Gianfranco Chicco

Gianfranco Chicco

Conference director, marketing strategist, and writer, acting as a cultural translator between different worlds. I create experiences that bring people together and curate The Craftsman Newsletter.

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WIP: new website

I moved my website gchicco.com (this one!) to a new platform (Ghost) and I’m in the process of transferring content from the old version. It contained articles, work news and photos spanning over 15 years… tempus fugit! Reviewing all that content is proving to be quite cathartic and

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Third-wave coffee oasis in Milan

Onest Milano, a cafe-osasis in Italy, oscillates between serving specialty coffee during the day and wine in the evenings, both accompanied by delicate good food. They pride themselves in putting sustainability and traceability at the top of their offering.

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With my own two hands

orkweeks have been pretty intense so I spent the weekend recharging. I finally picked up the pots and cups I made over the last couple of months at Tokobo Pottery. They are raw and unrefined, even ugly. But you know what? Tea and coffee taste better in them just because

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A box of wonders

I have a box full of postcards that I’ve collected over the years. The oldest are from 1992, from a Pink Floyd special edition boxset I loved. Many are from when I moved to Europe in the early 2000s. I’ve picked them up during work trips, holidays, and

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A happy birthday in lockdown

For my birthdays, I like to bring together friends from different walks of (my) life to break bread (and drink wine!). This year eating together was not an option, as I found myself in lockdown like many, many others. I had been self-isolating for the previous two months without having

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Virtual events need to break the fourth wall

When COVID-19 pulled the rug from under event organisers’ feet, forcing them to postpone or cancel, they scrambled to find new experiences that would fill up the void. Naturally, the quickest way to replace them was through live-streaming sessions on Zoom, Instagram Live, YouTube, etc. Virtual events can be great

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Teachings from Japanese craftsmanship: what is enough?

This essay has been adapted from a short talk I gave at the Grande Finale of the House of Beautiful Business in Lisbon on November 6th, 2019 (watch the video). In March of this year I quit my job. I was feeling exhausted physically and mentally, and there was something

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The Serendipity Engine

Earlier this year I left my job. I felt a strong urge to recharge physically and, more important, mentally. The role had created a series of positive connections and had me embark on an intense public speaking spree, but I was exhausted and creatively stuck. On top of that I

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Velocitize interview on storytelling, great digital work, and personal vs. personalised experiences

Back in November 2018 I sat down with Andy North from Velocitize, a publication by WP Engine that shares strategic insights on digital experiences to marketers and agency folk, to discuss marketing trends and how brands can approach the constant evolution of how we converse and tell stories online. Some

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Taking it slowly: why I love to send (paper) postcards

uring a recent lunch with a good friend who works as a digital strategist, I casually mentioned that I like to send postcards, to which she commented quite baffled “you still send postcards?”. My natural reply was “dozens, probably hundreds, of them each year”.