“The Economy of Communion is a different way of thinking, feeling and acting!” Galo Pozo, a business consultant in Ecuador, doesn’t mince his words in defining the EOC project, inviting the young participants to “risk their lives, in the best possible sense, for this project.”
Galo Pozo seems to be saying these things first of all to himself: he is one of them, one of the participants at the Economy of Communion (EOC), “Summer School” which was held from 11th -15th August in “El Diamante“(“The Diamond”) , the little town of the Focolare a few kilometres from Puebla, Central Mexico.
Pozo is one of them because, as Luigino Bruni, Coordinator of the International Commission of the EOC, said, “Here there are no teachers or students, but people who learn from each other in communion.”
And so 60 people, including students, entrepreneurs and specialists of the Economy of Communion flocked from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador as well as from France, Switzerland and Italy, in order to deepen the different aspects of the theory and practice of this economic project.
The school’s programme included plenary lectures thanks to the contributions of the aforementioned Bruni and Gozo, but also Swiss economist Luca Crivelli, Anouk Grevin from France and Brazilian entrepreneur Armando Tortelli (members of the International Commission EOC).
There were visits to the concrete realities in the area that already operate in the spirit of the Economy of Communion, like the Santa Maria School, in the nearby town of Actipan, which gives a strong witness of what can be done: in a context of extreme poverty and degradation of all kinds, a school was established, attended today by boys and girls from different social and economic conditions, who enjoy an harmonious coexistence. Here the whole school community is actively involved, starting from the families, they all teach and each learns what is most important in life, experiencing a fullness as people in all dimensions: physical, intellectual, psychological and spiritual. A concrete application that shows how our behaviour in corporate life, characterized by creativity, innovation and a strong love for the poor, can really transform the reality that surrounds us.
The moments of communion and sharing of experiences were fundamental, and helped to create networks of collaboration among all, in order to strengthen and develop each one’s business ventures, their heartfelt ”dreams”. The initiatives which have emerged because of the centrality given to the communion of goods, social commitment and the centrality of the person include: digital platforms to find funding, production of clothing, art galleries, a training school for trades, online shops.
“We came here with very different ideas, professions and national realities”, write the young people in their Final Manifesto, “The Economy of Communion invites us to look at all these differences with fresh eyes and beyond borders, to perceive the multiple dimensions of poverty and to engage freely in changing the world every day. (…) Not allowing ourselves to be limited by borders, we want to find alternatives to the current economic model which does not respond to our deep desire for a just and more fraternal society, where love is the greatest instrument of transformation. We are “angels with only one wing” that in order to fly must embrace one another.”