EoF October 2. INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGES

by ANGELA NAPOLETANO (Avvenire)

PARTHA DASGUPTA, INDIAN ECONOMIST – Ā«This project instills hope. It is still possible to change courseĀ»

Ā«In the last decades, humanity has depleted the ecosystem of its natural resources beyond permissible limits, putting at risk the availability of goods and services necessary for its very survival. The situation is largely the fault of the institutions, whose commitment to change the course has been mainly in words, without translating them into concrete actions. Both present and future generations will suffer heavily from the consequences of this failure. The challenge that awaits humanity in the years to come is overwhelming. However, the vision that has emerged on these issues within the Economy of Francesco project instills hope, telling us that a change that is capable of transforming the current reality is still possible.

In a more general sense, the initiative that brings together young economists and entrepreneurs opens up a new way of understanding the study of economics. The solutions they propose have the potential to trigger reactions on a global scale.Ā»

SABINA ALKIRE, AN EXPERT ON POVERTY – Ā«A revolution needed to help humanity prosperĀ»

Ā«For some time now, the study of economics has tended to be extremely sectoral, specialized, but often ends up losing sight of the ultimate sense of its function and its technical-mathematical applications: to help humanity prosper, not only from a material point of view. The Economy of Francis project puts young people back into the original vast horizon of economics. From this perspective, we can understand why it is essential to maximize not only growth in numerical terms, but also well-being, freedom and the opportunities that give people the possibility to assert themselves as individuals and communities.

This is the reason that must lead traditional economic analysis to take into account new indicators: those related to fields, such as mental health, relationships or spirituality, which the Covid-19 pandemic has helped to reveal as essential to society. Now is the time to act: the economy, today, can and must be revolutionized.Ā»

VANDANA SHIVA, AN ACTIVIST AND ENVIRONMENTALIST – Ā«Protecting the ‘living economy’ is the only way to guarantee a futureĀ»

Ā«ā€It is only by giving that one receives”. The Franciscan message, which Pope Bergoglio has often cited in his beautiful speeches, expresses the deepest sense of the economy: the cycle that links the production of goods necessary for nourishment and the building of society. Without work spent in cultivating the land, there would be no fruit to harvest; without dedication to others, there would be no family nor community. These are principles that the experience of lockdowns during the pandemic helped to highlight. Human beings are not objects to possess or goods to exploit. Moreover, this is the basis for the democracy that many, in some parts of the world, are striving to build or protect.

The system of the so-called ‘living economy’, based on the pillars of sustainability, cooperation and equity, is the only one in which humanity has still a chance of survival, and the only one in which we can continue to speak with the certainty of being heard.Ā»