The economy of the land and the economy of the journey

Towards the new “EoF Foundation” to help interpret the dreams of young people

A unique opportunity for all of us to gain an exclusive insight into the findings and reflections gathered from our diverse global community.

On February 13, an online meeting with over 100 participants took place to witness the collective impact of our shared endeavors. The meeting aimed to share the results of the process of listening and dialogue – conducted in 2023 – in which each of the young people and members of EoF were protagonists (in the picture, some participants of the Italian EoF youth focus group). Therefore, the first words of the EoF staff were words of gratitude. Valentina said: «On behalf of the staff and the EoF Organizing Committee, I would like to begin by thanking each of you: young people and EoF members for your active participation in this process. This was led by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development together with Handshake and in collaboration with the EoF Committee.

Thanks to each of you for your participation and articulation so that today we can share these results!»

Valentina also recalled the encouraging presence of Pope Francis. On the basis of the continuous updates of the Organizing Committee during all these years, in light of the wonderful Assisi meeting in September 2022 and finally the feedback of these results, have invited serious reflection and prompted a new figure to give continuity to the prophecy and concreteness of EoF. He, in his letter addressed to Bishop Sorrentino, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, and to the Committee Members, Luigino Bruni and Francesca Di Maolo, entrusting them with the task of continuing to guard The Economy of Francesco, write: “Therefore, to respond to their desire to be protagonists of beneficial change, I now ask you for an additional effort. Young people need a dynamic and agile coordination structure […]”. This new figure, the structure, could be at the service of the entire EOF community.

How do we do this? Together! Surveys results and some initial ideas on the process that will lead to the new structure were shared during the meeting.

Community Engagement and Feedback Analysis

Sister Alessandra Smerilli (in the picture, during the 2023 ‘on-air’ EoF event) – EoF Scientific Committee member, who has always been involved in the history of EoF, now Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development – expressed gratitude towards the whole EoF Community for the active participation in the several EoF initiatives around the world and in particular in the survey conducted in 2023 by the same Dicastery, in collaboration with the EoF Organizing Committee. Sr. Alessandra highlighted the importance of dynamic and agile coordination for young people.

The final feedback from the process was met with varied responses, indicating the EoF youth’s seriousness about being part of a change.

The Dicastery’s role in accompanying the movement was discussed, with assurance of continued support.

JR Kerr, CEO of Handshake, praised his team’s efforts, particularly Kathleen Ralston’s, in engaging with the community and emphasized the significance of community voices in shaping the world. He discussed his company’s experience in conducting landscape analysis, stakeholder interviews, and surveys globally, emphasizing their high engagement rates and valuable feedback.

The recent survey, which received a 20% response rate, was aimed at understanding the community’s needs moving forward. The data analysis highlighted several themes, including values, the importance of speaking from and with the margins, and the need for transparency, inclusivity, and humility in leadership. The discussion concluded with a focus on selecting leaders and their communication methods, the need for resources and technology to support initiatives, establishing a global reputation, and the importance of tangible leadership opportunities and clear communication within the community. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION.

Looking ahead to the future

Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi, addressed the group. He expressed his appreciation for the work done and emphasized the importance of spreading the grace of Francis’ life. He also encouraged feedback and discussed the formation of a new foundation, emphasizing the importance of a flexible yet solid foundation, centralized board, and a fundraising body. He proposed that young people should be included in the board. Finally, Luigino Bruni explained that the foundation will be at the service of the community and will be an agile structure with a robust organization for young people all over the world.

Together, let’s continue building an Economy of Francesco that echoes the voices and aspirations of our global community.