Yesterday in Mariënkroonun, during the EoC Summer School, there was a fruitful exchange of views between Italian and Dutch economists on the EoC and its environs.

by Sibiel van Haastrecht

170823 27 Olanda EoC R SS 01 ridWhat place do interest, reciprocity and happiness have in the economy? These questions were at the centre of the academic discussion that took place yesterday, 25 August 2017 in Mariënkroon, Holland, as part of the open meeting of experts with seventy participants. It took place as the initiative of the Thomas More Foundation and the Focolare Movement during the EoC Research Summer School 2017.

In the meeting room, the participants were arranged in two circles: on the inside, discussing with each other, two Italian professors Luigino Bruni (LUMSA University ) and Vittorio Pelligra (University of Cagliari), two Dutch professors, Erik Borgman and Lans Bovemberg from the University of Tilburg together with Joost van der Net, the director of the Thomas More Foundation were seated. The observers, sitting in the outer circle, followed the conversations and at the end they had the opportunity to respond or ask questions.

Luigino Bruni's first "provocation" was about happiness and poverty. "If we think that happiness is an individual quest 170823 27 Olanda EoC R SS 02 ridand that the poor person is poor by their own fault, then there is nothing to do for us". Lans Bovenberg replied that there is a synergy between the individual search for happiness and collective wellbeing: the two realities are not in contrast and can constitute a win-win situation. Vittorio Pelligra stated that even though economics tends to assume that there is a direct relationship between well-being and wealth, happiness has much to do with the virtues, dignity and appreciation of life and is not so much linked to the economy.The discussion continued with various talks on reciprocity and gift in the economy, with references to Protestant theology and the three forms of love: eros, philia and agape.  Luigino Bruni concluded the session by saying that the first duty of an economist is to love. Research shows that 95% of everything we do in our lives contains reciprocity.

170823 27 Olanda EoC R SS 03 rid

The meeting concluded with some questions from the public on the role of companies, short- and long-term development models and on the power structures in companies.

Some statements by the experts worth reflecting on:

Vittorio Pelligra: "Economists need to dialogue with scientists of other disciplines and integrate their knowledge into economics. This can only be a benefit for everyone".

Erik Borgman: "Society is complex. Economists tend to simplify reality with economic models. 170823 27 Olanda EoC R SS 04 ridIt is very likely that these are not capable of describing reality. It is important to keep up curiosity for everything that we cannot "contain"; we are only part of the total reality. The Economy of Communion shows us something about what already exists but that economists still have to discover".

Lans Bovenberg: "In secondary school teaching practice the emphasis is on the fact that man is selfish and self-interested. Instead, we must return to the Greek origins of the word economy - oikonomia - the good management of the family".

Luigino Bruni: "We economists want to measure everything. Productivity can be measured. But mercy cannot be measured. Through other eyes, you can see the same reality in a different way”.

Joost van der Net: "Telling stories can be another way to describe what is happening in the economy”.

The EoC Research Summer School, which was the background to this interesting meeting of economists, will close tomorrow, Sunday 27 August. We will keep you updated.

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Logo booster camp rid mod

 Call for projects by Feb 28, 2018 - more info - Download brochure

Prophetic Economy Awards

Follow us:

facebook twitter vimeo icon youtubeicon flickr


EoC Report 2016

Cover Edc44 EN mod

download the report 
go to the Report online

EoC PanAsian Congress 2016

The Dawn of Midnight

Logo Geremia Crop 150The series of comments by Luigino Bruni on Jeremiah's book comes out every Sunday on Avvenire

Go to the complete series

new tab icon 32291 Simply Life

EoC, the web site!

Join the EoC

EoC Companies crop banner rid modBy registering your company on the following site:

Find out more...

Nairobi 2015: a site to share all related contents

Logo sito Nairobi rid modInterviews and experiences  (videos and written contents), photo galleries, PowerPoint presentations: all materials that help you re-live the events of Nairobi 2015

Go to site    Go to EoC Congress contents  Go to EoC School contents 

Video EoC Summer School Prague 2015

150826 Praga EoC SS 11 rid sx"Let’s create our future! It is in our hands!"

Videos available here

Icona Flickr ridsee photogallery
facebook nsl see on Facebook

Photogallery EoC Congress 2015

150531 Nairobi Congresso EdC 76 rid modMariapolis Piero, Nairobi (Kenya)
May 27-31, 2015

go to the photogallery

Luigino Bruni’s articles and video

Structures of Grace

Structures of grace ridJohn Gallagher, Jeanne Buckeye

New City Press, December 2014


United Nations Video

This short video was shot in occasion of the EoC presentation in the February 2012 UN Conference on Poverty Eradication.


Ottmaring 2013

Community Ottmaring

4th Encounter of entrepreneurs and managers of the Economy of Communion from Northern and Eastern Europe

24th to 27th October 2013 - Center of Encounter Ottmaring, Germany

THE DYNAMIC OF GIVING A way into the future for companies, the economy and the common good


Here the invitation

Video - EoC in 5 words

video Eoc 5 words mod

Presentation by Luigino Bruni to the Faculty of the Ateneo De Manila University. Manila, Philippines, September 23, 2011

Message of the Youth

“From San Paolo to the World”
That economics in 2031 may be one of communion, for us and for all...


Guidelines for conducting an EoC business

Binari_rid_modThe Economy of Communion proposes the following "Guidelines for conducting a business", to productive organizations who adhere to its message and its culture, written in the light of the life and thought of thousands of entrepreneurs and workers....

The economy of giving

Chiara_Lubich_1Chiara Lubich

«Unlike the consumerist economy, based on a culture of having, the economy of communion is the economy of giving.... 

RSS - subscribe

This website uses “technical cookies”, including third parties cookies, which are necessary to optimise your browsing experience. By closing this banner, or by continuing to navigate this site, you are agreeing to our cookies policy. The further information document describes how to deactivate the cookies.