2000 Jury Member

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Location: Italy

Giancarlo Ligabue
Italy, 1931-2015

Giancarlo Ligabue is a businessman who has spent much of his life seeking adventure and new cultures, believing that “it is impossible to be a good entrepreneur if you are not, at the same time, familiar with all aspects of the world.” 


His study of economics at Venice University and his doctorate in palaeontology from the Sorbonne are indicative of his varied career, which combines business with archaeological, palaeontological and anthropological pursuits. As president of a large international catering firm, Ligabue is able to fund the research and expeditions undertaken by the Centro Studi Ricerche Ligabue, which he founded two decades ago.

It is in ethnological research that he has made significant inroads, documenting almost unknown ethnic groups living in total isolation, as well as those threatened with extinction. Ligabue, who organized his first expedition when he was 20 and won international recognition in the early 1970s with the discovery of a complete dinosaur skeleton in the Nigerian desert, has conducted over 100 expeditions. He has documented these in hundreds of publications, including Ligabue Magazine, published twice yearly.

When not travelling, the enterprising businessman devotes his time to a variety of roles, such as president of the Venice Museum of Natural History and member of the European Parliament.

Other 2000 Jury Members