Report EoC 2013-2014

Cover Report 2013-14Economy of Communion - a new culture

Insert in Città Nuova

Number 1-2/2015 - 10-25 January, 2015

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A thank you by Sophia

Pag 02 Bronzetto Sophia ridThis past 25th November, at the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano (FI), Alberto Ferrucci inaugurated a series of seminars on the Economy of Communion, sharing his own testimony about its creation. On that occasion, President Piero Coda wished to hand over a symbol of the university to him and to all of the EoC entrepreneurs, as a sign of thanking them for having supported Sophia by financing it ever since its foundation, through all these years.

The Città Nuova (New City) magazine containing a publisher's insert entitled "Economy of Communion - a new culture" will be sent to anyone who requests it via e-mail by writing to: info@edc–online.org.

Those who wish to contribute to the publication of the magazine or to the EoC project itself, are kindly requested to send their contribution by specifying its destination to: AIEC – Associazione Internazionale per una Economia di Comunione: Bank account:  Banca Etica Codice BIC: CCRTIT2T84A  IBAN code: IT85R0501801400000000123169

The EoC in the history of the present

Entrepreneurs and workers have offered their time, expertise and resources to create new enterprises. It is a first response to the appeals of Pope Francis for an economy that does not forget about the poor.

by Alberto Ferrucci

Pag 10 Censimento Alberto FerrucciAl Gore, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, in his book The Future describes the "balance of power", which is based on small groups of people in strategic positions in large companies, banks, universities, courts and in higher bureaucracy, none of them elected by the people, who are influencing politics and the economy. They do this by blocking every unwelcome proposal arriving from politics, using the writers of the texts of laws in legal offices, those who process the implementation of regulations and those who interpret the laws in force at court, aiming to protect the balance of power and the privileges of wealth. One of the results is the continuing scandal of the barracks around skyscrapers, the Brazilian example of which had led Chiara Lubich to launch the Economy of Communion.

When imbalances increase, as in recent years, the chickens come home to roost. Those who are in despair rebel however they know and however they can: some rely on barges to reach their expatriate relatives, others rely on political agitators or preachers' fantasies, and as a result they give rise to a series of bloody conflicts in the world, accompanied by immense suffering that Pope Francis has called a ‘piecemeal third world war’.

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Half Winged Angels

 

The International Summer Schools of 2014 From Mexico through France and to Italy

by Maja Calfová

Pag 04 SS Autore Maja ridMexico: Building the Dream

"Building the Dream" was the title of the unforgettable first Summer School of the Americas - North and South together - that took place in Mexico, in the Little Town of El Diamante, from 11 to 15 August 2014. A dream that is not a utopia, but a hope that we can accomplish together. A dream that concerns our professional life that is individual, but it is also the dream of many: a united world.

There were 50 young people from 11 countries: more than half of them had already started an entrepreneurial activity, while others were still planning. We talked about poverty, the EoC entrepreneur, gift and work, management and the difficulties of life. It was a week full of enthusiasm. The topics for discussion were coupled with experience and much dialogue: questions to which everyone responded; experiences of young people and entrepreneurs who have come mainly from Latin America; workshops; classes taught by European and American professors; visits to the EoC businesses linked to the Little Town.

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EasyKit Springs from Serbia

It is not enough to divide the existing cakes, we need to create new ones to share. A new firm started production in January 2015 with the cooperation of a Belgian enterprise.

by Trees Verhegge

Pag 06 Trees Verhegge ridKoen Vanreusel has been shareholder and manager of Batiself-Selfmatic for 20 years, an enterprise active in the EoC production pole Solidar of Rotselaar, Belgium. The company's success is closely connected to Koen's intuition of facilitating a do-it-yourself maintenance at home, thanks to an accurate customer service that is so dear to the Belgians, even in the plumbing and heating sector.

Koen along with Lieve, his wife, have been generously participating from the beginning in the sharing of profits with those in need, as proposed by Chiara Lubich, but – like many other entrepreneurs – they feel it important to ensure 'not limiting ourselves to dividing up the existing cakes, but creating new cakes to share,’ that is, creating new work opportunities, especially in the countries that are most afflicted by unemployment. Last year, in an EoC meeting in Ottmaring, where he participated together with Kris and Johan, his co-directors, Koen said he was ready to share his business model with those who wished to apply it according to the EoC values in their country.

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Ancilla Inc., Success from a Garage

The birth, development and confirmation of one of the first Economy of Communion businesses in the Philippines - despite the crisis

by Teresa Ganzon  

Teresa Ganzon1Tita Puangco, who graduated in economics in the United States, and Renato, her husband, were among the first ones to respond to the invitation of Chiara Lubich to set up companies animated by the desire to live in communion, even to the point of sharing profits with the poor. Both had always had social justice close to their heart and felt that it was time to actually do something. They had to take their three young children into account as well as their little savings available. They made some calculations and, trusting more in the “celestial” than the “earthen” type of aid they decided that Tita would leave her good position of a banking executive to orientate herself towards becoming a business consultant and a university lecturer.

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Shared Profits

Many young entrepreneurs and scholars have been financially supported by the use of corporate resources and private contributions

by Gian Maria Bidone

Report 2012 2013 Gian Maria BidoneThis year the sharing of the profits of businesses and personal donations set in motion by the Economy of Communion has exceeded one million and 300 thousand Euros, a value close to that of the previous year despite the crisis that is creating hardships for the economies of the countries that would be more in a position to put goods in common than others are.

The number of families assisted, about 2000, remained virtually unchanged while the loan granted to productive activities has been a little bit reduced due to the difficulty of developing sustainable entrepreneurial projects encountered in various countries.

To overcome this difficulty in the coming year, as an experiment some local associations of entrepreneurs and supporters of the EoC will be financially supported, with the aim of enabling the development of viable business projects through improving the skills of their leaders so that they should be able to create work for the poor, leaving them the commitment to follow the implementation and achievement of the economic balance.

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The Surprises of the Census

Through the site Edc-online.org, employers and workers can confirm their membership in the EoC and share their talents and expertise for the development of new companies

by Alberto Ferrucci

Pag 10 Censimento Alberto FerrucciThrough the site www.edc-online.org it is now possible for every entrepreneur to connect to the site that allows them to join or confirm their adherence to the EoC, by providing information on the industry and the size of their company. Through the website they can declare both the profits that they intend to make available for the poor and for training via the EoC and all other profits spent differently or having been given up based on the "culture of giving". In a further page the entrepreneurs and their workers can list the resources and skills that they are willing to share for free to encourage the creation or development of new EoC companies in the world.

Few months after the launch of the survey, 136 companies have directly entered the site to confirm their membership in the project: of these, 43 are Italian, 23 from the Iberian Peninsula, 10 from Northern and 10 from Eastern Europe; Brazil have reached 13 accessions, and there are 12 from Hispanic America, 10 from Africa, and 7 from both North America and Asia. Another 41 companies have registered as sympathizers, half of them from Italy and 12 from Congo, a country where the EoC is going through particular growth at present.

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The Impetus for the new Board of ANPECOM

Maria Helena Faller elected president of the association of Brazilian EoC entrepreneurs.

by Adriana Mendes

Pag 11 Adriana Mendes autore ridWhen a speaker questioned the role of the poor in the EoC Maria Helena Faller replied, ‘Perhaps the poor are not “known” so obviously because, being part of the EoC as protagonists, they are not placed in a separate category that identifies them as such.’ She also explained that ‘many people who received help in the past from the EoC are now entrepreneurs or employees of the companies of the EoC, or somehow engage in building a culture of reciprocity, also by participating actively in the decisions.’ She concluded with her own testimony: ‘I can safely say that I've participated in the first part of this category: I was helped by the EoC when I was young, I graduated, married and currently occupy the presidency of ANPECOM.’ Just last September 20th, the assembly of ANPECOM – the National Association for an Economy of Communion in Brazil – elected the members of its executive direction, choosing Maria Helena Faller as president.

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An Anti-Gamble Operation. Slotmob.

Italy has become the largest gambling den in Europe. The machines have invaded the bars. 150 associations have created a grassroots mobilization

by Vittorio Pelligra

Vittorio Pelligra ridThe culture of chance, the search for a vain hope in the goddess of fortune and the multibillion dollar industry have deeply changed our neighbourhoods and our cities, transforming Italy in the largest gambling den under the open skies of Europe in these past years, and the world's third largest in terms of the amount of money being burnt this way.

These “thieves of hope,” as Pope Francis has recently defined them, are moving a turnover of around 90 billion Euros per year in Italy, a sum that can easily arrive at 100 billion if we include the black part of the industry, too. To understand the scale of the phenomenon it is enough to think that the last stability manoeuvre of the government comes “only” to 36 billion Euros. In Italy there are about 600,000 slot machines - in the United States 800,000. The problem is that we (the Italian population) are 60 million while the Americans are 360 million.

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Thinking Together About Economy in a New Way

The Role of the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano (Florence)

by Benedetto Gui

Pag 14 Benedetto GuiMany long for a fair, correct, friendly economy that should be attentive to the needs of each person. Some have the necessary determination to translate this longing into concrete actions, even by themselves.

I was very impressed by a young entrepreneur who gave a powerful testimony at a recent meeting held in Tagaytay (the Philippines), saying she was surprised and happy to discover the existence of a whole network of people and businesses carrying the values that her father had taught her to live inside their company. Very often, however, you feel alone and helpless in a world that goes by another way, and so that longing for a “nice” economy remains dormant, inactive, frustrated by disappointments. Yet it is capable of awakening if there are others who share it and practice it openly.

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The Poor are Remembered in Nairobi

The spread of the EoC in Africa has spurred the idea of holding the next international congress in Kenya

by Luigino Bruni

Report 2012 2013 Luigino Bruni"Remember, Luigino, I created the EoC for the poor. You do well to study, but always remember the poor." Chiara Lubich repeated these words to me many times in the ten years in which I joined her in the international commission, to coordinate the EoC.

To redeem people from the poverty they suffer (quite different from the poverty they choose) continues to be the ultimate goal of the project, the meaning of our actions. As long as there are people on earth who cannot have a decent existence for lack of resources, no economic and social system can be defined as just, and much less as being one of communion.

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