Bolivia 2010: the future of the EoC will come from here

The 2010 International Meeting began in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in the Eastern-tropical region of Bolivia

Bolivia 2010: the future of the EoC will come from here

By Antonella Ferrucci

It is three-o'clock in the afternoon of July 16 when the 2010 international meeting of the EoC in Bolivia begins in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It will take place until Monday, July 19, more than 70 participants, entrepreneurs and scholars, mostly from Bolivia, with representatives from Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Spain and Italy.

The gathering begins with an open day meeting for all who are interested, about 100 people. The goal of this first afternoon was to introduce the experience of some entrepreneurs and scholars that adhere to the EoC project to the people of this city, who are considered the economic motor of the country. After the introduction given with the video "Economy and Communion Meet", various entrepreneurs shared their experience as EoC entrepreneurs. Maria Elena from Paraguay, Germán Jorge from Argentina, and Remberto Quina from Bolivia gave different angles on how, in EoC businesses, the human person should truly be at the center and be held in great value.

During the second part of the afternoon, various EoC experts made presentations. Luigino Bruni from Italy, Javier Espinosa from Spain, Ramon Cervino and German Jorge from Argentina all answered questions of those present. Among the topics addressed were the contribution of the Economy of Communion to the economic world, the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, and the way in which fraternity can be lived in businesses. The answers given touched those who were present, both for their concreteness and for their academic depth.

Today, July 17, the actual EoC Congress will begin with around 70 entrepreneurs. The heart of the meeting will be the exchange of experiences among entrepreneurs and the working groups on "governance of communion", "EoC entrepreneurs", and "EoC scholars".

We've asked Luigino Bruni, who was present at the meeting, his impression of what is being lived at Casa Kolping, the meeting's venue. "It is very beautiful to see South America so alive here," he said. "There is an atmosphere of re-foundation in this South American context, where there's a search for an idea that is different than the market economy. This makes the EoC very current, as it values the market but goes beyond capitalism. The local communities, the environment and territories are central themes here in Bolivia (just think of the indigenous communities that make up more than half of the population). The answer cannot be state socialism, as Morales would like it to be today, but neither can it imitate the Western model that Bolivians see as contrary to the local culture, the community, and to relational goods. Today, here, we talk about "well living" which is opposite of growth, and the themes we address are very interesting to these peoples. I think I can say that the future of the EoC will come from the South and the East, not in Europe, at least as long as we are not truly capable of a true spiritual and cultural rebirth."

Luigino, what can you tell us about the Bolivian EoC businesses? "The life of the businesses here is beautiful. There are many business experiences, some are even big. Todo Brillo comes to mind, which has 430 employees and a dozen branches. There are also the 5 businesses that have begun from the profits of the entrepreneur Paco Toro."

The meeting continues.  We'll keep you updated from this page!

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