EoC Newsletter

Cover 41 enEconomy of Communion - a new culture

Insert attached to Città Nuova

n.13-14/2015 - July, 10-25 2015

pdf Download the EoC Newsletter in English (2.12 MB)



The New Bomb of Nairobi

Creativity made fertile by love

by Alberto Ferrucci

from pdf "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 (2.12 MB) - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

Leaving the central committee of the EoC for new tasks in the service of the Work N41 Pag03 Alberto Ferrucci Autore ridof Mary and the Church, at the close of the conference for which she gave her spirit and inspiration, Geneviève Sanze confided, ‘I do not fear anymore that the economy of communion may get exhausted, because it has already become a culture: for these three hundred people who came here from all over the world, the economy of communion is now a way of life.’ The conference in Nairobi was so special that Maria Voce, who had opened it with her message, felt inspired to use the words of the Brazilians upon the first announcement in 1991, namely that in Nairobi a new bomb had exploded.

The EoC entrepreneurs and scholars came to Nairobi notwithstanding the discomfort of long journeys, the unusual environmental conditions and the fear of terrorist actions that had led to move the conference to the little town of the movement. Once here, they were given the gift of meeting many young Africans, led by entrepreneurs of the Pan-African commission who came to the school that preceded the congress, sometimes with trips that lasted several days, bringing their dreams to be realized with a new economy.

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Being Creative. For the Other

Changing things by taking care of one person at a time

by Alberto Sturla

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

N41 Pag04 Alberto Sturla ridBetween 26 and 31 May this year I had the opportunity to participate in the fifth international congress of the Economy of Communion. I took part in the work like someone who is simply curious, but as I write this I realize that in fact someone had to represent Liguria, the region where I come from and where some significant EoC initiatives can be found on both the national and international level.

First of all it was fascinating to experience the diversity of member companies: from the joint-stock company to the small agricultural enterprise, from the bank to the stationery shop. There is no minimum economic size for the EoC. It is about a "vocation" that commits the employer just where he is, with the means at his disposal. To this structural diversity a creative one is added, expressing the commitment to the poor and the community. You can see how entrepreneurs do not interpret this commitment the same way, but decline it in an original way according to their respective contexts.

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Ubuntu Means Sharing

The culture of communion helps us look around, without being locked inside our poverty

by Geneviève A. M. Sanze

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

N41 Pag 05 Genevieve Sanze Autore rid dx"I am what I am because of what all of us, without exception, are."
An anthropologist proposed a game to the children of a tribe in South Africa. He put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the children that the one to reach it first would win all the fruits. At his signal all children simultaneously sprang...joining hands! Then they sat down to enjoy their reward. When the anthropologist asked them why they had done so, they said Ubuntu, that is: how can one of us be happy if the others are sad?

This trend towards community solidarity expresses the essence of African culture. We can share our joy, pain, goods and difficulties. Although the individual may have a significant role, there is no room for selfish individualism. This may be the gift of our continent to the entire human race, to modern global society that is characterized by selfishness, fear of the other and a tendency to get closed in around ourselves.

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Life in the community of Glolé

One day we said to ourselves: what should we do for our little village? I realised that the words of Life lived could give me the guidelines...

by Gilbert Gba Zio

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

N41 Pag 06 Gilbert Gba Zio Autore ridMy name is Gba Gilbert. I live in Ivory Coast, in a village called Glolé. When I left school, I felt a call from God within me. Since I did not understand it, I just kept going to church, listening to the word of God asking me to do something. But what? During this research I met the Focolare Movement.
Though I had been quite inactive till then, I suddenly realized that it was necessary to make some decisions in life. I realised that the words of Life lived could give me the guidelines... Thanks to this new life of the Gospel, we got married in church with Martine, along with eight other couples. It was a marvellous day of celebration!

A small group was created that way, and we met frequently to strengthen our communion.

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For an African economy faithful to its vocation

Excerpts from the message sent to the conference in Nairobi

Maria Voce

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

“I am deeply happy that the Economy of Communion is having its fifth World Congress in Africa... N41 Pag 08 Maria Voce Autore rid dxthe many African cultures have their own, special take at economy and employment, which is deeply connected to the vocation of Africa, to community and sharing. I invite you to explore your and our community vocation together so that an African economy may develop that is truly faithful to its ancient and deep vocation, meaning that it is able to combine entrepreneurial spirit and sharing, that is, economy and communion.

Since the EoC is an expression of the charisma of the Focolare Movement, it is enriched by moving along the entire Movement also today. There are some principles of action for the coming years emerging from our recent General Assembly that are particularly valid for the EoC.

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Let's learn to see the tree growing

There are more innovations than what we can see around us. We have to accompany them to bloom

by Luigino Bruni

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

N41 Pag 09 Luigino Bruni Autore ridFor this meeting in Nairobi we have chosen the word 'generativity'. Generating is related to an important word in economics: innovation. Not everyone knows that innovation is a word from the science of botany. It is used for buds and new branches. Innovations need roots, good soil and a living plant. They are life in bloom, generativity in action. And the innovations that become food, gardens and parks also require the work and patience of the farmer or gardener who accompanies them and takes care of them. And so the bud grows into a flower, the vineyard produces good wine and the fig tree starts to generate fruit after years of infertility and does not die.

To understand what is happening to our economy and society, we need to get back to the botanical meaning of the term innovation.

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Together we can make dreams come true

170 young people from 25 countries attended the first pan-African school (Nairobi 22-26 May 2015)

by Anouk Grevin

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

There were many signs that it would be a very special school: we had seen N41 Pag 10 Anouk Grevin Autore ridthe increase in enrolment, feeling unable to control either the maximum number of participants ("no one should miss such an opportunity", they said), or the age of those who got enrolled ("in Africa age does not matter"). Some had to travel up to four days by bus to attend. We have seen young people thirsty for hope for their land and eager to take up serious training to become "apostles of the EoC".

Notwithstanding the large number of participants, we immediately felt like a single family. The school has become a laboratory, a space for dialogue and working on the projects of the young people as well as the challenges of Africa.

On the first day, a panel with 7 young Africans made us get into the problems of the continent, highlighting the potential and wealth of African cultures.

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One company is not enough!

The EoC Entrepreneurs Widen Their Horizons. The Words of the Vice President of AIPEC

by Ornella Seca

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

N41 Pag 12 Ornella Seca Autore ridI promise to dedicate my life as an apostle of the Economy of Communion and so make my contribution in the most just and fraternal way possible so that the greatest dream of Chiara (Lubich) may come true: “That all may be one”.
This is the text of the pact signed by those present at the end of the 5th International EoC Congress at the Mariapolis Piero (Nairobi, Kenya). I was overcome by an unexpected emotion when Luigino Bruni read the text first in English, then in Italian: surrounded by the whole world I felt that the decision to sign it moved in the deepest chords of my being.

Looking around at the close of these meaningful and beautiful days of this adventure in the Economy of Communion I saw faces of all colours, but all of them had the same look and the same smile. I saw myself reflected in them, and I was also like them, our only common factor being our happiness, the type that has its origin in the heart.

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The Style of an EoC Company

What Tools Are Necessary to Create the Right Lifestyle Inside the Company?

di Giuseppe Argiolas

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

The fact that the company is made up of people and is placed in a specific context N41 Pag 13 Giuseppe Argiolas Autore ridgives it a fundamental characteristic: uniqueness. So every enterprise of communion is like a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister to the Economy of Communion. Although children and siblings may resemble their parents or each other, they are never exactly alike, even if they are twins. So when we come to a company, any company, but especially a company of communion, we must do it with the same care, respect, awe - I would even say the same sacredness - with which one approaches a “rarity”.

The most important innovation which, in my view, is shared by all the EoC companies lies in combining two seemingly antithetical words: economy and communion. The first one calls the company to carry out its activities with a view of economy, that is, giving a solution to the problems of clients and receiving a satisfactory profit; the second means building on dialogue, trust and reciprocity in every relationship it weaves inside and outside itself.

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Real Wealth and Poverty

Misery, the Mirror of Unhealthy Relationships. The five essential "capitals" of Life.

by Luca Crivelli

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

N41 Pag 14 Luca Crivelli Autore ridTolstoy said, “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” According to the great philosopher there are many types of poverty but only one kind of wealth. I disagree: wealth and poverty are two sides of the same coin. There are many types of poverty, but the same is true for wealth. The western world, with its quantitative approach, is only able to see one indicator of wealth now: GDP. But in Africa, next to the many faces of poverty, I could contemplate the more varied forms of wealth.
As highlighted by the Kenyan playwright Ngugi wa Thiong'o, to decolonize our minds and learn again to call poverty by name, it is essential to re-acquire the language of the ancestors. In the ancient world a person could be rich and poor at the same time: very wealthy in material terms and poor because of narrow-mindedness and lack of magnanimity.

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The richness of communion

Poverty, with its material deprivations, can also be interpreted as isolation, social exclusion. Fighting it therefore means bringing the person to participation.

by Lorna Gold

from "Economia di Comunione - una cultura nuova" n.41 - editorial insert in Città Nuova n.13/14 - 2015 - July 2015

Each culture proposes its own definition of wealth and poverty, including the culture N41 Pag 15 Lorna Gold Autore ridof communion. If ‘wealth’ is taken as shorthand for the aspiration for progress of individuals and nations, and poverty the lesser state they want to leave behind, communion offers a unique interpretative key. Despite owning little, in fact, those who live in communion have a great patrimony of wealth both in terms of material and non-tangible goods.

It is a Gospel paradox which reveals an economic logic – spiritual detachment, if lived out of love, sparks a circulation of goods, talents, ideas, good will, which generates abundance. In the culture of communion, in fact, there is phenomenal capacity to generate shared wealth.

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