A laboratory never closes but continues. Especially if its purpose is to implement practical solutions that will generate some hope for Italy’s revival. The organizers of LoppianoLab did not place the word “end” at the conclusion of this second LoppianoLab (September 18, 2011), a national laboratory lasting four days which brought together in close dialogue researchers from the fields of economy, culture, education, art and Italian communication networks not to search for a new future for Italy, but to come up with a shared idea for Italy’s present.
The final assessment was positive. The Lab was confirmed in its calling to create a national meeting space for the different worlds of work, cultural agencies, citizens and institutions. The meeting gathered together 3, 000 people and 70 Italian companies. There were 56 events including panel discussions, conferences, artistic performances and Literary cafés.
One event that was particularly highlighted was the Second National Convention of the Economy of Communion twenty years following its birth. It involves economists and entrepreneurs together finding new avenues for work’s future. Alberto Ferrucci from the International EoC Commission announced that a document of proposals is to be presented at the United Nations, which the Economy of Communion project has formulated for confronting the crisis and finding a new model of development. Many stories were shared during these days by entrepreneurs who decided to not only consider the final product and profits, but the individual persons who are the true assets of the company.
The Trinity a Way of life?” This was the title of an evening dialogue session between theology, philosophy and art, based on Coda’s theological volume, “Dalla Trinità” (From the Trinity). Two parts of the LoppianoLab took place at Sophia University Institute. One was the presentation of Sophia magazine, which reports on the research being carried out at the Institute; and the other was the presentation of Nuova Umanita which, for thirty years, expresses the Focolare Movement’s culture. Participants were also given the opportunity to become acquainted with the academic project of Sophia Institute, which is a path of life, study and research for the acquisition and deeper understanding of a Christianly inspired culture that is capable of illuminating many human dimensions as well various academic disciplines.
The meeting of the Città Nuova Press Group gathered together regional work groups of journalists and officers, editors and collaborators who are involved with “Città Nuova” magazine. They stand on the front lines in strengthening a national network which promotes the culture of unity. The town of Loppiano, which hosted the events, offered an “Open City”, a presentation of its people and places: a fifty years of Centro Ave Arte art exhibit, dramatic readings from the writings of Igino Giordani and Fraçois Neveux, music, dance, and a taste of cultures from around the world.
The concluding laboratory took place on the morning of September 18. It was entitled: “Hoping with Italy. A network for the common good on the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification.” This laboratory highlighted the results that have been achieved in various settings, pointing out practical avenues for continuing reflection and experimentation, which were summarized in four proposals to make Italy hope again: support for young entrepreneurs with special attention to the South in the Expo of EoC businesses at the Bonfanti Industiral Park; the necessary openness to other networks, organizations and institutions, in the laboratories that are promoted by the Città Nuova Press Group; summer schools in Argentina and Cile with three new Masters from Sophia University Institute, which is an instrument for re-launching the new humanism: Loppiano as a permanent laboratory. What is its contribution to Italy? To demonstrate that unity in our cities is possible even in daily life.