Italy Pitches

Italy Pitches

"The tongue can paint what the eye can't see" - Chinese proverb


The overall objective of this program is to show young people how to find their voice and train it to bring about social change. Participating students will be introduced to concepts such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), creating shared value (CSV), and impact investing. They will also learn how to construct an advocacy narrative, and how to translate it visually using digital skills. 


Italy Pitches was created by John Cabot University and the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship, building on the tremendous success of JCU's Italy Reads and Italy Writes programs. It started as a national, English-language pitch competition for Italian high-school students, focusing on a 1-minute advocacy pitch for a nonprofit. It has evolved to incorporate video-making skills and to expand the reach of students’ work.

Participating students will select an Italian organization with a strong corporate social responsibility and will create an advocacy video that will effectively promote the values the organization stands for.

The project is articulated as a 30-hour self-administered program that will cover the following topics:

  • The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Corporate Social Responsibility, Impact Investing and the Triple Bottom Line
  • The Essentials of Video-Making

An advocacy video-pitch is a short video used to quickly convey the urgency for action towards one or more specific goals, using words, sounds and images to persuade the viewers to take action. Widely used for networking and fund-raising, pitching and video-pitching are learnable skills that generate confidence and empower students to change their world.

Participating Teachers can introduce Italy Pitches as part of the activities they develop in the classroom: students will select an organization with a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and will produce a 2-minute video-pitch showcasing the company’s work to create social good. 

In order to prepare the video-pitch, students will first have to complete the online program, specifically:

Section 1: Creating Shared Value
Section 2: Essentials of Video Making 
Section 3: Company Research
Section 4: Video Production
Students can work individually or in groups, under the guidance of their teachers/tutors. 

At the end of the program, students will submit their videos to JCU following the instructions provided in the online program. These videos will in turn be judged by a qualified jury. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation, and a valuable Prize will be awarded to the best video-pitch. The winning videos in each category (company) will receive a €100 Amazon voucher. 

A successful video-pitch will:

  • Present a clearly articulated idea
  • Convey the goals and social impact of the organization
  • Provide a compelling reason to support the cause
  • Engage the audience with captivating visual language

The technical criteria for selection include:

  • Video quality and duration (recommended 2 minutes, maximum 3 minutes)
  • Audio quality
  • Use of lights
  • Artistic interpretation
  • Acting ability (if video includes actors)
  • Creativity in the direction of the video
  • Costumes and makeup
  • Originality

Students who take part in Italy Pitches will:

  • Perform research using digital sources in English
  • Build a robust, persuasive argument supported by evidence
  • Learn valuable visual communication skills
  • Understand the big challenges confronting the world
  • Develop a greater awareness for socially important topics
  • Feel empowered and gain confidence

Italy Pitches is designed to be a very flexible tool that can help participating teachers apply a variety of themes taught in the classroom in a stimulating, engaging way.

Participating teachers will automatically become Friends of the Institute and will be invited to other events related to Entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the year.

All fourth-year students enrolled in participating Italian high schools qualify. The high schools joining the program for the first time may also register fifth year students. 

  • Deadline to sign up: 2 February
  • Deadline to complete the online program and submit Final Cuts: 15 April
  • Popular selection: 19-22 April
  • Final Awards: 24 April.

This project qualifies as 30 hours for Percorsi per le Competenze e per l'Orientamento (PCTO) (ex-Alternanza Scuola Lavoro - ASL), broken down as follows:

Section 1: Creating Shared Value (3 hours)
Section 2: Essentials of Video Making  (4 hours)
Section 3: Company Research and Profiling (8 hours)
Section 4: Video Production (15 hours) 

N.B.: In order to participate in Italy Pitches as part of PCTO, and have these hours certified, an agreement between the high school and JCU must be stipulated prior to the start of the activity. Find out if your school has signed an agreement. Take a look at the map Impact of Programs for High Schools where partner schools are indicated.

Please contact [email protected] for details.

Elena Croce, Mattia Vallelonga, and Tommaso Bezzi, Class IVE, Liceo Scientifico Statale "Giovanni Keplero", Rome, for Enel Green Power.
Francesca Iezzi and Lavinia Domiziani, Class IIIE, Liceo Scientifico Statale "Giovanni Keplero", Rome, for Poste Italiane.
Sofia Ammendolia, Agnese Bordoni, and Camilla Maccabei, Class IE, IIS Classico Artistico - Liceo Classico G.C. Tacito - Terni, for Salvatore Ferragamo.
Andrea Polsi, Davide Pucarelli, and Luca Baldarelli, Class IIIL, Liceo Scientifico Statale "Giovanni Keplero", Rome, for Piaggio.

Cinzia Solfiti, teacher at I.I.S. "Margherita Hack" (ret.)
"The Italy Pitches Program is a great opportunity to learn how to speak in public. It's a really difficult skill which can be acquired using the techniques IFE teaches."

See all of the Programs for Italian High Schools (Programmi per le Scuole) offered by JCU.