The Economy of Francesco is an international meeting between young scholars and activists in the field of Economics, convened by Pope Francis.

The title of the event clearly refers to the saint of Assisi, an example par excellence of care for the least of the earth and for an integral ecology, but it also refers to Pope Francis.  Ever since he wrote Evangelii Gaudium and then Laudato Si’, he has denounced the pathological state of so much of the world ‘s economy extending an invitation to put in place a new economic model.

The Holy Father met with the Bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino and the economist Luigino Bruni, Professor of Political Economy at Lumsa because of his genuine concern for the world. The idea of addressing the challenges of the economy, starting from the thought and economic action of young people, was supported enthusiastically by the Holy Father. This resulted in a call addressed to young economists and entrepreneurs of the world.

The organization of the event The Economy of Francesco. Young people, a pact, the future – Assisi 2020 immediately required the setting up of a Committee to get to work organising all that is necessary for the preparation of such an important initiative. The Diocese of Assisi, the Seraphic Institute, the Municipality of Assisi and the Economy of Communion are all members of the committee, in regular contact with Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican Department for the Service of Integral Human Development, who is the patron of the initiative.

The President of the Committee is the Bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino.

I live in the place where eight centuries ago a young Francis […] stripped off to the point of complete nakedness […]. A spectacular gesture, but above all a prophetic one that recalls all those who have been “stripped” throughout history, invoking for them an ethic of solidarity capable of closeness, care and sharing. With his prophetic gesture, the “poor man” of Assisi did not make an anti-economic act, but rather through his action laid the foundation of an alternative economy.

The diocese, moreover, is home to all those involved in the preparation of the event which the Holy Father wants, starting with the Franciscan families, heirs of the ideal of Francis.

The International coordinator of the Economy of Communion project, Luigino Bruni is the Scientific Director of the event. The Economy of Communion involves entrepreneurs, workers, scholars and economic activists, committed at various levels to promoting an economic practice and culture based on communion, gratuitousness and reciprocity, offering and living an alternative lifestyle to the dominant one in the capitalist system.

Pope Francis’ invitation to young economists and entrepreneurs marks a historical milestone, because two great themes and passions of the Pope are united in this event: his priority for young people and his concern for a different economy. We invited some economists and entrepreneurs, those most attuned to the spirit of Francis’ Oikonomia, in order to give young people, the best of today’s economic reflections and practices in the world. Above all however, the approach of young people on environmental and economic issues is much more advanced than that of adults and it must be taken very seriously. There is a great need for The Economy of Francesco, and only young people can achieve it.

Moreover, the civic world   is represented by the Municipality of Assisi. In the words of the mayor Stefania Proietti,

Assisi will be ready for this event of extraordinary importance […] that will lay down new pathways, paving the way to the future. Assisi can become a city-laboratory, an open-track, a beacon for a new humanism, for new solutions for the care of creation, for new pathways of peace, for new schemes of sustainable and integral human development.

Also, on the Committee, the charismatic soul of “excellence” in charity, is the Seraphic Institute, a non-profit Ecclesiastical Body that promotes and carries out rehabilitation, psycho-education and social and health care activities for children and young adults with physical, learning and sensory disabilities.

We will follow the road that will lead us to March 2020 having in our eyes and hearts the faces of children and young people that we meet every day. We will be present in the organization of this initiative to constantly remind those who take part that a fairer and more inclusive society can only be built by starting from the most fragile.

Dr. Francesca Di Maolo, President of the Seraphic Institute.

An international group of young economists, entrepreneurs, artists and communication experts is working on the outline of the programme. Finally, the organization of the event will make use of preparatory meetings for the international event of March 2020, to welcome requests and collaboration from the academic world, movements, associations and international institutions that feel the desire to contribute to the preparation of the event The Economy of Francesco.

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