A business for fraternity: the Nuova Global Foundation
An ambitious but necessary project that, in the business world, helps to convey a message of fraternity.
Lawrence Chong and Stanislav Lencz: it is enough to read the two names to realize that we are facing two opposite worlds: two professionals, one of whom represents the old Europe, old yes, but open to new things, and the other represents the new world, not so much the one discovered by Columbus, but the “new” in a figurative sense, the cradle of technologies, experimentation, new frontiers.
Lawrence is from Singapore, Stanislav from Slovakia. Both work in the field of business consulting, of hi-tech, for the analysis, design, planning and implementation of the objectives of a work plan of any company. Together, they devote themselves to a wide-ranging project that goes beyond the borders of their countries, each at home, of course. It’s curious to hear them talk about the latest news, you can see their passion and great humility.
“To begin with, it is necessary to talk about Consulus, a consulting firm for innovation, born in 2004 in Singapore that is inspired by the values of fraternity”, says Lawrence, but here perhaps our reader may already begin to feel lost, so we ask for more details: “The firm was born with a very precise vision: to serve our clients in deep listening, in a process of multidisciplinary co-creation inspired by design thinking*. Since I was very young, I have known the values of fraternity, of unity in diversity, of being together as a team, and I have always thought that these values could also be included in the business world, as, also, the Economy of Communion is demonstrating, making them become strategy, method, process, practice, culture”.
Some values, in fact, are often associated with the economic world: inclusion, team, enhancement of resources, but all this is always oriented only to obtain a greater profit, without taking into account, very often, other types of impact, especially from the human, social and environmental point of view.
“The strategy of Consulus” – continues Stanislav Lencz – “is to take these values, which are good in themselves and direct them to serve what we call “purpose”, in Italian we could say “higher purpose”, above the mission and vision of the company or organization. For us, inspired by the principles of the Economy of Communion, the purpose is fraternity”.
Certainly, business must be done, profit is necessary to survive, but it is inserted in another logic, in that “culture of giving” that the founder of the EoC, Chiara Lubich, always invoked.
People from different social backgrounds and living in various parts of the world work at Consulus, carrying sensibilities that are sometimes opposite. The challenge is then to compose the diversity, preserving the specificity of each one, but it is this colored multiplicity, lived in the dynamics of authentic relationships, that allows each one to become the best version of himself or herself. The experience of Consulus confirms it: in this way we encourage the highest capacity of innovation, creativity, productivity, through a continuous dialogue, sometimes difficult certainly, but never impossible. All this allows to dig deep, to find unexpected solutions for a project and ensure longevity to any activity.
One such project, which is in its final stages in these very weeks, is Nuova Global Foundation, a new platform that, as the website says, is for unity and inclusive dialogue. “Our name “Nuova” is taken from the name Città Nuova, the magazine founded by Chiara Lubich in 1956 that today is an expression of a culture of fraternity around the world. It represents what we seek to achieve: to build new perspectives, develop new understanding and mutual respect, and inspire new ways of shaping a united world through media”.
It all began when we saw the need to find an agent who could help to understand how to strengthen, and in some cases create, the “network” of Città Nuova editions and magazines around the world, ensuring their sustainability and global impact.
In order to create it, the Consulus team has read almost everything that Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement, of which Città Nuova is an expression, has said or written about the magazines and publishing houses.
“The interesting thing is that Lubich always saw these realities as a service to humanity, to convey ideas and projects that would benefit a world that is so troubled, but that yearns for fraternity. This radicality of courageous dialogue in the media world is as relevant as ever, even more so today, as the pandemic has highlighted how connected we are to one another, generating a need for inclusive unity in the economy, politics, education, but also in the field of religions”.
Two projects have already been launched and are being worked on by the various editorial staff: the Inclusive Economy project, to measure the current state of economic inclusion around the world through the launch of a global survey and interviews with leaders and organizations to share how they have shaped inclusive practices in their local environments. The second is a project in preparation with the Città Nuova network present in Africa to bring out the continent considered to be the cradle of humanity in its vitality and ability to take on ever new paths of development, to raise awareness of African entrepreneurs and the influences that are generating social change through business and the impact on their communities.
“The world of Città Nuova is international, and the various editions must be more networked, more interconnected to be able to speak to the world, capitalizing on the efforts, enhancing the content and methods of each publishing company, which in its own area of the world is a true cultural company”.
The great novelty is that here for the first time the Città Nuova present themselves to the public together, working together in a single media project, multicultural, but united and impactful.
“This is because” – continues Stanislav – “our challenge is weakness, it seems strange, but it is so: usually it is seen as a failure, we think that our weakness, which perhaps is being small, if lived together, all leaning towards a clear horizon, creates something good, influences and draws others and improves the world”.
*Design thinking: a method of business management towards innovation, through a process of co-creativity (involving women and men collaborators, clients…), starting from a deep understanding of people’s needs, in order to discover creative and practical solutions capable of fulfilling them.