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Coming Up to the Surface with Pellegrino Riccardi – Act 1

Author, speaker and communications trainer Pellegrino Riccardi opens Act 1 reflecting on growing up as a child of Italian immigrants in the UK; “You know, once I left the door of the house I was in the UK… When I went back in the house again, I was back in Italy.” 

He shares the contrasts between his rugged Italian “hillbilly” roots and the relatively polite English schools in which he was educated… and the impact of the dark, controlling - even violent - shadow side of his school experience.

Pellegrino discusses the wisdom behind pushing boundaries, drawing on influences that range from comic Ricky Gervais to his own gun-toting, rough-and-tumble cousins he spent time with every summer in Italy.  He reminds us that without pushing boundaries and taking risks, growth simply doesn’t happen.

We spend a few minutes on the “Slap Seen ‘Round the World”, leading us into a rich conversation about the roots of violence - including that which Pelligrino experienced, witnessed and, coming full circle, came to perpetrate in his own home.

Pellegrino wraps up Act 1 by speaking on the intersections of shame, pain, violence, trauma, shortcomings, and the importance of finding language and other ways of communicating - honestly and transparently - what is present, lest things unexpressed find their way to violent acting out.


For over 30 years, Pellegrino Riccardi has excited and delighted audiences all over the world with a style of public speaking that brings together the ability to present complex ideas in a simple and accessible way, which is then wrapped up in a seamless fusion of masterful storytelling and observational humor.

Pellegrino has a unique ability to quickly connect with a wide spectrum of audiences, from Baby-Boomers to Z Generation, from public sector employees to C-suite executives, from high-risk entrepreneurial enterprises to more “conservative” international organizations. You can find out more on his website, on LinkedIn, Facebook, or "the Insta." If you're a man or know any, Pellegrino's book, Drowning Quietly - Memoir of a Man's Shortcomings, is highly recommended reading!