The Economy of Francesco

young people, a pact, the future

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young people, a pact, the future

international events

September 22-24 2022, - Assisi

September 22-24 2022, Assisi

"The Economy of Francesco"

young people, a pact, the future

Breaking news:

published today the letter with which Pope Francis summons young economists and entrepreneurs to Assisi to propose a pact for a new economy. Economy of Communion participates in the organizing committee of the event together with the Diocese and the Municipality of Assisi and the Seraphic Institute.

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Towards Assisi "An exciting opportunity for many young people.”

EoF: Stories - Janet Molina Maturano is a young researcher who is involved in sustainable and inclusive innovation for disadvantaged rural communities.

by Maria Gaglione

published in Avvenire on 27/12/2019

Janet Molina Maturano uses a powerful metaphor to say what she expects the Economy of Francesco to be: an exciting opportunity for many young people to recharge their batteries by inspiring each other. Janet is a young researcher who focuses her work on sustainable and inclusive innovation for disadvantaged rural communities. A graduate in Engineering and Environmental Technologies, she worked for a multinational company in Project Management and Sustainability for three years. Today she is working on a PhD in Economics and Natural Resources Management at Ghent University, Belgium.

"I think most global problems are rooted in our economy that’s ‘full of holes’”. Yet trying to build another economy sometimes seems like just a small effort against an unbeatable giant. I therefore decided to also commit my scholarly activity to the construction of a new economy, and when I heard about the Assisi meeting I decided that I would participate in the event so as to give concreteness to this hope". Janet believes in change and has no intention of delegating it to others: "I want to be a protagonist of change in the field in which I work: academia and scientific research. I am doing a PhD in Agricultural Economics on inclusive economics projects, also in collaboration with Oxfam and the European Union".

Janet Molina MaturanoEoF cropJanet's research fits into the context of studies on innovative constraint-based models in the agricultural sector. "Constraint-based innovations, starting from the so-called ‘frugal approaches’,” explains Janet, “have attracted growing interest in many disciplines and sectors thanks to their potential to promote sustainable development, while meeting the needs of the largest and poorest socio-economic segment of the world's population (about 4 billion people). Over the last two decades, there has been an enormous growth in innovation processes designed under scarce conditions, with a particular focus on emerging markets and low-income groups in developing countries".

In the field of scientific research, it becomes fundamental to study the relationship between sustainable/inclusive development and new technologies, analysing their use by the different categories of economic actors directly involved in innovation processes not only as consumers but also and above all as producers and workers. Janet's study analysed about 30 cases of constraint-based innovation (distinguishing successes and failures) related to the agricultural sector: the use of agricultural machinery, irrigation systems, alternative agricultural systems, mobile phone applications and biomass systems.

"Our analysis underlined that the creation of innovation networks and the use of technologies that are appropriate for the rural context are key elements in determining the success of an innovation". Moreover, the use of models capable of measuring the acceptance of a new technology according to its perceived utility/ease of use provides an important starting tool for professionals and innovators who research and develop sustainable innovations in agriculture in disadvantaged contexts. "I believe that my experience in the field of new environmental technologies and the recently acquired know-how on sustainable inclusive innovations for the poorest can be useful elements to put in dialogue during The Economy of Francesco,” Janet concludes. As I am dealing with agricultural economics, it seems increasingly clear to me that the solution to the structural problems of the economy must maintain a cross-disciplinary approach starting from the close link between economics and ecology. The option for the poorest must be transformed into the promotion of new economic models where everyone is an active protagonist of innovation".

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