More than 200 young entrepreneurs, economists and activists gathered on Saturday in Assisi for the second meeting of “The Economy of Francesco”, the global movement for economic justice initiated by Pope Francis in 2019.
The initiative aims to involve young business people and academics in economics in promoting change for a more humane and sustainable economy that leaves no one behind, in the spirit of Saint Francis.
The participants in this meeting at the Domus Pacis in Santa Maria degli Angeli were joined (virtually) by other young activists gathered in more than 40 Hubs around the world. They discussed the projects, proposals and processes carried out over the past year to revive the economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Economic inequalities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic
In a video message, Pope Francis thanked them for their “enthusiasm” to carry out “the mission of giving a new soul to the economy”.
He stressed the urgent need to change the current economic paradigm as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, which he noted has dramatically “magnified the deep inequalities” caused by the economy. current focus on profit: “Over the past two years, we have faced all of our failures in taking charge of our common home and our family. We often forget the importance of human cooperation and global solidarity; we also often forget the existence of a responsible reciprocal relationship between us and nature, ”he said.
“Stewards” of the earth’s goods, “not the masters”
Pope Francis once again reminded us that we are “stewards” of the goods of the Earth which have been entrusted to us by God “not masters”: “The pandemic has reminded us of this deep bond of reciprocity; he reminds us that we have been called to take care of the goods that creation gives to all; he reminds us of our duty to work and distribute these goods so that no one is excluded. Finally, it also reminds us that, immersed in a common sea, ”he said.
The need for a more just, sustainable and united economy
Hence the urgency to “seek new ways to regenerate the economy in the post-Covid-19 era, so that it is more just, sustainable and united, that is to say more mutual” and for a “new integral paradigm, capable of training new generations of economists and entrepreneurs” who respect our “interconnection with the Earth”.
The message further underlined that the mission of an “inclusive, sustainable and united” economy includes the “regeneration” of all current social systems.
He said that “by instilling the values of brotherhood, solidarity and care for our Earth and the common goods in all our structures, we could meet the greatest challenges of our time, from hunger and malnutrition to equitable distribution of vaccines against Covid-19 “.
Young people are the present and the world needs their courage
Congratulating the young people involved in “The Economy of Francesco” for their commitment, Pope Francis strongly encouraged them to continue their work with creativity and inspired by the Gospel: “Let your ideas and dreams emerge and through them bring to the world. world, to the Church and to other young people, of whom you are capable of prophecy and beauty. You are not the future: you are the present. Another gift. The world needs your courage. Now, ”the message concluded.
“The Economy of Francesco”, a movement initiated in 2020 anchored in the spirituality of Saint Francis
Movement “The Economy of Francesco” initiated in 2020, following an invitation launched by Pope Francis who, on May 1, 2019, brought together young academics and businessmen from the city of Assisi to reflect on the economic crisis and environmental issues of our time.
The title of the event refers mainly to Saint Francis, the poor of Assisi and the patron saint of the environment who embodies brotherhood and care for the poor and creation.
The first meeting in November 2020
Originally scheduled for March 26-28, 2020, the first meeting was rescheduled from November 19-21 of last year and was held online. Prior to this meeting, 12 groups held online discussions to prepare proposals.
At today’s event, participants shared other proposals and projects carried out over the past year. The discussions involved eminent personalities with whom these young people established a fruitful dialogue.
They are, among others, the Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva and the American economist Jeffrey Sachs, professor at Columbia University, in the United States.