The main objective of the Fondazione Ernesto Illy is to design and implement a series of global projects in the scientific, educational/training, cultural/creative fields that give impetus to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The strategy to pursue this involves an operational model, which includes partnerships with other foundations and organizations, as well as the collection of funds to support ideas and projects proposed by the Fondazione Ernesto Illy itself. The disbursement aspect represents only a small percentage of this model, while the fundamental resource remains knowledge, the only truly effective means of creating development and increasing the Human Development Index.

The Foundation is also involved in publishing and multimedia activities as well as developing global partnerships with universities, institutions and corporations of excellence.

The Foundation is active in ethics, sustainability, scientific research, coffee culture and the food and agricultural system, as well as in honoring and following the practices of Ernesto Illy.

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