Loppiano, economic laboratory


An interview with Vittorio Pelligra on the upcoming Loppiano Lab

Loppiano, economic laboratory

By Violetta Conti 
Published on cittanuova.it on 10/09/2010

Economy, culture and education. These are the areas around which the reflections, ideas and experimentation will revolve during four days of meetings, exposition of businesses and round tables open to individuals, businesses, associations and other entities that will participate in Loppiano Lab, from September 16-19, 2010.

It was May of 1991 when Chiara Lubich spoke about the economy of communion for the first time in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She proposed economic behavior that was directed above all to businesses inspired by a new culture, that "of giving". Businesses that produce to share, redistributing their profits into three parts: to those most in need, to the promotion of a culture of sharing and to the development of the business itself. This is why we've interviewed Vittorio Pelligra. He's a university researcher, and together with Luigino Bruni he's co-editor of the book "Economy as Civil Commitment" on the economy of communion, published by Cittá Nuova. 

The economic crisis is a worldwide phenomenon, which highlights the fragility of the capitalistic system...

"It may seem like a paradox, but it is actually these moments of crisis - like the one that we've been going through for the last few years and which has not yet been overcome - that can be favorable "places" for change, motors of innovation and progress (krisis which means "separate", "decisive", and in one sense "change"). And the biggest change which is needed today in the economic environment is an anthropological and ethical one. This phase of modern capitalism has highlighted the fragility of an economic model based on the idea of egotistical, individualistic and self-interested agents and on a model of behavior in which other agents are treated as means of production, consumption or savings." 

In what way is the EoC an answer to the Western economic model?

"The perspective of the EoC, in this sense, despite the small scale on which it currently operates, can offer much. Above all, it can contribute to giving people back the meaning of their being together: the search and construction of the "common good" in a system of civil cohabitation in which the economy and market must have positive value. It is a chance for fraternity and liberation from poverty. But it is also a chance to go beyond national barriers, creating a global network of sharing and a laboratory of social and economic innovation."

What are the events and activities during these four days in which people can tangibly experience the workings of the EoC? 

"First of all, from the 16th to 19th, the "Lionello Bonfanti" business park will host the Expo of businesses that adhere to the project. It will include stands, expositions and workshops that will facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiences and of stories of many of the businesses who have helped concretize the idea of the EoC in these years. It is a chance to get to know one another and exchange notes on various topics, like energy and the environment, ethical and sustainable finance, social intervention and the promotion of health. Then, on the 18th and 19th, the convention "The EoC for Italy: Businesses, projects, future" will take place, during which experts and workers will discuss innovation, the economic crisis, young entrepreneurship and female entrepreneurship. Then, the meeting will conclude by launching the first International Assembly of the Economy of Communion, which will take place twenty years after the project's beginning, next May in Brazil."