Two thousand people – business people, young people, families, scholars and institutes – have flocked to the international city of Loppiano, Italy, not counting the more than 3000 who have followed the events on social media. LoppianoLab 2013 does not offer conclusive answers, but projects and initiatives that are just beginning or ongoing after four years of work by a network that has spread throughout the country.
Pope Francis told Sardinia’s workers that Italy “needs a new push to take off again” and “a new generation of lay Christians who are committed and able to seek solutions with the competence and moral rigour that is required for sustainable development.” The participants at LoppianoLab have echoed his words by projecting toward a new Italy through dialogue with 30 university scholars, two government ministers, an Italian government undersecretary, three magistrates, 50 journalists and students from Sophia University Institute.
Twenty projects were presented, such as New Families Onlus Project that collects more than 6 million euros every year for adoption-at-a-distance projects; a network of young film-makers which is focused on social training; the work of many men and women religious who go out into the streets to meet the immigrants and disadvantaged; communicators who are at the service of legality and the common good; the promotion of synergy between citizens and institutions at the territorial and national levels for the promotion of good practices in response to the emergency of immigration.
From the world of economy and work: the proposal by the School of Civil Economy, reinforced by more than 200 Italian businesses that have embraced the Economy of Communion project, a new style business style has emerged that would be capable of contributing to the renewal of the Italian economy.
At the front of the emergency stands legality: a legal project for regulating gambling, which is connected to the Slotmob campaign (mobilising public campaign by citizens ‘for good gaming’ and ‘against the new poverty of gambling addiction’); the promotion of critical consumer choices, the creation of networks and areas of cooperation in response to “racketeering, usury and widespread illegal practices. Institutions and citizens, associations and business owners are weaving together a common path towards a widespread culture of legality.
At the opening of LoppianoLab, Focolare president, Maria Voce, recognising the national importance of the event because built by so many vital forces in the country, also underscored its goal: “to offer answers to the difficult and complex situation of Italy.” She expressed her wish that from this would emerge more and more proposals and projects that contain the power of innovation and “thinking, acting and living for the ‘Promised Land’ where universal brotherhood is the way of life.”