EDGE (Excellence and Diversity by GLBT Executives) is the first Italian network of GLBT professionals, entrepreneurs and managers working for the recognition of richness of diversity.
EDGE was born out of a desire to change Italian culture. EDGE’s goal is to foster communication between its members with the aim of improving their conditions on the personal, professional, economic and cultural level. It functions as a lobby group that represents the interests of Italian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, including by means of participation or organization of activities that promote the diffusion of a culture of personal dignity using GLBT individuals as role models.
In its almost 3 years of existence EDGE has organized several events in Italy. The most important was the international conference “Homophobia… What Is The Cost?” (http://www.edge-glbt.it/homophobia) held in Rome on November 2013 under the patronage of the Embassies of the Netherlands and the United States and the Italian National Office against Discrimination (UNAR). With Stephanie Blackwood from PFLAG and Boris Dittrich from Human Rights Watch among the keynote speakers; and the Dutch Embassy and IBM among the sponsors.
In June 2014, EDGE was invited by the City of Milan to organize an international event during the World Exposition Expo 2015 in Milan.
The European Gay and Lesbian Manager Association (egma) is an umbrella organization of national affiliated LGBT business associations, which represent almost 3500 LGBT managers, professionals and entrepreneurs. egma acts as a platform accessible to all member organizations, providing the LGBT business community with easy access to local agendas and events as a base for European networking. Other perspectives are to offer business contacts throughout Europe access, using a business diary to research Europe-wide contacts. egma aims to take an active role in European politics, focusing on topics that concern the LGBT business community. Together with its member associations, egma organizes events and projects relating to workplace equality and diversity management.
Together with IBM, egma has organized the “International GLBT Business Leader Forum” in several European cities. The last edition of the forum (http://www.glbt-business-leader-forum.org) was held in Rome during the Europride 2011 under the patronage of the Italian Government (Ministry for Equal Opportunities) and the Province of Rome, with IBM as presenting sponsor and Accenture as the Exclusive Dinner sponsor. Among other sponsors were Microsoft, Out&Equal and the NGLCC (US National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce). Key Note Speakers were Harry van Dorenmalen, Chairman of IBM Europe, and Ivan Scalfarotto, newly elected as Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Constitutional Reforms and Government Liaison to Parliament.
In 2015, several associations from Eastern Europe have joined egma with the status of Guest Members.
The legislative body of the municipality is the City Council (Consiglio Comunale), which is composed by 48 councillors elected every five years with a proportional system, contextually to the mayoral elections. The executive body is the City Committee (Giunta Comunale), composed by 16 assessors, that is nominated and presided over by a directly elected Mayor. The current mayor of Milan is Giuliano Pisapia, a left-wing independent leading a progressive alliance composed by the Democrats, Left Ecology Freedom, the Greens and Federation of the Left.
The municipality of Milan is subdivided into nine administrative Borough Councils (Consigli di Zona), down from the former twenty districts before the 1999 administrative reform. Each Borough Council is governed by a Council (Consiglio) and a President, elected contextually to the city Mayor. The urban organization is governed by the Italian Constitution (art. 114), the Municipal Statute and several laws, notably the Legislative Decree 267/2000 or Unified Text on Local Administration (Testo Unico degli Enti Locali). The Borough Councils have the power to advise the Mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics (environment, construction, public health, local markets) and exercise the functions delegated to them by the City Council; in addition they are supplied with an autonomous funding in order to finance local activities.