United World Project

Workshop

Economy of Francesco, the event: where two or more are gathered, nobody alone

 
 
by Maria Gaglione -Staff EoF

The Economy of Francesco is fast approaching. The gathering in November will be a momentous step within an ongoing process to announce and describe the experience, work, proposals and considerations developed in recent months in the 12 thematic villages. Young people have been called to trigger this process to increase the rate of prophecy in the economy of today and tomorrow. And they did it! They answered with the generosity and concreteness peculiar to their, our age. The meeting with young economists and entrepreneurs encouraged by the Holy Father, was therefore confirmed and will be held from 19 to 21 November 2020. Given the health emergency worldwide caused by Covid-19, the organizing committee decided to celebrate the international event entirely online. The “virtual” participation of Pope Francis was also confirmed, while the following face-to-face meeting will always take place in Assisi and it is expected in Autumn 2021, when health conditions can ensure everybody’s attendance.

Pope Francis, who has been following the work of the Economy of Francesco through regular updates, renewed his hope in young people, in a recent message, and wrote: “[…] In order to achieve an (ecological) conversion and this creativity (creativity of love), it is necessary to train and encourage the new generations of economists and entrepreneurs. For this reason I have invited them to meet, from 19 to 21 November next in Assisi, the town of the young Saint Francis, who stripped himself of everything in order to choose God as the compass of his life, becoming poor with the poor, a brother to all. His decision to embrace poverty also gave rise to a vision of economics that remains most timely. It is important to invest in the young people who will be the protagonists of tomorrow’s economy, to train men and women prepared to put themselves at the service of the community and the creation of a culture of encounter. Today’s economy, and the young and the poor of our world, have need, above all, of your humanity and your respectful and humble fraternity, and only then of your money” (from the message to the participants in the Forum of “The European House-Ambrosetti”, Cernobbio, 4-5 September 2020).

“The event in November is not a general test, it is not an exercise towards the ‘real’ event of 2021: it is the EoF 2020, of this special and unique year –  as emphasized by Luigino Bruni, scientific director of the event. We are getting ready by reaping the benefits of two years of work. Two years ago there was only one idea and a working team, today there are more than 1000 young participants already working on the Economy of Francesco, from over 100 countries around the world. The event in November will also be a youth feast to celebrate life. Joy and celebration are key dimensions of the Economy of Francesco. Francis of Assisi was called God’s jester, capable of seeing universal fraternity where others saw only problems, of calling even the experience of sorrow perfect joy. November will therefore be a celebration and an important stage of a journey that has already started and will continue over time. A process that has no masters and, for this reason, it can surprise us with extraordinary things, as it has in itself the gratuitousness of young people which, when it unfolds freely, is the greatest vital energy on earth”.

These are therefore weeks of intense work and great excitement for the young participants and teams of the 12 “EoF villages”, to draft projects and proposals which, as also suggested by the economist Stefano Zamagni during a preparatory meeting, must be “concrete, innovative and prophetic to bring about a change in the “game rules” of our socio-economic system”. The digital event programme will be innovative, participatory, global. Assisi will host the “direction” of the event, main sessions and live broadcasts from Franciscan historical sites (San Damiano, Rivotorto, Basilica of Saint Claire, Sanctuary of the Spoliation, Mount Frumentario Palace…). It will be the venue for the narration of the EoF process and event. Space for conferences with young economists and entrepreneurs in dialogue with internationally renowned guests to discuss the issues, proposals and perspectives of the Economy of Francesco. But there will also be moments of meditation and reflection starting from texts of great literature and poetry, art, performances, music.

And then remote connections with the whole world to listen to the voice of young people, territories and local communities. The event will in fact be online, but young people have been invited to meet in their own countries to participate in the event together with other participants and all the other young people who want to know about the Economy of Francesco. The organizing committee is taking action all over the world to suggest some facilities that will be able to accommodate young people during the event, so that they can live a real experience, not alone: ​​the motto must be ‘where two or more’, nobody alone. To date, over 30 territorial HUBs have been accredited. Finally, a session of the program will be devoted to adolescents – among the participants there are actually over 30 very young change-makers, who in recent months have contributed with their presence and their ideas to the Economy of Francesco – and to the dialogue between generations on economy, ecology, inequalities, lifestyles.

For those who would like to follow the programme, live streaming of the event will be available on the official website, on the YouTube channel and on the Facebook page. Stay tuned, we are waiting for many of you to join us. We are waiting for you all.

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