Changing a changing world

The Focolare’s “culture lab” came to a close on October 27 at Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Its objective: create synergies between professions and disciplines in order to understand how to build a more united society in a world that is continually evolving.

Try imagining tomorrow’s world. Try projecting yourself forward into the future and asking yourself what our planet will be like 20 years from now. Dare to have the most utopian ideas, and dream of changing the world today.

There is an ancient African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” It does well to express the challenge of managing the world’s complexity together, not as individuals, but by creating a network of singular talents. It is a challenge being taken up by an international, multicultural group of adults and young people, academics and professionals, who gathered at Castel Gandolfo, Italy.

Coming from more than 40 countries, participants got into things straight away, taking in proposals from various experiences and reflections. By opening up a wide dialogue, each will sustain and develop tangible proposals in their own fields.

“Change the changing world” was the title of the final day and a half, which was run by young people and aimed at their age group. A number of them signed up to the call to attend “The economy of Francesco” event in Assisi on March 26–28, where the pope will address young economists, entrepreneurs and change-makers. The idea is to make a pact together with them, beyond any differences in beliefs or nationality, to change the current economy and give a soul to tomorrow’s, so that it is more just, sustainable, and with those excluded playing more of a lead role.

Speaking of taking a lead role, Adelard Kananira, a young Burundian, showed how the Together for a New Africa project (T4NA) is driving towards creating the foundations for a new ruling class and a new model of leadership in Africa. The first training sessions for this project were held in Kenya this year, with more than 150 participating – young people, educators and professors from East Africa. Their goal is to tear down the walls that exist between tribes, political parties, ethic groups and countries, in order to reach the common good of development and peace.

Giada and Giorgia, instead, hope to bring change through their commitment to the reality where they work.

Giada, 23, works in the film industry as an assistant director, which is extremely demanding work that she wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world. She hopes one day to make films that transmit harmony, which she works to create every day with her colleagues, sure that cinema can be a powerful means that can truly contribute to changing the world.

Giorgia, 32, is a member of a local council in Italy with a mandate for youth, innovation, participation and the local economy in her district. Her dream has already become reality: in her town there are shared financial statements, the objectives of Agenda 2030 are front of mind, new development models are sought out, and projects to safeguard the environment such as urban gardens are progressing.

Through their commitment, both young people and adults are already influencing the future by fulfilling their ideas and spreading and instituting best practices. They are already aiming to change, at this very moment, a changing world.

Patrizia Mazzola

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