Emanuela Perinetti has died, she was 34 years old. You probably read it here, on Italian Tech or on Green & Blue; or you’ve seen her on stage at our festivals moderating panels dedicated to sport. Sport, and football in particular, was her passion. I met her in 2009 when I launched Wired. She was in Seoul, very young, doing a specialization course. At the time Wired it was an irresistible magnet for the curious, the innovators, the optimists. Emanuela fell into all three categories. She wrote to me on Facebook and her way of acting won me over as I later saw she won over everyone. Since then she had started calling me “my director”, even though I wasn’t but in a certain sense I would become one many years later. In 2011 I left Wired to do a thousand other things and she returned to Italy to apply what she had learned in South Korea, especially about marketing and digital, to her sporting passion. When I returned to GEDI in the spring of 2021 to launch Italian Tech we finally started collaborating; and the collaboration became closer when I also took over the direction of Green & Blue. She was absolutely convinced that sport needed to do more on the issue of sustainability and she helped me a lot last April to set up the “captains for the climate” petition, a signature collection to ask the Football League to allow captains with armbands to take the field. dedicated to climate change on Earth Day. She called the captains (Pessina, Berardi, Calabria) and convinced them all; and she did the same with Del Piero, who for her was only Alex, and who I believe agreed to lead the petition only for her. In June at the Green & Blue Festival we met after a long time and I saw her very thin, I thought of a bad diet, I couldn’t believe she was sick, not with her vitality, not with her good mood. We spent the summer texting each other about our dream of organizing a carbon neutral soccer match in Italy. She had a strange way of sending messages: they were only voice messages and they were “in installments”, every ten seconds she closed and added another and then another. She was unnerving. I remember telling her in September and she telling me for the first and last time about her illness and how her enthusiasm in everything she did helped keep it at bay. I remember that she was careful to reiterate to me that she didn’t want to scare me, she didn’t want to move me: she was only telling me this out of affection, because she would have made it anyway. I was shocked, but I also thought she would make it.
A few nights ago I was hoping to see you again. Italy played at the Olympic stadium and she never missed an important match. I wrote to her: where are you? And she: “With a customer, for once I gave him priority.” It was strange. Now that the news of her sudden death has arrived, I think that that client was her death and that she simply didn’t want to tell me so as not to scare me or move me and because we still had a lot of things to do.
She was a very nice person, Emanuela.