11/19/2020, 17.01
VATICAN
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The 'Economy of Francesco' meeting gets underway for an economy that cares for humanity and nature

The meeting of economists, entrepreneurs, and changemakers under 35 began with live streaming today. It includes 27 webinars in 12 areas: work and care, management and giving, finance and humanity, agriculture and justice, energy and poverty, profit and vocation, policies and happiness, CO2 inequality, business and peace, women and the economy, businesses in transition, life and lifestyles.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In a letter issued on 1 March 2019, Pope Francis called on economists, entrepreneurs, and changemakers under 35 to reflect ahead of a meeting titled “The Economy of Francesco”, scheduled to take place in Assisi on 26-28 March 2020. Because of the pandemic, the event was postponed until today, when it began via streaming.

In his message, the pontiff called for an economic model geared towards the dignity and well-being of humanity and creation, and not only profits, an economy “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.”

Everyone in the world has to share responsibility in achieving this goal as noted in a paper released yesterday: Ma io cosa posso fare?  (But what can I do?). in the latter one can read: "The economy is not an abstract thing, above us or beyond our reach. It consists of all productive activities and exchanges of goods and services that can be negotiated, sold or bought. We are all 'economic actors', through the decisions we make every day, sometimes freely, sometimes driven by necessity.”

A lot can be done through this meeting, given its numbers. Some 2,000 people have registered, with 12 linkups to 115 countries, four hours a day plus a 24-hour marathon on the second day, with contributions from more than 20 countries.

Reflecting a dynamic process that won’t stop, some 27 webinars will cover 12 areas: work and care, management and giving, finance and humanity, agriculture and justice, energy and poverty, profit and vocation, policies and happiness, CO2 inequality, business and peace, women and the economy, businesses in transition, life and lifestyles.

The three days of “The Economy of Francesco” will include proposals and thoughts developed in the past few months. Speakers include Jeffrey Sacks, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and the “banker of the poor”, Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which provides microcredits to destitute people to start their own business.

On Saturday Pope Francis will also address participants in a video message that will bring the meeting to close. However, this will be the end of the beginning as the event will be held again in the fall of 2021, when hopefully participants will be able to meet in person.

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