Note about the Partinico Studies and Initiatives Centre

Centre for Creative Development – ‘Danilo Dolci’

This Association comes from Danilo Dolci and his collaborators’ social and educational work experience, which begun in western Sicily in 1952 and it aimed at providing local communities with a framework responding pragmatically to the problems presented by the same communities.

It developed and set up as a creative, popular, self – analysis and grassroots planning open space, aimed at promoting economic and social development within the local area, carried out through a  maieutic cooperation with the local population. The pragmatic conditions for a real  change bound up with territorial development, always respecting the local culture, were created through nonviolent struggles, hunger strikes, peace marches, public accusations to the local mafia and nepotistic system, so – called “upside down” strikes, a free radio station, demonstrations and maieutic workshops involving thousands of people.

Today the practical results, obtained thanks to the numerous struggles promoted by the Centre of Studies and Initiatives, are visible on a local level, both in concrete works (the dam on the river Jato, farmer cooperatives, the training centre “Borgo di Dio”, the Experimental Educational Centre in Mirto) and in the consciences and historic memories of many Sicilian people who gave their own contribute. Moreover, on an international level, many artists and scientists cooperated in implementing the just mentioned activities and projects, such as Ernesto Treccani, Mario Luzi, Lamberto Borghi, Johan Galtung, Erich Fromm, Noam Chomsky, Carlo Rubbia, Ervin Laszlo.

During the 80s the Centre of Studies and Initiatives is reorganized in “Centre for Creative Development”, delving into the relationship between nonviolent education, creativity and development and contributing to individuate a method, called reciprocal maieutic, meeting this way the need for a territorial and scholastic creative development education.

After Danilo Dolci’s death, the Creative Centre became Centre for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci”.

Today the Centre for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci” is a non – profit association involving youngsters and adults and it has been active for more than ten years, obtaining amazing successes,  in cooperation with schools, universities, institutions, associations and social groups, both locally and internationally.


  • Promoting territorial development, starting from people and individuals;
  • Sustaining youngsters and adults education through the reciprocal maieutic approach and other innovative educational methods;
  • Spreading a peace and nonviolence culture as an active resistance against every kind of violence, misuse of power and mafia;
  • Encouraging intercultural and euro – Mediterranean dialogue;
  • Spreading information on Danilo Dolci’s life and work.


  • Developing and implementing European and local projects, aimed at young people and adults’ education and training, focused on culture, social inclusion and carried out in cooperation with the involved targets;
  • Proposals for maieutic workshops among schools, universities, associations and institutions, promoting themes such as creativity, active citizenship, participative democracy and human rights;
  • Developing training courses on reciprocal maieutic, aimed to form new teachers/trainers;
  • Setting up cultural and educational activities promoting Danilo Dolci’s life and work;
  • Awareness, preservation, cataloguing and electronic procession of Danilo Dolci’s archive, in order to make it available for the public;
  • Publishing Danilo Dolci’s early and latest works and making anthologies out of them;
  • The Centre intends to encourage innovation processes among the local public schools, launching maieutic workshops and seminars projects, using the Centre of Studies and Initiatives past experience as a benchmark, with particular care for the activities related to the “Educational Centre – Mirto” in Partinico.

“The less we understand, the less we are able to solve the problems and troubles we meet. Basically our inability to understand makes us see only what is nearer or, when we investigate, distinguish only a few particulars. Being not fully aware of how much knowing is important, not experienced, not trained, we get tired too soon and then get lost, unable to analytically break down and then reconnect all the complex simultaneities of a living organism. It is necessary that everyone sharpen their curiosity for discoveries, learn how to systematically detect the essential facts defining the situations or problems they are actually living, through both analysis and self – analysis; learn how to win ignorance, complexes, and any kind of superstition: being conscious of how much superstitions, truth surrogates, as they spread they gradually become official and real facts, dignified by their own dimensions. The more we have the exact data of the problem we intend to solve and the more the difficulties frame is complete, the easier we get to a possible solution; the less we have, the more we get to rash solutions, producing only disfunctions”

(“What Peace is”, Danilo Dolci)