Around a thousand young participants from the world of economics, business and research will meet on the 22nd-24th. September in Assisi, he will participate in the first international meeting of the initiative through which the Pope wishes from 2019 to renew the world economy towards consideration for the poor, the common good and the care of creation.
Michele Raviart – Vatican News
No one doubts today that the principles governing the world economy need to be renewed. This is evidenced by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the subsequent energy and food crisis that we are experiencing around the world. In 2019, in an interview with the economist Luigino Bruni, Pope Francis expressed the idea of focusing on the talent, enthusiasm and creativity of young people and starting a process that in the future could lead some of the most promising minds from the world of business and economic research to be able to develop new principles for a world that will pay more attention to the poor, the common good and the care of creation.
The need for radical renewal
This is the “Francis Economy” initiative, whose first face-to-face meeting, originally scheduled for February 2020 and then postponed due to the pandemic, preceded by three years of online seminars, will take place on September 22 and 24 in Assisi, a city that has been designated as a ” capital” of this new economy. Here Saint Francis got rid of his possessions to be a cell for God and the poor. As explained by Mons. Domenico Sorrentino, Archbishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadina, Bishop of Foligno and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Franciscan Economy, the choice was not some “no” to the economy, but rather the need for renewal. “Francis’ economy,” he emphasized, “has as its polar star the saint of Assisi in the evangelical radicalism that led him to become poor and servant of the poor and to sing praises to God for the brother of the sun and the sister of the moon and inspire ante litteram integral ecology.”
Breathe in the atmosphere of St. Francis
There will be about a thousand young participants, they will confront and discuss – especially on the second day, September 23 – in 12 thematic villages inspired by the questions posed by the encyclicals “Laudato si’” and “Fratelli tutti“, which acts, like the entire social thinking of the Church, as a value compass for the entire initiative. The topics were chosen by combining concepts from the economic world with concepts that are more related to social issues, for example “Energy and poverty”, “Finance and Humanity” and “Agriculture and Justice”, “Governance and Donation”. The villages will be located in Franciscan monuments in Assisi, such as the Porziuncola, the Sanctuary of the Undressing and the Franciscan Basilica itself.
Entrepreneurship, research and change makers
The protagonists of the “Francis economy” come from all over the world – almost half from Europe, 31% from South America, 8% from Africa – and were chosen as representatives of three categories: businesses (young managers, entrepreneurs, start-ups), research (master’s students or doctoral studies in economics or related fields) and those who have been defined as “change makers” who seek to change the world of their communities through innovative initiatives in the service of the common good and a fairer economy.
Sister Smerilli: in the ministry that accompanies these processes
“When so many young people go to work to fulfill their dreams and experience the prophecies of an economy that leaves no one behind and that knows how to live in harmony with people and land, the whole Church must rejoice and must feel the obligation to inform, follow and accompany this process and avoid the temptation to pigeonhole young people and their projects into pre-existing structures,” said Sister Alessandra Smerilli, Secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, which is an integral part of this initiative.
On September 24, a “pact” with the Pope will be signed
The three-day stay in Assisi will culminate on September 24 with the arrival of Pope Francis. The Pope will be presented with a “pact” that he will sign together with young people, in a “personal and common” way, explained the Economy worker Františka Lourdes Hérculesová, “to commit to this path to an economy with a soul that leaves no one behind”. We hope that Francis’ economics will be part of a wider process that can lead these young people to compare their proposals with the important realities of economics, finance and energy, witnessing the dream that, Monsignor Sorrentino concluded, in Assisi “they can the so-called great men of the country to come and meet the young people of this initiative to be inspired by Francis’ prophecy and to be challenged by their youthful enthusiasm”.