Prague: the EdC 2015 Summer School has started

65 young people from 16 different countries; with participants from Russia and South Korea for the first time

by Stefania Nardelli and Giulia Pongiglione

150824 Praga EoC SS 06 rid sxWe are in Prague, for the fourth Summer School of the Economy of Communion: we are students, workers and entrepreneurs, representing a wide range of interests and competences. There are six of us here who have participated in the previous schools in  Lisbon, Madrid and Paris and - to break the ice - these people shared their impressions and some advice to help participants make the most of this week together.

The programme will see an alternation between lectures by professors, opportunities for dialogue (both in groups and in plenary), and various workshops that will range from doing business, art, research and social innovation, the latter being one of the novelties of this edition.

For many participants, this school is the first experience they have with the Economy of Communion (EoC) and so it was absolutely necessary to spend the morning by discovering the origins and developments of 150824 Praga EoC SS 03the EoC with the help of a particularly important introductory video. Later, with the help of Anouk Grevin, professor at the University of Nantes and Sophia, we got immersed into the EoC practices and guidelines to delineate and understand the characteristics differentiating the actions of an EoC entrepreneur from a market entrepreneur.

31 year-old Russian entrepreneur Anton Lundin shared his decision to leave a secure job in a company where he was in charge of sales and marketing to pursue his passion to which he had dedicated his studies: beekeeping. Even though he did not yet know about the EoC, six months ago he launched his own business, choosing to respect the local law, the environment and nature, in cooperation with the best partners and customers and helping people in need. 150824 Praga EoC SS 07 rid

Next was Vittorio Pelligra, professor at the University of Cagliari and Sophia: he told about his experience of research and enterprise as well as the ability of consumers to vote with their wallet to reward virtuous market choices. An example of this type of social innovation is the Slotmob campaign pursued in Italy in recent years.

The afternoon began with the launch of the Company Cube, a thematic throwing dice designed by US entrepreneur John Mundell, the sides of which show simple values to be lived daily in a business, thereby creating a device to help remember 150824 Praga EoC SS 04 ridto always put the person first. The challenge that we face today is that of "Valuing every person, every idea" and tomorrow morning we will share the fruits of this experience in the small group sessions.
 
Finally Benedetto Gui, lecturer at Sophia, introduced the criticisms of standard economic theories that study the market choices of an economic agent defined as selfish, materialistic and individualistic, one that has no consideration for the relational environment in which it actually lives. For many years, human relationships have been ousted from the economic models making them unsuitable to explain real human behaviour in the market. Relationships, however, can be reintroduced if we consider them as "relational goods".

The adventure continues in the upcoming days - we will keep you posted. In the meantime...why don't you check out the first photos that you can already find in our photogallery!

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