African Leadership University


Adama Sanneh

Adama Sanneh is an extraordinary individual who embodies a remarkable blend of cultures, backgrounds, and identities. Born to an Italian Catholic mother and a Muslim Senegalese/Gambian father in Italy, he carries within him the rich tapestry of African, European, Italian, Gambian, Senegalese, blue-collar, bourgeois, Muslim Catholic, black, and white experiences. As he aptly describes himself, he is all and none of the above, a testament to his upbringing in a globalised world and his immersion in a cosmopolitan environment.

Throughout his life, Adama has navigated the complexities of societal roles, both as the oppressed and the oppressor, the rich and the poor, the victim and the perpetrator. These contradictions have fueled his deep curiosity and empathy for others, as he sees the “other” as an integral part of his own identity. This innate empathy has guided him towards a profound passion for social change and meaningful impact.

Adama’s journey took him to Eastern Africa, where he embarked on an emergency relief program. It was in these challenging circumstances that he found a sense of purpose and discovered the transformative power of making a difference in the lives of others. This experience ignited his unwavering commitment to seeking meaningfulness and drove him to dedicate his life to social change.

Over time, Adama’s pursuit of meaningfulness has taken various forms, but it remains the driving force behind his work. As the Co-Founder and CEO of the Moleskine Foundation, he continues to channel his passion into initiatives that foster empathy, understanding, and positive change.

Adama Sanneh defies easy categorization, as his diverse background has shaped him into a complex, multifaceted individual. What unites and propels him forward is an unwavering dedication to discovering the “other” because, in essence, the other is a reflection of himself. His profound empathy and relentless pursuit of meaningfulness make him a transformative force in the world, inspiring others to embrace their own complexities and strive for positive change.

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