Happy 2016 with the 25-year-old EoC!

For the EoC, the year 2016 represents its "silver anniversary". What are you all up to and what do you wish for all members of the EoC? We asked these questions to Luigino Bruni, the project coordinator

by Antonella Ferrucci

In 2016 the EoC is 25 years old. What does this important milestone of the EoC bring first?

Logo edc 25 anni rid First of all it brings joy, the joy of being alive and in constant growth after 25 years. For a person 25 years of age is the entrance into adult and working life; for a collective reality and world like the EoC, the "silver anniversary" is only one step in a long journey that, however, also says that we are dealing with a movement capable of life, of a future: it is not a flash in the pan but a complete kitchen full of food and warmth.

Is there an aspect, a fact that is particularly dear to you in this 25th year?

Yes there are at least three. The first are the poor. It is a "first" which is also a first in my heart. I will never forget the many times that Chiara Lubich, when we were working together, told me: “Luigino, you go ahead and study – study but never forget that I brought the economy of communion to life for the poor”. In a time when Luigino Bruni AD 2015 ridthis capitalism, which is more and more like a real pagan religion, is forgetting the poor, everything is taken by the new cults of meritocracy and efficiency, we as the economy of communion have a the ethical and spiritual duty to reposition poverty and those who are marginalized, at the centre of the economic, political and social system. The level of civilization of a people is measured on the basis of the condition of the last ones, their rights, their actual freedom. The economy of communion has come to earth first of all to give a response to the poor people's cry for justice and liberation. Entrepreneurs and all stakeholders of the EoC have always heard this cry and tried to answer it, but in this 25th year, in this celebratory occasion, we will seize every opportunity to put options for the poor to the first place in the economy communion again. Of course, to create and run good businesses is the necessary means for the purpose of the EoC (a world without poverty), but - as we know from history - it may happen that the means becomes less important in the end counts.

And the other two things?

Sao Paulo 2015 ridThe second are the entrepreneurs. 25 years after the launch of the EoC, we need continuity but also a generational change, because the backbone of the project are still those hundreds of businessmen and entrepreneurs who joined the first proposal of '91. These "founding fathers and mothers" are still more than essential today but they are not sufficient to get to the "golden anniversary" in good shape.  There is an urgent need that many young entrepreneurs join to EoC bringing their enthusiasm, their youth and creativity. And this makes it easy to understand that the third thing I particularly care about are the young. Young people are the present, not only the future, because their presence makes everything beautiful, joyful and fruitful. In recent years we have launched a youth project that is bringing good results and that we will strengthen in 2016 with a big, global incubator project for the birth of new EoC businesses.

The worldwide incubator project represents a change in scale of the whole project and we'll talk a lot about it on our home site, but after all what should we all wish for on this 25th anniversary?

We must wish each other at least two things: first of all that as every anniversary this should be a year of remembering. Remembering in biblical humanism is not the mere memory of nor nostalgia for the past, but a return made with the heart, especially with the collective one, to the founding moments of a community experience, to the great promises,Sao Paulo 02 riddreams, to the alliance that made it possible for us to say here and now a new, individual and collective 'yes' again. There is always a need to renew the faith because, as the great Edgar Morin said, “All that does not regenerate, degenerates." The second good wish is that 2016 may be a year of new beginnings at all levels of the EoC but also within the Focolare Movement, which is the "manger" where it was born. There are many young members of the movement that do not know the project, but perhaps the older members should rediscover an EoC that despite being the same "child" of '91, is now grown, has taken off from the family home, met many people and it has matured. May this be a year of proclamations from the roofs, to all, and a year for a new faith that the Economy of Communion is not only possible but is necessary for our world if we want our children to have a future under a more beautiful sky.

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