From - 15 to + 35: the EOC introduced at all latitudes ...

From the USA, to the Cameroons, to Croatia, a truly special weekend

By Antonella Ferrucci and Maja Calfova

120204-05_Faro01_ridThis is a very particular weekend for the presenting of the EOC: yesterday the Economy of Communion and the message of the Youth from Sau Paulo to the World were presented in New York, at the UN, as a side event within the UN conference on eradicating poverty: we are awaiting news from the USA to update everyone.  

Always in these same days, in Douala, Cameroons, the first appointments of the delegation for the EOC are taking place with the universities of this big African nation..

Then, this morning, at the Mariapolis Faro (in Croatia) the meeting for the EOC Commission, extended to all of Eastern Europe, was opened. The “climate” is for certain special, in all senses of the word: the citizens of Faro woke up to a Siberian storm, with strong winds, snow and – 15º, with a number of wolves that circled the Mariapolis in hunger. Despite the harsh weather, the people arrived by car from  Bulgaria, Austria, Serbia: the last arrivals at 4:30 a.m.: but the photos tell us that notwithstanding the cold and the road conditions, it was all worth it! 

The morning opened with an introduction of all those present, coming from Slovakia, the Check Republic, Romania, 120204-05_Faro05_Presentazioni_ridAustria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria. Each one presented their own reality of the EOC and the many expectations for it that are felt in their countries in this era of economic crisis. Following this, the participants were updated on the Assembly last May in Brazil, with many wonderful photos: some of those present had been able to attend and each one shared with everyone how their own life changed after that event. Just to mention one: Ferenc, from Hungary, shared that “the first 20 years of the EOC were not shared by me, but the next 20 will surely be! It is really worthwhile to dedicate one’s professional life to the Economy of Communion.”  

Luigino Bruni then spoke, giving in 5 points what his hope is: to arrive to 30,000 EOC businesses by 2031. He stated that we are aware how few we are starting off, how our vulnerability is evident, but despite this, there is good reason to believe that we can make it.  

First point: we need to believe it, because faith in today will determine what will happen tomorrow. We need to renew our faith that this is simply not a dream.  

Second point: even if small, the EOC already exists! Even if just 2 or 3 businesses exist, it is no longer a “utopia”: in Greek utopia means u- without, topi-place, thus, a non-place. If in a place a company exists, an industrial park… even if small, the EOC is no longer a utopia, because the PLACE exists.  

Third point: do not confuse the seed with the tree. Chiara helped us envision a “third way,” a different way to understand and live the economy: we were fascinated by this: by the tree, not by the seed. What attracts people is the tree, a new economy. 

120204-05_Faro04_Luigino_ridFourth point: the seed must die! If the seed does not die, it will not bear fruit. And only if it dies in the right way, charismatically, will we see the tree come up. When potatoes were imported from America, whoever first sowed them trusted in the fact that those were good seeds: only afterwards, did they see the potatoes grow.  We today still do not see the potatoes… but we have believed. The seed is there. In the next years, we need the first sprout of the tree to come up– from our experience: in order to truly contribute to building a new economy. And this is accomplished by placing ourselves at the service of civil society, by being the “salt” and “leaven” in it, acting out of love for the common good, helping to give life to new institutions, promoting dialogue among everyone because a united world is built together with others. 

Finally the fifth point, we need to foster the birth of vocations to the EOC: many people are sincerely seeking and we must go out to them. We have a huge treasure and we run the risk of not giving it: even if people do not readily listen to “spiritual” things, they however feel great callings to this type of economy… We must go and introduce the EOC to everyone, and  ask a lot from people, because capable people are attracted by radical choices. If we introduce daring projects, we will find people who are self-giving and able, if we introduce simple projects, these type of people will not join us in our efforts. 

In the afternoon, there were working groups, the results of which are being shared in the plenary session in this moment: everything, really everything makes us think that these will be founding days for the Economy of Communion in this part of the world.

Listen to Luigino Bruni 

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