Pope Francis invites young economists from all over the world to join him in Assisi, Italy, from 26 -28 March 2020 to promote a common covenant which will bring about change in present day global economics and reanimate future thinking.
“I am writing to invite you to take part in an initiative that is very close to my heart: an event that will allow me to encounter young men and women studying economics and interested in a different kind of economy: one that brings life not death, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, humane and not dehumanizing, one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it. This event will enable us to come together, to know one another and will promote a “covenant” that will change the current economic situation and reanimate economics in the future”.
These are the opening lines of a message that Pope Francis sent on Saturday 11 May to young economists and entrepreneurs committed to bringing change to global economics. He invited them to contribute to planning an international event entitled “The Economy of Francis” that will take place in Assisi from 26-28 March 2020.
His aim is to begin a process of global change whereby economics now and in the future are more just, inclusive and sustainable and do not leave anyone behind. The event is being organised by a Committee made up of representatives from the diocese of Assisi, the council of Assisi, the Serafico Institute of Assisi and the Economy of Communion.
The Pope is inviting everyone to join him – people of all faiths and nationalities – to discuss together the most challenging issues the world is facing today including care of the environment and justice for those living in poverty. They are issues which demand courage and commitment in order to rethink the current economic paradigms.
Professor Luigino Bruni, scientific director of the Committee, said, “Pope Francis’ invitation to young economists is a historic event because it draws together topics about which the Pope feels very strongly – his preference for young people and his concern to create a new type of economy. Acting on his behalf, we are inviting the economists and entrepreneurs who have shown the greatest sensitivity to and understanding of the Economy of Francis (St Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis) so that the young people who will come will hear the very best speakers and learn about the best economic practice in the world today.
The word “Oikonomia” (economy) has a complex background; its Greek root refers to our house rules or how we behave in our homes but, at the same time, OIKOS also refers to the care of our common home. The Fathers of the Church understood Oikonomia from a theological perspective, as a category of universal salvation.
Assisi as a setting is very important: it is a town with a message that speaks of a different type of economy. The programme will take place in different parts of the town and will focus upon the three main pillars of the Economy of Francis: young people, the environment and the poor.”
The two- day programme, from 26 -28 March, will include a range of talks on topics such as the rights of future generations, respect for life, social equality, the dignity of workers and care for our planet. The Economy of Francis will also be expressed in workshops, artistic presentations, seminars and plenary sessions. Well known economists and experts in sustainable development and other disciplines will reflect and work alongside the young people present.
Applications to attend can be made from June onwards. The full text of Pope Francis’ letter and further details of the event can be found on www.francescoeconomy.org