Mobilizing young Italians against the Sicilian mob
When Dario Riccobono was 13, his little-known hometown of Capaci in Sicily, Italy was suddenly thrust onto the world stage. A massive explosion orchestrated by the mafia took down a portion of the nearby highway and with it the renowned anti-mafia prosecutor, Judge Giovanni Falcone, who was driving to his home. The gruesome event was a turning point in Dario’s life. Growing up, few people had talked about the mafia, let alone challenged it. Most pretended it didn’t exist. Dario’s father was an exception having stood up to the mafia as a matter of principle. Seeing him cry at the news of the killing marked Dario profoundly. He had to do something.
Dario felt his own power as a teenager and is now helping grow a new generation of engaged young citizens who know they can change society for the better. With Sicily again thrust onto the world stage at the center of a historic refugee crisis, the need for its young citizens to adapt and find solutions to a set of new emerging challenges is critical. This December, Dario and his team, in partnership with Ashoka, are hosting the 12th Changemaker Exchange in Palermo linking young Sicilian leaders to a network of hundreds of youth changemakers connected across 40 countries. Together they will bring forward a set of youth-led solutions to help Sicily’s new great challenge.