The joy of meeting in person, the harvest of two years of online work and coming face to face with some of the EoF ambassadors; a hope also for the future, that of the encounter, all the more important even in moments when war divides. All this and much more happened, on Thursday 22nd September, the opening of The Economy of Francesco, the international event that brings to Assisi, until Saturday 24th, one thousand young economists, entrepreneurs and changemakers.
GREETINGS FROM THE ORGANIZERS
Bringing greetings to the EoF participants included the bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino and of Foligno and president of the organizing Committee, Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino: “Dear young people, welcome! I welcome you,” were his words with the greeting of St. Francis: “may the Lord give you peace! You are finally in Assisi: to reflect, to meet the Pope, to immerse yourself in the city. Assisi opens its treasures to you. It offers you many opportunities. Here you can learn the secret of a new economy from Francis. You will discover it in many events of his life. You will experience it in the Porziuncola, Rivotorto, San Damiano, the Chiesa Nuova, in the Basilica of San Francesco. Allow me also to point it out to you in the bishop’s residence where I live, which now forms part of the Sanctuary of the Renunciation or “Stripping.” Bishop Sorrentino reminded the young people that “a beautiful life is possible: a beautiful and creative life, ‘originals and not photocopies,’ as, in the footsteps of St. Francis, the young Blessed Carlo Acutis, liked to say, an authentic’ change maker of the spirit, buried in the Shrine of the Renunciation. Dear young people, tune in to the song of Francis!”.
The president of the Seraphic Institute of Assisi, Francesca Di Maolo, addressing the participants, recalled that “You have been called to give a soul to the economy. In fact, as never before in this moment, we feel the need to change the current economic and social system. A system that is not designed to protect life and creation, but only to bring about an impersonal growth. And it is in the name of this goal that ever increasing inequalities have been generated and justified. Now is the right time to affirm all together what a human being is worth, even if fragile. Now, and not tomorrow, you are called to review together what is the ultimate goal of economic action and to become aware that if health, education and work are not ensured for all human beings, and if the environment in which we live is not respected, there will be no development for anyone. The many discarded people must be able to return to participate in life, they cannot wait any longer.”
“Surprise, joy and gratitude” – the sentiments expressed by Luigino Bruni, member of the Committee and scientific director of the event. “The world goes in a completely different direction from ours, while the world is closed and frightened, young people want a world of encounter, embraces, universal, in which bridges and not walls are built. There is a great emphasis on peace, today’s young people are wonderful.” Sister Alessandra Smerilli FMA, Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, recalled how “since Pope Francis’ first summons in 2019, there have been years of hard work and collaboration. We are here to celebrate what has been done and to renew our commitment to giving a new soul to the economy. We support you in this mission and we are here to listen to ideas, solutions and proposals for a better world. My hope for these three days is to listen to how we can be at the service of your work and continue to collaborate towards a new economy that brings life, where no one is excluded and where everyone takes care of the common home.” Bringing greetings from the city and to welcome the participants, the mayor of Assisi, Stefania Proietti.
Pending the signing of the Pact with the Pope, which will take place on Saturday morning 24th September, the participants gathered in sessions, discussions and round tables, presenting ideas and projects, addressing economic issues and current challenges, such as climate change, the energy emergency. In the morning also “The only just war is the one we do not fight,” a reflection on the prevention of armed conflicts. EoF Hogar also opened at the Pala Eventi, a space for meeting and dialogue. On the afternoon of Thursday 22nd September also the plenary session with the EoF ambassadors with Vandana Shiva and Kate Raworth, on linen, Gael Giraud, Sister Helen Alford, Vilson Groh, Stefano Zamagni and Leonardo Becchetti. After, the staging of the show by the young people of the Seraphic Institute of Assisi “The dream.”
THE OPENING OF WORKS, THE TESTIMONY OF THE UKRAINE OLENA
Among the 1,000 young people from more than 100 countries there is also Olena Komisarenko, a Ukrainian student in Italy for some time and engaged part time as a mediator for the Community of Sant’Egidio with the aim of guaranteeing access to health services in Italy. “I met EoF thanks to my studies, I signed up since the first appointment two years ago, then the young people, who have become a second family for me, chose me as the coordinator of Women for Economy”. Her family is still in Ukraine and about the war Olena says: “The first important thing is not to pretend that nothing is happening and not to pretend that we are not involved. We need to give visibility to the real problems and what the people in Ukraine are living. The war continues and the lack of food aid is a problem. We must respond with solidarity. What is the common good? Helping people.” What is the way to a world of respect? “It begins when one tries to understand one’s neighbor as he understands himself. Understanding is the first step towards a culture of encounter. You have to understand the context and how they understand themselves.” Then the hope and commitment of these three days “For me this moment of reflection in Assisi is an opportunity to be with the Pope and remember the goodness of human nature.” Raphael Schutz, ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, also attended one of the collateral events of The Economy of Francesco, who attended “How Cell-Based technology can save our planet”, a presentation by Avital Beck, CEO, Cso and co-founder of Diagnosestick and Katty Bishara Dowery. The presentation focused on a revolutionary technology that can be used in the AgriTech & FoodTech sectors to address pressing problems such as climate change and population growth.
THE PROGRAM OF FRIDAY 23 AND SATURDAY 24
Friday 23rd September 2022 will be the day of the visit to the Franciscan places and villages, within the very sites of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the historic center of Assisi, such as the Protomonastery of Santa Chiara which houses the village “Women for Economy.” A choice that Sister Chiara Agnese Acquadro osc, Abbess of the Protomonastery of Santa Chiara, inserts in the uniqueness of Chiara’s experience, “in which we can grasp some nuances of the female economy, such as taking care of others, especially of the little ones and the needy. Chiara had a special love for the sick sisters; attention to the simple details of daily life, to be cared for the sake of beauty, gratuitousness and good, which are a reflection of God, and not to seek one’s own interest; promoting and safeguarding life in all its aspects, a theme that is more relevant today than ever in the face of the spread of war, but also of abortion, euthanasia and various ideologies that claim to subvert God’s plan for man and woman and the natural laws inscribed by him in creation. The hope we make to the many young economists who will participate in Economy of Francesco is that during their stay in Assisi they will be able to know in a profound way the human and spiritual experience of Francis and Clare, two young people who allowed themselves to be transformed by the encounter with Christ, and draw inspiration from them to continue sowing seeds of goodness, love, hope in this time when signs of hatred, destruction and death, of global crisis seem to prevail ”.
The villages are also at Monte Frumentario with Agriculture and Justice and Finance and Humanity. Life and life-style and Work and Care are hosted at the Papal Basilica and Sacred Convent of San Francesco, Vocation and Profit at the Shrine of the Renunciation, Management and Gift at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Policies for Happiness at the Diocesan Archives of San Rufino , Business and Peace at the Pro Civitate Christiana, Energy and Poverty at the Town Hall, Businesses in Transition at the Santa Maria degli Angeli Pastoral Center and CO2 of Inequality at the Seraphic Institute. Friday 23rd – the day of The Economy of Francesco 2022 opens at 9 am with a face to face with Francis – Paths in the footsteps of St. Francis, a format that includes visits to places relating to the life of the Saint. Following at 11am the young participants will meet in the various villages. At 6 pm, conferences open to all are scheduled, with young economists and entrepreneurs in dialogue with international speakers on the main themes of the event. At the Pro Civitate Christiana the economist Gael Giraud will speak on “The Economy of Francesco: a new economy built by young people”, at the Sacred Convent Francesco Sylos Labini on “Meritocracy, evaluation, excellence: the case of universitiesand research “, at Monte Frumentario Vandana Shiva will talk about” Economics of Care, Economics of Gift. Reflections on St. Francis: ‘It is only by giving that we receive’ “, in the Sala della Conciliazione Vilson Groh will address the theme” Paths for a new educational and economic pact: building bridges between the center and the periphery “. And at the Seraphic Institute Sister Helen Alford will deal with the theme “Universal Fraternity: an idea that could change the world”, in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli the economist Stefano Zamagni will speak on the theme “The dangers, already evident, of managerialization of society. What is the contrast strategy? “. In the evening at 9 pm guided visits to the Basilica of San Francesco and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
The three-day of The Economy of Francesco 2022 ends on Saturday 24th September with the meeting of the participants with the Pope at the Lyrick theater where the Pact with young people will be signed. The meeting will be live on Rai Uno, streamed on EoF’s YouTube channel and on VaticanNews in seven languages, and also sign language. Streaming on the same platforms also on the day of 22th.
METHOD OF WITHDRAWAL PASS, USE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT, USEFUL INFO FOR JOURNALISTS
PASS PICK UP, USE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT, USEFUL INFO FOR JOURNALISTS
It will be possible to collect the accreditation passes in Assisi, starting from 21 September 2022, at the Lyrick Theater, via Gabriele D’Annunzio, Santa Maria degli Angeli, from 11.30 am to 5 pm; on 22 and 23 September from 9 am to 12 noon. On the 24th of September from 8.00 to 8.50, after which access to the area will no longer be possible. The press center will have the following opening hours: 21-23 September 2022, from 10 am to 7 pm; 24 September 2022 from 8 am to 7 pm. All material produced (texts, photos and videos) will be available on the link: https://bit.ly/3qQGQPQ. In the press center, the use of a face mask is recommended.
On 24 September, access to the area reserved for journalists in the square in front of the Lyrick theater will be by walking through via Antonio Fogazzaro (entrance to the municipal swimming pool). Saba parking is recommended (free of charge) near the train station (via Giosuè Borsi). To travel between Assisi and Santa Maria degli Angeli, it will be possible to use the shuttles made available by Busitalia for the three days of the event by simply showing the “Press” pass.
REFERENCES AND CONTACTS
Responsible for the information structure: Marina Rosati (+39 339 637 8067, email: [email protected]), Italian
Media contact: Flavia Pagliochini (+39 339 1709738, [email protected]–[email protected]) Italian
Antonella Porzi (+39 3392067935), [email protected]) Italian
Marta Isabel González Álvarez (+34 646783686, [email protected]) Italian/Spanish/English
Assisi, 22 settembre 2022