The “Economy of Francesco” is a worldwide movement of young people who aim to change the current economic models and craft a future that is more inclusive and just.
It was convened by Pope Francis in 2019 when he asked economists and young people to give life to the idea of a different kind of economy, one that is more attentive to the weakest members of society and is not focused exclusively on the gain of material wealth. Following the postponement of its launch in 2019 due to the covid-19 health emergency, organizers have set up an online event to be held from 19 to 21 November 2020.
At the presentation on Tuesday morning (27 October) in the Holy See Press Office, the “Economy of Francesco” was described as “a different economy, one that helps people live and does not kill, that includes and does not exclude, that humanizes rather than dehumanizes, that takes care of creation and does not plunder it.”
In his letter of 1 May 2019, Pope Francis outlined the guidelines for the event that was initially scheduled to take place in the Italian town of Assisi in March 2020. See HERE
In my Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato Si’, I emphasized that, today more than ever, everything is deeply connected and that the safeguarding of the environment cannot be divorced from ensuring justice for the poor and finding answers to the structural problems of the global economy. We need to correct models of growth incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment, openness to life, concern for the family, social equality, the dignity of workers and the rights of future generations. Sadly, few have heard the appeal to acknowledge the gravity of the problems and, even more, to set in place a new economic model, the fruit of a culture of communion based on fraternity and equality.
(An extract from the Letter of Pope Francis to Young Economists and Entrepreneurs Worldwide – 1st May 2019).
At Tuesday’s press conference Sister Alessandra Smerilli, a member of the “Economy of Francesco” Scientific Committee, noted that the impossibility of being physically present for those due to attend has led to the generation of initiatives “that have transformed the original two-day pre-event into 9 months of confrontation, in-depth study and proposals.”
Pope Francis’ invitation to young economists is an event that marks an historic step forward, because it brings together two of the Pope’s key subjects and passions: his priority for young people and his concern for a new type of economy.
From March 2020 to date, almost 1,000 young people have been working in 12 “EoF” villages. Described as places that encompass the participants’ working sessions on key topics of the economy, each village has a different theme:
- Management and Gift
- Finance and Humanity
- Work and Care
- Agriculture and Justice
- Energy and Poverty
- Business and Peace
- Women for Economy
- CO2 of Inequalities
- Vocation and Profit
- Businesses in Transition
- Life and Lifestyle
- Policies and Happiness.
So far 2,000 men and women under 35-years-old have registered for the November event; 120 nations will be connected for 4 hours each day plus a 24-hour marathon on the second day, thanks to the active contribution of over 20 countries. Some 300 journalists have been accredited.
The conferences feature internationally recognized key speakers including Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, economists and experts such as Kate Raworth, Jeffrey Sachs, Vandana Shiva, Stefano Zamagni, Mauro Magatti, Juan Camilo Cardenas, Jennifer Nedelsky, Sr. Cécile Renouard as well as many top business entrepreneurs and managers.