Fondazione Brodolini was established in 1971 to build on the work of the labour minister Giacomo Brodolini, who championed the Workers' Statute. For a long time, its main role was as a trade union study centre, while also providing training for workers' children.

In its first years of activity, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Fondazione Brodolini collected and archived documents of historical and social interest. It also became the editor for Economia&Lavoro, a quarterly magazine of economic policy, sociology, and industrial relations, founded in 1967 by Giacomo Brodolini to foster dialogue between the political, social, cultural and economic forces of the country, in the common pursuit of democratic progress and reform.

In 1987, the first issue of the quarterly magazine Labour ­– an international editorial project dedicated to industrial relations and the economics of work – was published in English by Fondazione Brodolini, in collaboration with the CEIS of the University of Tor Vergata and Wiley-Blackwell (Oxford).

Following the difficult events that characterised Italian political, economic and social life in the 1990s, Fondazione Brodolini decided to renew itself, starting a new path as an independent research centre, keeping the focus on labour issues, but with a more markedly European and policy-oriented vocation aimed at bringing research out of academia to key public policy actors.

In 2002, Fondazione Brodolini's attention thus opened to societal transformations and the world of work, seeking to inform, guide and accompany political decision-makers in policy choices. Through close collaboration with a network of experts and researchers from Italian and European universities, Fondazione has since been awarded a series of important research projects, on issues of labour economics, gender and welfare, on both the national and European stages.

In recent years, the Foundation has specialised in European planning and the management of strategic networks such as the Network of Experts in Gender Equality, Social Inclusion, health and long-term care (EGGSI), the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality (ENEGE) and the Web Tool for Evaluated Employment Services Practices (WEESP).

It also assumes an important role in the strategic projects of the European Social Fund, provides technical assistance to the managing authorities of the Structural Funds, works for various EU agencies (the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, the European Foundation for Vocational Training, the European Agency for Fundamental Rights), and for the Directorate General for Employment of the European Commission, providing studies, analyses and impact assessments.

Over the last decade, through these initiatives, Fondazione Brodolini has become a key reference for researchers and institutions in the sector of analysis and evaluation of public policies and consultancy for public and private stakeholders.

In 2009, Fondazione Brodolini launched the magazine inGenere, a web magazine on data, policies and gender issues created by a group of economists at the end of 2009 to bridge the gap between society and academia, thus positioning FGB as a major Italian source of knowledge and research on gender studies and feminist theories.

The launch of Open Incet in Turin, in 2015, and the management of social innovation hubs and innovative business incubators such as FabriQ Milano, the Milano Luiss Hub, the Pépinières D'Entreprises in Valle D'Aosta and the Open Laboratories of Emilia Romagna, are the result of the active and constant research that Fondazione Brodolini dedicates to new, innovative projects.

Keeping work at the centre of its activities, flanked by the themes of welfare and social inclusion, today Fondazione is increasingly engaged in studies and policies on technological change and innovation, lifelong training and inclusion, new business opportunities and the future of work. A true network of young and dynamic change-makers, it operates as an independent knowledge centre, thanks to its historical heritage, research, publications and cultural activities.

With its main offices in Rome, Milan and Brussels, and a historical archive of national importance, Fondazione Brodolini now represents a nexus of stakeholders, institutions, public bodies, and subjects dedicated to designing and implementing policies that generate positive social impact in the territories in which they operate.

The mission remains to carry forward the political agenda by promoting dialogue, even between highly different subjects. Knowing how to speak to everyone, as Giacomo Brodolini did, with the same inspiration, strength and calmness.