72Istituto Universitario Sophia

Masters and PhD. In Principles and Prospective of a Culture of Unity

(concentration in economics)

Sophia promotes itself as a laboratory of formation and research in which the home_sophia1.jpgprofound links between life and thought, study and experience, are reconnected.  It´s an university institute that looks towards the future, attentive to the petitions of our time so that the man of today and tomorrow – as Chiara Lubich loved to say – becomes always more a “man of the world”.

Sophia offers a formation open to everyone, as well as its incarnated fields of study which can become a competitive edge in the field of economics and in particularly in business.

Sophia is an instrument of formation of those “new people” soaked with and trained in the “culture of giving” and reciprocity, without which it is not possible to actualize an Economy of Communion.  That is why a substantial part of the EOC profits go to financially sustain Sophia.

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Relational Goods and Development: an Ongoing Research

Licia Paglione, a researcher at the Sophia University Institute, thanks to also an EoC scholarship, is doing a research on the relational effects of helping the poor. We made an interview with her.

Licia Paglione 03The commitment towards the in-depth examination of the phenomenon of the Economy of Communion is very strong among the researchers of the Sophia University Institute, the scientific partner of the EoC. One of them, Licia Paglione, has been studying it by focusing her attention on the 'last link of the chain', which is in fact the first one in the hearts of those who believe in the EoC: the helping of the poor. We asked her to tell us about her research in more detail..

How did you develop interest in this aspect of the EoC?

First of all it comes from the fact that, knowing the EoC and those who make it possible, I always saw poverty as a primary "reason" for which this phenomenon was born, and is centred around.

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Loppiano:  German Experts in Social Ethics Visit Sophia

Visiting Sophia University Institute and at the Industrial Park Lionello



From June 26-28, 2012, Professor Peter Schallenberg and Dr. Arnd Kuppers (from the Catholic Centre for Social Sciences of the German Episcopal Conference at Monchengladbach-KSZ) and Dr. Peter klasvogt (of the Kommende Social Institute of the Archbishop’s Center of Paderborn at Dortmund), friends of the EoC, together with Winfried Baetz-Braunias and Hermann-Joseph Benning (from the German EoC Commission) were guests of the professors of the Sophia University Institute in Loppiano, the city of the Focolare Movement  near Florence, Italy, “the City of Fraternity.”

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Scholarship competition for a research project

The International Association for the Economy of Communion (AIEC) has made a scholarship available for a research project, which will last a year


On the instructions of the International Commission for the Economy of Communion (EoC),  the International Association for the Economy of Communion (AIEC), is making a scholarship available for a research project, lasting one year (but renewable the second year), whose objective is to assess the impact of the aid projects for the poor, realized thanks to the shared profits of the EoC businesses.

The competition is aimed at young people who are attracted by the goals of the EoC project and, at the same time, who also have acquired, through their studies, competences in empirical research empirical and in quantitative analysis, as well as a proficient knowledge of English. It would be preferable (but not indispensable) to have a Doctorate in research or, alternatively, a specialized degree in social sciences with a quantitative approach.

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Quando filosofia, economia e politica si incontrano

On June 6, 2011, American philosopher Martha Nussbaum held a conference on “Public Emotions” at Sophia University Institute in Loppiano (Italy): "a critical and emotional approach, for a society that is open to the common good.”

When philosophy, economics and politics meet

di Chiara Andreola
published on Cittànuova.it  08/06/2011


Perhaps, few know her by name, but in 1986 she was the first to introduce the concept of “relational goods” – which has since become a stable component of economy. She also greatly influenced the United Nations in the development of the human development index. This was thanks to the capability approach (an approach that respects ability) which she drew up in cooperation with Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen.

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Italy - Incisa Valdarno (FI), 18/10/2010

Live internet streaming starting at 10:00 AM

Sophia: Inauguration of the 2010-2010 Academic Year

The inauguration will include the presentation of the "For Sophia" Foundation

Monday, October 18, 2010, at 10:00 - 13.00
Auditorium of Loppiano
Incisa in Val d'Arno (Florence, Italy)

Presenters: Mgr. Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, and Maria Voce, President of the Focolare

How to follow the live inauguration on the Internet, starting at 10:00 AM:

Connect to the "Sophia" website through the following link: http://www.iu-sophia.org/default.asp?s=232 and click on the box in the upper right corner "Diretta Internet" (Live Broadcast)

The program will begin with greetings from the Grand Chancellor, S.E. Mgr. Giuseppe Betori, from the Vice Grand Chancellor, Dr. Maria Voce and from a representative of the study body. Then, the university´s provost, Prof. Mgr. Piero Coda, will give a presentation on the life and program of Sophia University Institute (IUS), and Prof. Paolo Siniscalco will lecture on "From creation to history. The challenge of the happening of Jesus Christ, yesterday and today."

In this official framework, the "For Sophia" Foundation will also be presented and inaugurated, as it has recently been recognized and approved by the appropriate institutions.

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Why I chose Sophia

Experience of Carlos López Lizárraga, an EoC entrepreneur

Why I chose Sophia


I am Carlos López Lizárraga, an entrepreneur, and I come from Northern Mexico. I have a degree in electronic systems engineering, and I worked four years in the field of direction and business administration. While studying in my country, I had the chance to spend a year in Japan. It was an experience that made me understand the importance of cultural diversity. My respect of the other as a person grew, and I rediscovered the value of nature. 

After this experience, three years ago, I started my first business. I felt that it had to be a model for others, to the poin that its way of operating could show respect towards the other and his diversity. But, under the laws of the market, my businesses was transformed into one in which profits were more important than service to the society. Profits had become the supreme good, at the expense of the workers..

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A thank-you from Sophia to the EoC

Every year, a good part of the profits allocated to "formation of new men and women" goes towards Sophia University Institute (around €200,000)

A thank-you from Sophia to the EoC

The thank-you letter written by the Dean of Sophia University Institute (IUS), Piero Coda, is dated June 15, 2010. Through the international commission, it is addressed to all the actors of the EoC project.

Piero Coda writes: "While the second year of our academic life at Sophia University Institute is now concluding, a sincere gratitude has made me want to write a big thank you to the members of the international commission and all of the EoC for the decisive contribution made to the birth and beginning of our journey. I send this in the name of the entire academic community: professors, staff and students.

The enormous sum that you have given to us, starting from 2007 (the year the institute was erected), €600,000, has built the foundation of revenue that, together with the initial financing of the Focolare Movement and a consistent contribution by private donors, has made it possible to face the costs of decorating the spaces and the essential instruments for carrying ahead academic life here as a whole (classrooms, library, offices, student residences, etc.).

Besides, the great majority of our students, coming from Latin America, Africa and Asia, are not able to count on adequate financial coverage for their studies, more than that of food and lodging. A part of your contribution was, therefore, given to the supply of the necessary scholarships to these students.

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An historical day at Sophia

Caelison Lima de Andrade: the first student of Sophia University Institute to reach the finish line with a Degree, with a thesis on the EoC

An historical day at Sophia

By Daniel Fassa

There is celebration at Sophia University Institute. On June 28, 2010, the Brazilian Caelison Lima de Andrade was the first graduate in the history of the institution. Not only that. He reached this success overcoming the challenge of being blind. In front of the great hall filled with classmates and members of the academic community and staff, Caelison presented the results of his research on the theme "The Relationship between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation in Contemporary Economic Theory: the contributions of the theory and praxis of the Economy of Communion in Freedom project". Professors Luigino Bruni and Vittorio Pelligra were respectively thesis chair and co-chair.

Piero Coda, Dean of the University, was present at the graduation, and he wanted to renew the pact of reciprocal love with everyone present - an essential part of the formative project of life and study at Sophia. He added, "The emotions today are not only those of the candidate but of everyone in the academic community. It is a simple moment in its solemnity and a solemn moment in its simplicity". Luigino Bruni, thesis chair, thanked Caelison for the "serious, rigorous work done with much commitment and in a heroic timeframe". Benedetto Gui and Vittorio Pelligra, not being able to be present, sent a beautiful letter presenting Caelison.

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Italy - Incisa Valdarno (FI), 06/06/2011

"The professorships of Sophia" presents American philosopher Martha Nussbaum

Public Emotions and the Decent Society


June 6, 2011 Monday 6:00 pm
Auditorium of Loppiano
50064 Incisa in Val d'Arno (Florence)

Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service, Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago

Greetings, Mons. Piero Coda – President of the Sophia University Institute
Introduction and moderator, Luigino Bruni – Professor and Lecturer of Political Economics, IUS
Professor Nussbaum will hold the conference in English. There will be a simultaneous translation in Italian.

see invite 

for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - www.iu-sophia.org

Italy - Incisa Valdarno (Florence), 24/09/2009

The University Institute Sophia is organizing:

A study day about Benedict XVI´s “Caritas in veritate”

SophiaThursday, September 24, 2009, at 15.00
Lecture Hall of the University Institute Sophia
Incisa in Val d'Arno (Florence)

Benedict XVI´s “Caritas in veritate as other major social enyclicals, enters into the heart of the main topics of today, proposing strong interpretations and new paths. It marks both a continuity with the social teaching of the Church and an important innovation, on which the scientific community must also question itself. The Pope directs a deep crtique of the current economic system by making an invitation to go beyond one of the biggest contradictions of our society: that between the logic of gift and gratuitousness, and the logic of profit and political conflict. The need for recomposition is the message of “Caritas in veritate” and it represents an extraordinary point of prophetic strength. Today, gratuitousness is absent from public, from markets, from politics, from businesses. But it is, together with fraternity, one of the economy´s and society´s scarse resources. Not only does our getting out of the actual crisis depend on this, but so does the quality of all that is human.


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Video of the conferenze with Stefano Zamagni

To get beyond the economic crisis:

The Economy of Communion celebrates 18 years

Conference given by Stefano Zamagni

Friday May 29, in the auditorium of Loppiano - Incisa Val d´Arno - for the occasion the 18th anniversary of the birth of the Economy of Communion, Prof. Stefano Zamagni gave his second Professorship at Sophia University on the theme: To get beyond the economic crisis: The Economy of Communion celebrates 18 years.

We report the main portion of the conference here (available only in Italian), with a presentation by Piero Coda and Luigino Bruni. To see the video, it is necessary to install the free Microsoft Silverlight software by clicking on the banner below.

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