EoC Newsletter

Cover32_engEconomy of Communion - a new culture
N.32 - December 2010 

 

 

 

 

 

Love everyone

Love everyone

from Economy of Communion - a new culture N.32 - December 2010

The culture of giving does not only mean
giving profits,
or giving something,
jewelry, land, houses.

It’s not that.

It’s that kind of giving which we have learned from the Gospel: it means loving everyone. 

Therefore, it’s the culture of loving:
loving your employees,
loving your competitors,
loving your clients,
loving your suppliers,
loving everyone.

Everything should change about
the business lifestyle:
everything should be of the Gospel.
Otherwise it is not economy of communion.

Prague, April 30, 2001

Chiara Lubich

Echoes from Tassano Consortium

Echoes from Tassano Consortium

An unexpected treasure

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

I’m 34 years old, engaged, and am an associate of the Roberto Tassano Consortium, where I’ve worked since 2001 in the administrative offices. I’ve always been attracted to the spirit of the Economy of Communion, which we always try to put into practice in the Consortium, especially the aspect of “communion”, of family. Lately, I have even lived this personally. In February, like a flash of lightning in a clear sky, without warning, I was hospitalized for strong pains along my spine. Within a week I found myself without all the certainties and securities I believed were so fundamental in my life: no longer independent, dynamic and never-stopping, as everyone in the Consortium had always known me to be.
But the “strangest” thing (which I want to call a gift or miracle from God…) is that after the first initial moment, I have felt serene and secure, realizing that everything, although a personal experience, would not be lived alone. I was certain that the sincere relationships with my colleagues at the Consortium would give me strength and courage in each moment.

 

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The 2009/2010 Economy of Communion Report

The 2009/2010 Economy of Communion Report

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

The entire year of the Economy of Communion: the data and news presented in the EoC Report are from September 2009 through August 2010, hence the “2009/2010 Report”. In its two preceding editions, in 2008 and 2009, the EoC Report accounted for the distribution of aid (the shared business profits and private contributions)and the projects underway to create new jobs in EoC businesses and to support new micro-enterprises

This year the 2009/2010 Report also includes much more: the results of the global Census of EoC Businesses that began in 2009 and concluded this past summer; the diffusion of the culture of communion, beginning with Benedict XVI’s latest Encyclical that cites “civil businesses and businesses of communion”; and reports from seminars, conventions and schools…The “numeric” data are accompanied by vibrant graphs and interpretation.

Download the report here (in Italian)

A way for everyone

A way for everyone

By Jean-Louis Plot

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

There is something that really touched my wife, Irene, and me about the economy of communion’s proposal. It suggests a path towards answering two of the world’s problems that we hold particularly close to our hearts: the scandal of poverty and the unfair distribution of wealth.

Our business currently employs thirteen people, while the economy of communion pushes us to “invent” new ways to make it function. We do business by putting the person at the center and inviting the Lord to work at the service of the unity we build among us, trying to put gift and gratuitousness at the center of our economic activity and everyday operations.

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Diary from Santa Cruz

Diary from Santa Cruz

By Ramón Cervino

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

On Friday, July 16, a year-long dream began to become a reality in La Paz, Bolivia, at an altitude of three-thousand-eight-hundred meters. Arriving in Santa Cruz, only 400 meters above sea level, we already feel very cold thanks to the strongest “surazo” (a mass of cold air) that the area has seen in the last few decades. It has transformed the city from its humid tropical climate into a true icebox (even more so as domestic heating does not exist).

In the afternoon of the first day, the EoC was presented to entrepreneurs, scholars and the local community. The Seminar began the next day. It was coordinated by Santiago Nishisawa from the EoC Commission of Bolivia.

There were 31 Bolivians and many participants from Mexico, Ecuador, Paraguay, Chile and Peru. There was also big group from Argentina. It included four people from Santa Maria of Catamarca, the small town in the Andes of North Argentina, in the Calchaquí Valley, where Chiara’s ideal first arrived in South America.

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Interview with Paco Toro

Interview with Paco Toro

By Isaías Hernando

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

In 1972, two years after Paco married his wife Lola and had two children, he decided to start a business that distributed chemical products for agriculture. To do so, he and his family moved to Jaen, a Spanish province that boasts of its 600 million hectares of olive groves and is the top producer of olive oil in the world. In 1994, Paco and Lola adhered to the EoC. 

Paco, why did you decide to adhere to the EoC? 
When Chiara launched the project, I was filled with joy. She opened a horizon to a very concrete, social, ethical and human commitment. Not only has our business grown since then, but our family has, too. We now have seven children, some of them in college, and we have many expenses. We’ve committed ourselves to the EoC as our answer to God, the Father of everyone, who was calling us through this phrase of the Gospel: “If someone says ‘I love God’ but hates his brother, he is a liar”.

What has the EoC given you? 
A new, bigger dimension. Even before, I tried to do think in front of God, but then I found a more supernatural dimension. I no longer worked only for my family, but for a bigger family with whom I even share the fruits of my work. Your heart opens this way. Humanity is close, and you feel more like a child of God and a brother of everyone, both those who are far and near and those are part of the business or collaborate with it.

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Proximity in Banking

The experience of microcredit inspired by the economy of communion shows that the personal relationship between officials and clients is a fundamental element for the success of the sector’s development.

Proximity in Banking

By Teresa Ganzon

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

Bangko Kabayan is a rural financial institution established over 50 years ago (1957) in a small town in Batangas, a region that lies about 120 kms. south of Metro Manila in the Philippines. It remained a small, one-unit affair till it began branching in 1991 when the second generation of the family that owned it, pursued the Economy of Communion paradigm and decided in favour of growing the enterprise to be of service to a larger community as well as generate more profits to share with those in need. Being a rural bank, even one that was traditional in its outlook, BK’s competitive advantage over the bigger commercial banks had always been its local knowledge and highly personalized approach to banking. Everyone in the bank was known to the local community and vice-versa. Clients, old and young, were called by their first names and tellers would chat and exchange pleasantries while servicing deposits or withdrawals.

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The EoC and the Russian universe

The EoC and the Russian universe

By Tatiana Minakova

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

One-hundred-forty-two million Russian citizens live in a territory that corresponds to more than 11% of the Earth’s total land surface and extends from the Arctic to the tropics, with a temperature that goes from 45ºC to -71ºC.Forty percent of the territory is covered by forest, which contains 10 large cities and more than 1 million inhabitants, and 15 million people live in the country’s capital, Moscow, with 5 million more travelling there to work every day.Sixty percent of the territory is used for agriculture, with only three months of appropriate weather for cultivation, compared to the nine months which Europe and the United States’ have to cultivate their produce. 

Under the religious aspect, two-thirds of the population is Orthodox Christian, 15% is Muslim, and minor percentages are of other religions. Small and medium businesses, which were absent in the country’s previous planned economy, have multiplied in the last years and have become one of the more important factors in the economic system.

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A big celebration for the opening of a new EoC Business Park

On November 6, the Portuguese EoC Business Park dedicated to Giosi Guella was inaugurated

A big celebration for the opening of a new EoC Business Park

By Antonella Ferrucci

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

November 6 in Portugal was a beautiful, sunny day. We're in the middle of an Indian Summer, that last wave of summer weather before heading into winter. The climate is mild, and the sky is particularly luminous. It seems that this land can feel that today is truly a special day as it joins us to celebrate. Arriving at the small town of Arco Iris, headquarters of the Giosi Guella Business Park, one can perceive the anticipation for the big even about to take place. Yes, because this Business Park has undoubtedly been long awaited, since 2000, when a group of EoC entrepreneurs felt the need to buy a piece of land next to the small town in order to build the Portuguese business park there. Ten years later, having overcome many obstacles with determination and consistency, the day has finally arrived to open the doors of this house for EoC entrepreneurs in Portugal.

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The EoC in North America

The EoC in North America

By Joan Duggan

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

As we were preparing to share “the state of the EoC in North America,” it was tempting to go directly to the pragmatic – how many businesses, how many interactions, how many members in the association, what about the business park. Yet, this information would miss the point.For someone to lives the EoC’s lifestyle, it is a project born from a charism. It doesn’t matter if you work in a business, own a business, purchase things from a business, or take care of a household.We are all EoC.

Luigino Bruni answered one of our questions at the EoC meeting in Rome like this: “charisms have long timeframes, century-long timeframes. As we believe that the EoC arises from a charism, we have to realize that we’re still in the in the first half-hour of the first 24-hour day of its development…I’m certain that the youth will soon start new types of businesses which will not follow the classical form of entrepreneur-employee. They’ll be businesses with innovative juridical structures of the economy of communion. We have to have patience...”

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LoppianoLab

LoppianoLab

By Eva Gullo

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

The international small town of Loppiano, the Lionello Business Park, Sophia University Institute and Cittá Nuova Publishing Group: with different identities, these groups gave life to a new reality called “Loppiano Lab”, aimed at facing some of our current challenges, from the economic crisis, to culture and education. 

From September 16 to 19, a four-day meeting held at Loppiano included round tables, debates and businesses expositions. Loppiano Lab is the opportunity for these four promoters to interact and, surprisingly, see how much people are personally interested and committed to building a society animated by participation, openness to others and to what’s new.

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Comparing solidarity economies

Brazilian Solidarity Economy, Italian Social Economy, and the Economy of Communion: Theory and Praxis.

Comparing solidarity economies

By Cristiane Correa da Silva

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

The EoC began in Brazil during a time when the Brazilian Solidarity Economy was in full swing.  The intuition came from Chiara Lubich, an Italian women originally from a region with a great tradition in Social Economy – Trent. This happy consonance brings us to reflect on this double relationship: EoC and solidarity economy; EoC and social economy.

The solidarity economy arose in Brazil in order to respond to unemployment and the social exclusion provoked by the serious economic crisis of the 80s and 90s. From a viewpoint opposite to that of individualistic capitalism, solidarity economy seeks to pinpoint new criteria for organizing not only production but also economic life as a whole. 

Must of the impoverishment of the Brazilian population is reflected in the Focolare Movement there. During Chiara’s visit to Sao Paulo in May of 1991, she saw this reality, and, also inspired by John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus, she proposed the economy of communion project to offer concrete answers to these problems and to promote social justice.

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Thirteen new EoC theses

In the last few months, we have heard of thirteen new graduating theses on the EoC, including 2 undergraduate degrees, 1 old-order four-year degree, 8 specializations and 2 doctorate theses.

Thirteen new EoC theses

By Antonella Ferrucci

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

Alejandra Vásquez

Strategic Direction Plan of Fattoria Loppiano

Masters in Social Politics and Strategic Direction for Territorial Sustainable Development

University of Studies, Bologna, September 25, 2006, Language: Italian, Thesis chair: Prof. Cristina Falcaro, Prof. Ugo Alberti

Alejandra VasquezThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The aim of the thesis was to know and understanding the workings of a socially responsible EoC cooperative and prepare a strategic plan for its development. The four topics addressed included: a) the formulation of the mission, b) the analysis of the human, economic, territorial and institutional dimensions, c) the Internal SWOT analysis (detecting and evaluating resources and competences) and External SWOT analysis (environmental hypotheses and definitions of optimistic, normal and pessimistic settings), and d) reporting a management plan proposal. The analysis opened the way to creating a plan of strategic direction.

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Announcement for two awards named after Chiara Lubich

Announcement for two awards named after Chiara Lubich

From "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

To honor the memory of Chiara Lubich, Sacred Heart Catholic University has instituted two graduating awards worth €1500 each, to two masters graduates in Economics and Business Economics (Classes LM77 Business Economics Sciences and LM56 Economics) at the Catholic University, who have defended a thesis on the Economy of Communion between July 1st, 2009, and April 20th, 2011.

Those who intended to compete for the award prizes should have received a graduating grade of at least 100/110.

http://piacenza.unicatt.it/3640.html

A tour in Brazil

From North to South Brazil, the Economy of Communion finds its “own” way of expressing itself, of conquering spaces, hearts and minds of the most diverse people.

A tour in Brazil

By Armando Tortelli

From “Economy of Communion – a new culture” N.32 – December 2010

Campaign of Ecumenical Fraternity – CFE 2010: Economics and Life

Two-thousand-ten was a year rich in opportunities for the spreading of the EoC project in Christian environments, and when the National Bishop’s Conference of Brazil (CNBB) launched the 2010 CFE, entitled, “Economics and Life”, actors of the EoC in every corner of the country offered their contribution to what was being proposed to the local church, “collaborating in the promotion of an economy at the service of life, founded on the ideal of the culture of peace, starting from the joint commitment of the Christian Churches and people of good will, so that all contribute to building the common good and work towards a society without exclusion”.

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Youth internships with the B2B website

Youth internships with the B2B website

By John Mundell

From "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

After an experimental period with the first group of businesses from Argentina, Brazil and the United States in 2009, at the beginning of 2010, the www.edc-info.org website was opened up cost-free to the whole world. It began in order to improve relationships and make the communion among EoC businesses grow through an exchange of ideas and experiences and the sharing of knowledge on best practices of business management. Therefore, the International EoC Business Network (abbreviated as EoC B2B, from the English “Business to Business”) has been established. The procedures to adhere to it have been laid out in the previous issue of this magazine. 

Of the approximately 750 active EoC businesses responding to the most recent 2010 census, 173, or almost one out of every four companies have already signed up to the website.  This represents more than one-half of North and South American EoC businesses, which requested to be listed as a result of the direct benefits they have already experienced during the experimental period.

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Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

From "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

A voice on the phone

I wanted to share this page written in the diary of a young woman, employed in a factory that supplied materials to the business of Ezio Cereghetti, an EoC entrepreneur of Lugano, Italy, who died of an aneurism in June, 2003. She wrote this letter shortly before Ezio’s death, but saved it for years in her diary. A few days ago, she decided to send it to Tita, Ezio’s wife…who was surprised by the coincidence. The World of Life for that month just happened to be “Love your neighbor as yourself”, which was the phrase of the Gospel that Chiara had given Ezio. I also think that this beautiful gift has arrived directly from Ezio, to help us to live reciprocal love, even in the EoC. Chiara always called us to live in a way that no one pass us by in vain. Maybe we won’t be able to love always, to love everyone, but at least we have to try to love someone, as Ezio did with this young woman.

Luca Crivelli

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Beyond all walls, an economy of communion

Beyond all walls, an economy of communion

by Luigino Bruni

From "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

100917_Bruni_rid

We’re nearing the 20th anniversity of the EoC. In this year of preparation, memory and prospects, it may be necessary to remember a particular fact in order to understand the meaning and weight of what happened in May of 1991. Otherwise, we run the risk of not giving it enough importance in the way we narrate the history of the EoC.

In 1990, just after the fall of the Berlin wall, Chiara went to the United States to visit her community in New York. Being in what was, especially then, the center of capitalism and consumption, Chiara felt a strong inner push to pray and even offer her own life so that, after the fall of the walls of collectivism, the walls of consumerism and capitalism would also fall. The wall of a certain non-freedom had already fallen, but in order for an era of fraternity to begin (among equal and free people), it was also necessary that the wall of consumerism fall, too.

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A voice in a changing world

A voice in a changing world

By Alberto Ferrucci

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

The new stockholding arrangement of the International Monetary Fund is a sign that the world is truly changing. The IMF began in 1944 in Bretton Woods to establish a new economic order after the tragedy of the Second World War. For 66 years, the bank has functioned from a position of influence: if a country wanted a loan it needed to comply with the IMF’s standpoint. It could be said that the IMF acted as a gunman once did by brutally appearing outside the doors of those who did not respect the economic interests of the powerful.

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The economy of giving

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

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