Ottmaring: A school of fraternity and sharing, with entrepreneurial creativity

The First EoC Congress of Germany, 70 entrepreneurs and business executives in search of its EoC identity

Ottmaring: A school of fraternity and sharing, with entrepreneurial creativity

by Winfried Baetz-Braunias

110624-26_Ottmaring08_ridFrom the Christian ethics point of view, it deals with going beyond the simple correctness of the balance sheet. Today we must imbue the work with the giving culture, implementing in this earthly society - in the businesses - the 'civitas dei' which St. Augustine imagined as the culture of giving.” This is how the speech begins “Without Generosity There Is No Justice” of Professor Peter Schallenberg, a professor of social ethics and director of the Central Institute of Social Sciences (KSZ) of the German Catholic Church at the First National EoC Congress of Germany.

Hence the encouragement of EoC entrepreneurs from Germany to bring ahead the project and to demonstrate that efficiency and productivity can and should be carefully integrated both the common good of the global society, through giving ethics, the only one suited to human beings. This practice can really change an economic world that still bases its economic work and action only on "technical" economic theories.

The Congress at Ottmaring's Meeting Center from June 24-26 saw an overview of activities of the EoC entrepreneurs of the last 20 years 110624-26_Ottmaring_ridand has brought to light, how much the launch of the EoC by Chiara Lubich in 1991 has resonated in Germany. The spiritual and vital experience of fraternity lived in the Focolare Movement, in recent years, has fostered the birth of a new global awareness against humanity and its needs.

Some of the "EoC pioneers" have described how the momentum of that time had set in motion: not only the creation of new businesses with profits for the indigent (with various projects in Africa, Latin America and even in Eastern countries) but also a serious commitment from the businesses to create a new atmosphere in the relationships. In putting the value of happiness next the profit everyone had to be able to give everything they had, each valued as unique human beings of an immeasurable worth.

Analyzing what has been done in these 20 years, steps to do today have emerged from the Congress to bring ahead EoC in the German economy world, giving "more" sense to a mentality that only has technical perfectionism and efficiency as absolute values. It was first raised as creative energies were released to serve the community and the poor, if the culture of giving really enters in the goals of the businesses and in the actions of the entrepreneurs.

Four objectives-programs for the next 10 years of EoC in Germany:

1- intensify the dialogue, have a network with organizations, economic and social initiatives related to EoC in a Christian atmosphere and even beyond, already begun with the invitation to collaborate with the KSX express by Professor Schallenberg, with BKU (Alliance of Catholic Entreprenuers) and with other ecumenical movements as part of the "Together for Europe" of Christian movements;

2- improve communication between everyone, taking advantage of new opportunities offered by the site edc-online.org/de in German, a regular newsletter as a platform for exchange;

3- increase the EoC awareness in the German contemporary culture by seizing opportunities of the EoC presentation not only in the media but also from the experts or of interested groups;

4- give life to a new and creative phase of courageous entrepreneurs, that find new ways to make a profit, work and help the needy and the country itself.

110624-26_Ottmaring04_ridSome impressions from the participants: "I did not expect that there already exist concrete forms of sustainable assistance for new businesses in Africa and Latin America." (a scientist of social sciences) - "I want to offer right away my online business to our friends "From the road" for the distribution of their stock in Germany." (a web entrepreneur) - "I would like to commit myself in adoption at a distance." (the wife of an EoC manager) - "Here I found a sense of dimension for my future work, beyond the simple accounting of the company." (a young entrepreneur) - "I am happy to see that all the effort spent on EoC often with difficulty in recent years has had the right resonance." (a person engaged in EoC) - "I understood how important it is to build community among entrepreneurs engaged in EoC to pursue our project well. Money is not enough." - "As managers we want to work together to implement the EoC style of relationships also in larger structures and then share with the others our results." (a hospital director)

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