Giulio Sapelli was born in 1947, in Turin, where he graduated in Economic History in 1971, and specialised in Ergonomics in 1972.
In 1972, he studied at the Institut fur Weltwirschaft in Kiel. He has been carrying on teaching and research activities, in the years 1992-1993 and 1995-1996 at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences; in 1988-1989 at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; in the years 1992-1993, 1993-1994, 1995-1996, 1996-1997 at the University of Buenos Aires. He was Directeur d’Etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, in the years 1981-1982, 1982-1983, 1986-1987, 1991-1992, 1994-1995.
He has carried on research and consulting activities for the foundations Onassis, Schlunberger, Gulbenkian.
Giulio Sapelli has been a fellow of the European University, Fiesole, the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Eric Remarque Institute, New York.. He was also visiting professor at the universities of Prague, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Rosario, Quito, Barcelona, Madrid, Lyon, Vienna, South California, Wollongong/Sidney, New York.
At present he is full professor of Economic History at the Università degli Studi di Milano, where he is also teaching Cultural Analysis of Organisation Processes. He is the Director of the post-graduate course on “Economy, enterprise and humanistic disciplines between East and West” of the Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia of the University of Milan. For this faculty, since 1989, he is responsible for the projects SOCRATES-ERASMUS.
During his years of study and right after his graduation, he has been working for the research departments of the Cassa di Risparmio of Turin, and of Olivetti S.p.A. For Olivetti S.p.A. he later carried on various assignments of economic research, of direction and development of personnel and management at all levels, at the beginning occasionaly, then as a consultant. In the years from 1975 to 1981, he has been working with ENI’s centre for the research and personnel development (IAFE), and, occasionally, in the period 1982 to 1987, with Olivetti’s centre for the research and personnel development (ELEA).
Giulio Sapelli carried on various activities of research and management consulting for ISVOR-FIAT, Galbani Italia, SBN Group, Credito Emiliano, TELECOM, TIM, AGIP PETROLI, FS S.p.A, FINMECCANICA. His assignments also included direct responsibilities for orientations and interventions in the fields of personnel policies, internal relations, internal communications, and the development of programmes concerning the setting up and implementation of the “ethic codes” for studies and researches.
From 1978 to 1991, he has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the Research Institute of ENI Group (ISVET). From 1984 to 1993, he has been a member of the Scientific Committee of FEDERMECCANICA; from 1989 to 1996 he has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Istituto Luigi Luzzatti, of the General Direction for the enterprise and the cooperative movement of the Ministry of Labour; from 1987 to 1997 he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Adriano Olivetti Foundation.
Since 1997, Giulio Sapelli is a researcher emeritus of the ENI Enrico Mattei Foundation. From 1996 to 2002, he has been a member of ENI’s Board of Directors, and a member of the Audit Committee of the group. From 2000 to 2004, he has been a member of FS HOLDING’s Board of Directors, and President of the Audit Committee of the group. From 2000 to 2001, he has been the President of the Foundation of Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Since 2002 he is a member of UNICREDIT BANCA- IMPRESA and President of Audit Committee
From 2003 to 2006 he has been President of M.E.T.A. s.pa. From 2006 to 2007 is President of ASAM spa. Since 2007 he is a member of board of Museo Poldi Pezzoli Since 2004 he is scientific advisor of OECD for non profit sector.
In 1983, Giulio Sapelli founded – together with managers, entrepreneurs and researchers – the ASSI Foundation for the study and the history of the enterprise of which he has been President up to 1993, and then became Honorary President.
From 1980 to 2003, he is the Scientific Director of the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation.
Since 1992, he is the President of the “Centro di storia e studi dell’impresa e dell’innovazione”, later “Centro per la cultura d’impresa”.
From 1992 to 1994, he has been the President of the study Commission on “Market pathology and corruption”, created by the Centro di storia e studi dell’impresa e dell’innovazione, and by the Milan Chamber of Commerce.
From 1993 to 1995, he has been the Italian representative of Transparency International, the organisation for the fight against economic corruption at international level.
Since 1995 he is a member of the Committee against usury and economic crime of the Milan Chamber of Commerce.
In 1982, Giulio Sapelli was the winner of the Scanno Award for the best work on industrial relations. In 1997, he was the winner of the Salvatore Valitutti Award for the best work on Southern Italy, and the Città di Palmi international award for the most important book written by an Italian author published abroad. In 1998, he was the winner of the Iglesias Award for the best book on non-profit. In 1999, he was the winner of the Capalbio Economia Award.
Among his works, starting with those on the Italian capitalism: Sul capitalismo italiano. Trasformazione o declino, Feltrinelli, Milano, 1983. Economia, tecnologia e direzione d’impresa in Italia, Einaudi, 1994 Storia economica dell’Italia contemporanea, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 1997 L’Italia di fine secolo. Neopatrimonialismo e capitalismo senza mercato, Marsilio Editore, Venezia, 1998.
Giulio Sapelli was the first in Italy – and in Europe – to study in an interdisciplinary way a medium-size enterprise of excellence, with the Storia della Dioguardi. Cultura e vita di un’impresa, Donzelli, Roma, 1995.
Many of his efforts were turned to the study of entrepreneurial associationism, with: Modelli culturali e rappresentanza imprenditoriale. Il caso Federmeccanica. Eta Kompas, Milano, 1991. (ed.), Impresa e sindacato. Storia dell’Intersind, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1996. (ed), Scriti 1970-1995 by Felice Mortillaro, published under the title: La via italiana al capitalismo, Edizioni de “Il Sole 24 Ore”, Milano, 1997.
He was the editor of: Storia dell’Unione Italiana delle Camere di Commercio (1862-1994), Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli, 1997, which included his Postfazione: Istituzionalizzazione dei mercati, rappresentanza, sovranità (Riflettendo sulla storia della Unioncamere), pp. 467-502.
His interest in the transports field is documented by: Il Lloyd Triestino nel contesto dell’economia di Trieste e del suo hinterland, in “Il Lloyd Triestino 1936-1986. Contributi alla storia del cinquantennio 1936-1986”, Trieste, 1986, pp. 121-192. La sussidiarietà creativa, in Federazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporti, “FENIT 1946-1996”, FENIT Edizioni, Roma, 1996, pp. 213-229.
Giulio Sapelli devoted many years of study and research to the problems related to energy industry and management. Among his works: (with F. Carnevali), Uno sviluppo tra politica e strategia ENI (1953-1986), Franco Angeli, Milano, 1987. (with L. Orsenigo, P. Toninelli, C. Corduas), Nascita e trasformazione d’impresa. Storia dell’Agip Petroli, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1993. Crescita, competenze e cultura d’impresa. La Scuola Superiore Enrico Mattei. Edizioni della Scuola Superiore Enrico Mattei, San Donato, 1996.
He contributed to the renewal of the enterprise theory, with: L’impresa come soggetto storico, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 1991. L’impresa e la democrazia. Separatezza e funzione, Edizioni della Fondazione Adriano Olivetti, Città di Castello, 1993. Perché esistono le imprese e come sono fatte, Bruno Mndadori, Mlano, 1999.
Besides his consulting and operative work, Giulio Sapelli devoted much research work to the thmes of the culture of organisation, with the following publications: Per la cultura dell’impresa. Strategia e sapere del management moderno, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1987. Netwerke, Kulture, Betrieb, Datacom Verlag, Bergheim, 1992. (with C. Corduas), L’impresa, l’anima e le forme. Autocostruire la comunicazione interna, Guerini & Associati, Milano, 1996. Antropologia della persona e organizzazione, Introduction to the Italian edition of M. Alvessoon, Prospettive culturali sull’organizzazione, Guerini & Associati, Milano, 1997. Persona e impresa. Un caso di etnografia aziendale, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 1999.
The following works were devoted to the themes of markets’ pathologies and the need of their institutional, organisational and ethical transparency: Cleptocrazia. Il meccanismo unico della corruzione tra econmia e politica, Feltrinelli, Milano, 1994. Responsabilità d’impresa. Tra mercato e nuova sovranità politica, Guerini & Associati, Milano, 1996. Introduzione alla sezione “Finalità d’impresa, governo e valori” by (L. Caselli, ed.) Le parole dell’impresa. Guida alla lettura del cambiamento, Franco Angeli. Milano, 1995, pp. 423-424. For this work, he wrote the essay Etica, pp. 533-542. Merci e persone. L’ azione morale nell’ economia. Con un saggio sulla santità di Adriano Olivetti , Rubbettino, Soveria mannelli, 2002 Giochi proibiti. ENRON e PARMALAT:capitalismi a confronto, Bruno Mondadori , 2004.
He was the first – not only in Italy – to start the study of the cooperative movement as a pool of companies, with: Il movimento cooperativo in Italia. Storia e problemi, Einaudi, Torino, 1981. This research was further carried on with: Comunità e mercato, Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli, 1996. La cooperazione: impresa e movimento sociale, Edizioni Lavoro, Roma, 1998.
Giulio Sapelli was one of the few – in Italy and in Europe – to study the problems of insurance companies, with his essays: Uomini e capitali nella Trieste dell’Ottocento. La fondazione della Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà, in “Società e storia”, n.26, 1984, pp. 821-873 Analisi sistematica delle serie storiche dei bilanci della Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà (1838-1945). Working paper of the Istituto Universitario Europeo, Fiesole, 1985. Sistemi di status, reticoli matrimonoiali e simbologia della morte: l’élite della Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà, in “Annali di storia dell’impresa”, anno VII, 1991, pp. 57-130.
He has studied the territorial socio-economic systems, with: Trieste italiana. Mito e destino economico, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1990, p. 343 Percorsi imprenditoriali e pratiche sociali, in G. Sapelli, A. Canovi, S. Bertini, A. Sezzi, “Terra di imprese. Lo sviluppo industriale di Reggio Emilia dal dopoguerra a oggi”, Pratiche Editrice, Parma, 1995, pp. 5-36.
Dal “miracolo economico” alla “neoindustria”: grandi famiglie e nuova borghesia, in “Storia di Milano. Vol. XVIII. Il Novecento”, Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, Roma, 1996, pp. 147-181. Il sistema incompiuto. Considerazioni sull’esperienza dell’industrializzazione sarda, in “70 anni. La memoria dell’impresa”. Edizioni Associazione Industriale di Cagliari – Confindustria – Sovrintendenza Archivistica per la Sardegna, Cagliari, 1995, pp. 149-199 “L’impresa industriale del Nord Sardegna. Dai pionieri ai distretti: 1922-1997”, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1997, pp. 293-347.
On the basis of his multidisciplinary international experience, Giulio Sapelli published: Southern Europe since 1945. Tradition and Modernity in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey, Longman, New York and London, 1995 (translated into Italian in 1996, by Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli).
The following works were devoted to the themes of anthropology and economics: Antropologia della globalizzazione, Bruno Mondadori editore, Milano , 2002
He was one of the founders of “Industrial and Corporate Change” (Oxford University Press), of “Stato e mercato” (Il Mulino) and of “Studi organizzati” – new series. He is a member of the Publishing Committee of: “Quaderni di Sociologia” (Rosemberg & Sellier), “Economia e politica industriale” (Franco Angeli), and “Società e storia” (Franco Angeli). He is a member of the International Academic Board of “Modern Italy” (Carfax), and of “Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans” (Carfax).
Many of his works are translated and published in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese.
Since 2012 he is a member of RUSSIAN VALDAI CLUB.
“L’uomo che sogna è soprattutto un essere vivente, e tutto ciò che egli vede acquista vita. E’ il regno di Proteo, ovvero della cosa che si trasforma per un’interiore forza.”