In the new millennium, the arrival of the internet on the scene, like a meteorite, has changed the “climate” and, suddenly, companies that resemble plants have sprung up, as the metaphor of the network and the spider’s web reminds us. Therefore, in order to move effectively in this new habitat, the enterprise must upset the hierarchical-functional model.
By activating all the cells of the “entrepreneurial body”, just like the plants that breathe, remember, listen, speak with the totality of their being. If the vital center resides in one organ, it is enough to hit this one to kill the whole organism. Decentralizing, distributing functions throughout the social structure is the key to the plant’s resistance and resilience. Our cooperatives had realized this: their strength lies in having developed a distribution of functions in the whole body, giving up rigid hierarchical control. The protagonists capable of successfully living in the “spider’s web time” will therefore be organizations that are increasingly diffused and horizontal, not only in management but also with regard to property rights and distribution of wealth. Until we start thinking about new forms of diffused ownership, we will imitate plants while remaining predators.
The great enthusiasm triggered by “The Economy of Francesco” also contributes to this change. This year’s event can be described, among other things, precisely with a metaphor for plants: harvest time. What does it mean?
Prompted by Pope Francis, an unprecedented process was set in motion, among other things, during the two most difficult years since the postwar period due to the pandemic. And, something unique at this time, a global economic movement truly made by young people has been created. If last year was the time of sowing, now we can reap the fruits of the many concrete experiences that have emerged: enterprises, research areas, theses. October 2 will be “Francesco’ Expo”: an exposition of how the new economy is already underway despite the prevailing pessimism.
What can “The Economy of Francesco” contribute and is contributing towards a new economy?
The perspective of the Franciscan principle par excellence: fraternity. A sharing not only of money but also of energies, talents and projects.
What is your hope for this edition of “The Economy of Francesco” as you await the big meeting with the Pope in 2022?
I hope it will be a celebration. A celebration of young people who are the real protagonists of the movement. The Pope often says that what matters is not to occupy spaces but to start processes. No one like young people can do this because their great asset is time: the present and the future. But in order to grow, the processes should not have masters. This is why “The Economy of Francesco” does not have a rigid “line” or a pre-established model: it gathers and includes as many experiences as possible. Its only reference figures are two Francesco: the poor man from Assisi and the Pope, who came from the far end of the world.