EoC, Back to the Future

One-thousand seven hundred people gathered in Sao Paolo for the concluding convention of the Assembly. The youth launched a plan for the future, taking stock and making prospects. Bruni: "Now we need to jump into the future."

EoC, Back to the Future

By Paolo Loriga, correspondent

Published on cittanuova.it on 31/05/2011

Economy towards the future. Seventeen young people from various parts of the planet read the message they wrote in their own languages - "From Sao Paulo to the world" - an out-and-out work plan, "that the economy of 2031 be one of communion, for us and for all." It was a polite but revolutionary program for a different international economic system. It's the sign of that in which they believe, in which they dare to hope, but it's also the result of a journey begun. 

The 1700 participants at the convention “Prophecy makes history. Twenty years of the Economy of Communion” welcomed this message, listening in profound silence to the convictions and requests of these young people, restless in the face of capitalistic logic. "We youth here at Sao Paulo, present in May of 2011, with our roots in May of 1991, and more than ever responsible for how the economy and
the world will be in 2031, believe that the EoC came about on Earth, here in Brazil twenty years ago, to nourish and make our hope possible."

Their proclaimed ideals are the final seal on the expert reflections and testimonies of entrepreneurs that characterized the convention, which was the concluding act of the 650-person assembly representing 37 countries, which had taken place during the four preceding days. 

More than ever, the choice of holding this great appointment in Brazil proved to be the right one. The assembly was framed within the context of Mariapolis Ginetta, 50 kilometers south of Sao Paulo, right where Chiara Lubich first communicated the intuition that had matured in her after painfully observing the ring of favelas that surrounded the skyscrapers of that Pauline metropolis. Not less significant was the choice to hold the May 29 convention in the Simon Bolivar Latin American Memorial auditorium - a center, designed by the great architect Niemeyer, which aims to use art to favor tighter links between the peoples of the continent.

"We need to acknowledge that the EoC must still affirm itself," said Maria Voce, President of the Focolare, in her greeting sent for the occasion. The EoC has "the potential to transform economic life from within, not only that of businesses, but also of families, financial institutions, and economic policies." She reminded everyone of the need to remember a fundamental condition: "The EoC will find new impetus if its horizon continues to be a united world, and so it will be capable of moving hearts, actions and enthusiasm of those who need great ideals for which to spend their lives."  She therefore does not doubt that "a new season of creativity and protagonism of all of you will come about, and we will respond to a great appointment with history."

In support of these words, entrepreneur Alberto Ferrucci retraced the fruitful work of the assembly. Rubens Ricupero, rector of the University of Faapi of Sao Paulo, laid out economic challenges and hopes. Brazilian sociologist Vera Araujo highlighted the basics of the culture of giving. And economist Stefano Zamagni spoke of the EoC as a economic "resurgence" in a global society.

"We've come to Brazil to again better understand the inspiration of Chiara," clarified Luigino Bruni, coordinator of the International Commission of the EoC. Laying out future prospects, he said that "Today, we need to jump to the future. Each one of us and everyone together needs to take that leap if we want to set off with hope towards 2031", because "the EoC treats poverty by transforming people, but now it is also necessary to change economic institutions."

Overturning the dominant structure that views capital at the center, Bruni emphasized that "the first and most important factor in business and in economics is persons. It’s their creativity, their passion that makes all the difference." Finally, "the EoC was born and is born each day from a charism. That’s also why there is such a deep link between the EoC and young people. Charisms and young people share hope, faith in the future, and great projects and ideals." The new generations in the EoC are a precious fruit of these twenty years, but they are also the guarantee of a journey that will continue at a cracking pace towards the future.

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