On 19-21 November, economists and entrepreneurs under 35 from around the world will meet online. More than 40 countries will be connected, with live streaming from Assisi. Some 2,000 people have registered with at least 12 link-ups to 115 countries, four hours a day plus a 24-hour marathon on the second day, and contributions from more than 20 countries.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Economy of Francesco is the name given to a meeting of economists and entrepreneurs under 35 from around the world set to take place on 19-21 November in Assisi (Italy), which will be streamed live to more than 40 countries.
Pope Francis had originally announced the event in May 2019, scheduled for March 2020, but postponed as a result of COVID-19.
For Father Enzo Fortunato, chief communication officer for The Economy of Francesco, “The pandemic lays bear the traits of the existing economic system. Do we choose between lockdown and saving lives or continuing as before and put people's lives at risk? What is certain is that we are facing a system called to regenerate itself.”
The goal is a new economy “that does not give up growth and development, that accepts the demanding challenges of inclusiveness, but one that renounces the poison of discarding. There is no lack of signs and potential ... just read the data carefully or if you want, the figures of the meeting: 2,000 registered members, at least 12 link-ups with 115 nations, four hours a day plus a 24-hour marathon on the second day, and the contribution of more than 20 countries.”
Participants from different countries have set up hubs, real links to follow the event, wherever COVID-19 regulations allow it. Hence, young people and entire communities will be able to share in-depth experiences after the live streaming of the event. Hubs have been accredited in over 25 countries: https://francescoeconomy.org/it/eof-hubs/.
“Amid so much pain and hardships, the COVID-19 emergency also had an unexpected side effect, because the two-day pre-event turned into nine months,” said Luigino Bruni, professor of Political Economy at LUMSA University (Rome) and scientific director of The Economy of Francesco.
“In fact, since March almost a thousand young people have worked actively in 12 villages, giving birth to a real movement. [. . .] Until March, we had the Pope's call, 3,000 names and an event. Today, we have a worldwide movement.
“This is the first great and important result of The Economy of Francesco: young people committed to a new economy, at the peak of a new era, showing the obsolescence of the economy of the 20th century, but also of the one that existed before January 2020.”
"We have entered an era of shared goods and a new economy is needed. A green economy is not enough to have The Economy of Francesco. We need to include the poor as well, have young people play a leading role, nurture an inner life. Today’s 'green economy' has no interest or concern for the poor and inequalities.
“The Economy of Francesco cannot be only environmental. The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are the same cry, as Laudato si' and Fratelli Tutti remind us. Fraternity with the earth that does not include fraternity with the last is not complete. The Economy of Francesco is also the construction of global spiritual capital that the economy is in dire need of.” And “The Pope also promised us a video message.”
Sister Alessandra Smerilli, professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium and member of the Scientific Committee of The Economy of Francesco, believes that "The Economy of Francesco means above all young people, hope and concreteness. It is not inviting young people to spread a message, but it is asking them to help build it.”
Young people "will not just present us a document, they will not draft a treatise on what The Economy of Francesco means; they will draft proposals and tell us how they want to get involved and what help they need.”
Over the past nine months, young people in 12 thematic villages dealt with “work and care, management and gift, finance and humanity, agriculture and justice, energy and poverty, profit and vocation, policies for happiness, the CO2 of inequality, business and peace, women’s economy, companies in transition, life and lifestyles.”
"A cross-cutting theme in many villages was re-evaluating care in society and the economy, as a key to shaping the future, together with the need for a more women-oriented focus, and greater participation by women in a more inclusive economy and financial sector.
“From guests, young people are becoming protagonists; they show a sense of responsibility, innovative ideas, capacity for dialogue that spans the five continents. They are a 'present' (not just a future) that must be heeded.”