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Mediterranean Economy: a vocation to communion

La prima Scuola Estiva Mediterranea dell'Economia di Comunione e Civile "Emmaus" si è svolta nel cuore della Sila, dal 27 al 30 agosto scorsi

Mediterranean Economy: a vocation to communion

Edited byi Angela D.

esterna_ridThe first Mediterranean summer course on the Economy of Communion and Civil "Emmaus", promoted by the Dioceses of Crotone - Santa Severina and the EOC Commission of Sicily, Calabria and Malta, was held in the beautiful framework of the Great Sila woods.
Students, young graduates of economics related degrees, entrepreneurs, workers, priests and public administrators all participated in the meeting, held under the scientific direction of Luigino Bruni. All were interested delving into theoretical and practical economy in the light of the EOC and Italian civil economy.

The school was greatly desired by Monsignor Domenica Graziani, Bishop of the Diocese of Crotone - Santa Severina. Already in 2005, then bishop of the Diocese of Cassano at Ionio, Monsignor Graziani had promoted a series of meetings in Villapiana Lido, Coscenza, entitled, "For a civil economy and an economy of communion". The lessons were given by Luigino Bruni, Stefano Zamagni and other professors and experts on the EOC.

The bishop is very attentive to the problems of economic development and, in particular, to the crushing weight of youth unemployment in his diocese and Calabria in general (even before the world crisis of the last months). He followed the organization of the school and was present throughout it, actively participating in the lessons and in the group work. In addition, he introduced the work of each day with the "lectio divina-economia", and with passages from Genesis, Leviticus, the prophets Isaiah and Amos, from the Gospel of John. This helped meditate on the economic vision present in sacred texts, illustrating "the economy of fine bounty" that God has for man.

The objective of the school was the hope that "even for our Mediterranean economy, often tired and disillusioned, to be able to rediscover an arduous heart and the enthusiasm of a new springtime, starting from our Christian roots and our vocation to communion."

The school was comprised of lessons, working groups, moments of dialogue and films about the topics addressed. But even breaks, meals, and free-time after dinner were all precious occasions to deepen on the themes of the school and how to possibly apply them in Calabria.

The lessons took place in the morning, and had both an academic nature and a practical/management aspect to them. Luigino Bruni pointed to the EOC and Civil economy "a way for the Mediterranean economy" and, applying game theory, showed the benefits of cooperation. Vittorio Pelligra demonstrated how trust is a resource (and a scarce one) of the market economy which is directly correlated to the progress of society and the economy and which is fundamental as a "lubricant of the social system". Alberto Frassineti, business consultant in the area of strategy and organizational systems, illustrated the mission of an enterprise from the perspective of the EOC, highlighting every business’s need for a clear and explicit mission that is an essential instrument in planning, organization and managing a business. Finally, Eva Gullo, business consultant in the area of formation and human resources management, addressed the topic of conflict and cooperation in businesses who are inspired by an ideal. She also indicated possible approaches for management and finding solutions.

Afternoons were dedicated to group work, focusing more deeply on certain topics, and dialogue.

The school indicated a different perspective on the economic and social future to its participants. Starting from the experience of the Economy of Communion and the civil economy, it showed another way of working that gives true satisfaction. It gave new thoughts for study and possible innovative entrepreneurial activities that create wealth for many. It showed a "new announcement" that can give life to Hope.

By getting to know one another and the exchange among the participants allowed all to build relationships that can continue in the future. All shared the desire to be a contribution through one´s own work and economic living and doing business in Calabria. The desire to continue the dialogue over the topics addressed in this school was a common one, as was common the certainty that the moral, economic and social redemption of Calabria will happen through the acquisition of increased consciousness and competence.

Personally, as someone who has already known the EOC and has been living first-hand the difficult working experience of Calabria, this school gave me back that push and enthusiasm to face these difficulties. To be able to know many others who believe in the concepts of "trust", "reciprocity", and "gratuitousness", and who already live them in our situation, working well and with courage, put hope back into my heart.

Various times, Luigino Bruni said that, even when the efforts seem useless (because a business or activity shuts down), the steps ahead on the way to the development of humanity are not lost and are never wasted. Instead, they help those who come after us to start off in a better position. This perspective made me think a lot and I think it gave everyone the courage to face new challenges. I left Sila with a phrase of St. John in my heart, "Perfect love chases away fear", and with the proposal to live always, as Monsignor Graziani told us, my own profession as a vocation.


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