THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF ETHICAL HOTEL

This study was carried out by researchers of the ARCO (Action Research for CO-Development) research center of the PIN Polo di Prato of the University of Florence with the scientific supervision of Luca Bagnoli, Mario Biggeri and Marco Bellucci of the Department of Sciences for Economy and Business. Research report by Carmela Nitti, Linda Terenzi, Marco Bellucci and Enrico Testi Graphics and layout Ilaria Corrieri.

This study, created by the will of the Download Cooperative, would not have been possible without the support of the Albergo Etico staff during all stages of the research. For this reason we would like to thank all those who in various ways have contributed their time and experience to this research:

Cooperative Download Members: Alex Toselli, Antonio De Benedetto, Egidio De Benedetto, Niccolò Vallese
Ethical Hotel Staff: Fiorella Borio, Stefania Dusio, Eugenio Giannetta and Chiara Fasa
ToGroove Pistoia Association – Cristina Coppini
Children with disabilities and their families from Asti and Pistoia: Niccolò, Marcella, Francesco, Irene, Andrea, Jessica, Silvia, Daniele, Dario, Francesco, Chiara, Francesca, Matilde, Giorgio, Elena, Alessia
Expert job placements for people with disabilities: Antonio Bartolini
Colleagues from ARCO’s Inclusive Development Unit: Federico Ciani and Caterina Arciprete
Stefano Bartolini and the CGIL of Pistoia for the granting of spaces for interviews

The story of Albergo Etico was born in 2006 from the meeting between the brothers Antonio and Egidio De Benedetto, (managers of the Tacabanda restaurant in Asti) and Niccolò, a boy with Down syndrome who began an internship at their restaurant. From 2006 onwards, the experience of work inclusion at Tacabanda has grown, both for the quantity of people involved and for the quality of the work placement methods. We will have to wait for the arrival of Alex Toselli in 2015 to open the first Ethical Hotel, managed by the Download Cooperative in Asti.

 

Introduction

This report illustrates the results of the analysis on the social return on investment of the activities of the Download Cooperative during the 2018 fiscal year. The evaluation, undertaken between November 2018 and April 2019, aims to understand, measure and report the value economic and social generated by the presence of the Albergo Etico system and the related method of socio-working inclusion for people with disabilities, in the city of Asti. The assessment was also extended on a forecast basis on the potential future effects of the new Ethical Hotels in Rome for 2019 and Pistoia for 2020.

OUR MISSION: Albergo Etico intends to develop an experimental, active and dynamic path, aimed at fully exploiting the potential of people, creating the conditions for them to find their personal motivations to undertake a way of personal growth.

Purpose of the analysis

The Download Cooperative pays close attention to assessing the impact of its business. With the aim of better understanding the changes produced by the beneficiaries and the intensity of this change, the Download Cooperative has chosen to thoroughly analyze the socio-work inclusion model tested in Albergo Etico through the SROI analysis methodology.

 

History of the ethical hotel

The “Albergo Etico” project was born in 2006 from the meeting between the brothers Antonio and Egidio De Benedetto, who manage the Tacabanda restaurant, and Niccolò, a student with Down syndrome from the Hotel School – Professional Training Agency of the Asti Hills, who was welcomed inside the Tacabanda restaurant to carry out an internship. The De Benedetto brothers soon understand its potential and begin to be passionate about the challenge of accompanying the boy to discover his own talents. Niccolò’s internship will be the first of a long series of stages and internships that were carried out within Tacabanda in the following years and which led to the creation and progressive consolidation of the Download Method developed by direct experience and field observation of young people with Down syndrome who approached the world of work and catering. The method is called Download because, as described by the official website of Albergo Etico, “with the computer term download we want to describe the action of synthesis and simplification of the professional experience towards the person with cognitive, sensory and physical deficit, as in an imaginary data download between operating systems”.

“The download mechanism of the skills acquired in the hotel in one’s own family environment is continuous, because all the activities of a hotel can in some way be reproduced at home” Albergo Etico, 2014

The Download Method

The Download Method, developed within the Tacabanda restaurant, was born from the direct observation of young people, their relationship dynamics, and the changes in them generated by work experience. Inductively, the observation of the experience of the individual children who passed by the kitchen and the dining room of his restaurant led Chef Antonio De Benedetto to develop a general method, based on replicable principles and rules but in any case respecting the differences between people and between disabilities: the paths of the children are in fact customized according to specific individual needs and experiences.

SROI methodology

The SROI methodology is based on the identification of the activities of an organization through the application of an input-output-outcome-impact model and extensively involving the main stakeholders (Bellucci et al., 2019). The involvement of stakeholders is essential to avoid self-referential decision processes, as well as the duplication of the same measurement for different categories of stakeholders and the incorrect (or subjective) attribution of indicators and outcomes.

 

Theoretical framework

In addition to the SROI methodology set out in the previous paragraph, for the identification and analysis of the changes generated by Albergo Etico in its stakeholders, the following theoretical approaches relating to the analysis of well-being and disability were taken as a reference.

“(Albergo Etico) It changed my life. Nothing happens by chance, however, it was an unexpected encounter. I fell in love with this story from the first moment I saw it, it allowed me to enrich myself exponentially internally. ” Alex Toselli

SROI index

The SROI index describes the social and economic impact of the activities of the Download Cooperative and Albergo Etico on its beneficiaries and stakeholders. By applying an input-output-outcome-impact model based on extensive dialogue with stakeholders, we calculated that for the fiscal year 2018 the Download Cooperative generated a social return of 3.72 euros per 1 euro invested. As already explained in the previous paragraphs, a conservative approach was used to avoid overestimating the index. It is therefore possible to say that the result obtained describes a significant return in social terms.

 

Forecast SROI analysis for Rome 2019 and Pistoia 2020

This section provides a forecast of the social return on investment that we expect to have in 2019 for the city of Rome, where Albergo Etico Rome was inaugurated in November 2018, and Pistoia, where a new opening of Albergo Etico is expected in 2020 .

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