for endless dialogues that carry within them the seed of a future to be built together with adults.
My dream is to “diminish” the generational distance, to value our young people, to give them confidence, remaining in humble and well-disposed listening to their way of approaching a world that, after all, will see them as the protagonists of human affairs.
It is up to us to deliver to the new generations a better world than the one entrusted to us, creating fertile soil for the birth of new ideas and projects in a context of peace, inclusion, sharing and care for people, the planet and our animal friends.”
What is Silvia Commodaro’s typical day?
“At the beginning and end of each of my days I embrace my daughter Carolina Lynne, who is little more than a pre-teen. I believe that balancing work and social commitments with the role of mother is what requires the most physical and emotional energy on my part. I do not consider myself a super mom, I say this in total transparency and honesty. My heart is close to all moms and families, as deep is my awareness of the commitment necessary to accompany children in their growth, especially in complicated and articulated city realities such as Milan. One thing is certain: every project, every inventive and spiritual motion originates from the deep bond and love I have for my daughter, a source of endless inspiration and the origin of my predilection for all the girls and boys of the world.”
Interview with Silvia Commodaro by Paolo Corticelli, Editor in Chief of “Il Velo di Maya Magazine” (Women’s Business section) – November 13, 2023.