Economy of Communion
On March 7th, 2021, the Economy of Communion sponsored a panel discussion that highlighted how businesses can help address economic injustice and promote inclusion. Representatives from several organizations presented their experience and engaged in a lively debate.
We work to harness the potential of the private sector, to create a capitalism that enables everyone economic participation, as well as economic dignity, while protecting the planet. (Meredith Sumpter)
The panel discussion was part of a larger event – A Hearth for the Human Family – that was organized by the Focolare Forum for Dialogue and Culture.
The Economy of Francesco, the international event with young economists, change makers and entrepreneurs encouraged by Pope Francis, that the Economy of Communion is supporting, will be held online from 19 to 21 November 2020, with live streaming with the young participants and speakers. The “virtual” participation of Pope Francis has also been confirmed.
The innovative, participatory and global program, includes group workshops, plenary sessions involving keynote speakers, the places and spirituality of St. Francis, silence and meditation, artistic performances and interviews.
Today the Economy of Francesco is a movement of young people with faces, personalities and ideas, which is present and growing around the world in order to change the current economy and give a soul to the economy of tomorrow. Today, more than ever, the world needs the creativity and love of young people, who as craftsmen of the future, are creating the Economy of Francesco, weaving between the “already” and “not yet”.
For more information and to follow the event online. visit www.francescoeconomy.org
Come Join the EoC North America Hearth!
We are delighted that a number of you were a part of the Economy of Communion gathering Jan. 17-18, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.
This year we’ll be encouraging you to take concrete steps in communion to live out Chiara Lubich’s charism.
We will be hosting monthly calls to give you a chance to experience the unity we have in Christ, to reflect on your vocational experience since the conference, and discern the Holy Spirit’s guidance for your work going forward.
Our first meeting will be Wed, Feb. 5, 10am, EST. CLICK HERE TO RSVP
We will begin with an overview of the last session of the San Antonio EoC conference, “Supporting an Economy of Communion: Steps toward an Economy that Works for All,” which was facilitated by Catholic University of America Dean Andrew Abela.
In our webinar, we’ll focus on questions such as:
- How do EOC members and businesses function differently from other employees or businesses in some business domains like Marketing, Leading and Selling?
- What do EoC businesses or practitioners do to transform the gravitational center of their companies from bottom-line/profit to relationship/unity?
- How can we help you create a community of EOC workers and business owners in your city?
In addition, we will confirm future webinar topics that will be of greatest interest to EoC members.
FUTURE DATES: The following dates and times are set tentatively:
- Wed., March 4, 10am, EST.
- Wed., April 1, 10am, EST.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Email Jon Hokama at email@example.com
There is a lot of economy in that cave in Bethlehem. There lies the most powerful image of the “economy of salvation”, of that mysterious, divine and human convenience that turned the Word of God into a Child.
There are also workers (shepherds) present, Joseph a carpenter is also present, the animals of the stable are also there, which in that ancient economy were the first elements of production. There is a young woman, Mary, who knew about domestic economy and primary relationships.
The economics of money and the economy of the Kingdom confronted each other around that manger, a comparison that would later become a constant in the teachings of Jesus. The Inns that is, the Bethlehem businesses, did not have ‘room’ for that birth. A family, however, perhaps just one person, among the people of Bethlehem, found room for them in the only place he or she had available: a stable. And so the economy of Christmas was Communion. A certain type of economy did not find room, because all the spaces available were already occupied, and another kind of economy gave way to a new process. The economics of space and the economics of processes, the economy of Francis and the economy of Bernardine, the bareness of the Child of Bethlehem and the bareness of that ‘poor man’ of Assisi.
Looking at our world today, we must admit that it was not the economy of the Cave or that of Francis that ended up becoming the economy that rules the business surrounding Christmas, all holidays and all weekdays. Profit continues to win and the gift to be bare.
Even today, however, faced with the bareness of children and the poor around the world, we need to ask ourselves what kind of economy we want. Each approaching Christmas Day asks us the same question every year: which side are you on? What is your economy?
Merry Christmas! And Good Economy.
(this article was first published on the blog of edc-online.org. on December 24th, 2019)
The North American Association of the Economy of Communion and the Business, Faith, and the Common Good Institute of Creighton University invite you to attend the 2018 gathering of the Economy of Communion, that will be held at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, on Oct. 5-6, 2018.
In today’s world, globalization presents to us significant challenges such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, and forced migration… All these situations make us question if this is the world we want, if the economy can change for the better.
The Economy of Communion project (EOC) offers a new perspective facing these challenges: a new business culture where free enterprises become the cradle of a culture of giving, that fosters fraternity, social bonds, sustainability, and communion, rather than individualism and profit as an end in itself.
You can learn more about the event and register at the following link.
The deadline to register is September 30th, 2018.
We are happy to let you know that this year’s North American Meeting of the Economy of Communion (EoC) will be held at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, on Oct. 5-6, 2018.
We are continuing to alternate the location of our meetings between the little city of Mariapolis Luminosa and Universities supporting or desiring to learn more about the EoC. Last year’s meeting and summer school was held at Mariapolis Luminosa, so it was the turn of another university this year.
The choice fell on Creighton University, where one of our members, Prof. Andy Gustafson, teaches business ethics. We will have the opportunity to meet many new friends there, incl. some of his fellow professors, students and local entrepreneurs, as well as learn more about Andy’s local EoC business called Communion Properties.
More details regarding the agenda will be shared soon. Stay tuned.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, we had the opportunity to present the Economy of Communion project (EoC) at the World Bank Civil Society Policy Forum in Washington DC.
This was the first time that the EoC was featured at an event from the World Bank, a financial institution that is part of the United Nations systems and whose mission is to help reduce poverty.
51 people attended the session representing various NGOs from all over the world, World Bank employees, The International Monetary Fund, and the Bretton Woods Project. The session had the title “Impact Investment as a Tool for Social Development”. Nick Sanna represented the EoC. The other panelists included Marc Jourdan, the moderator, and Jenna Giandoni, a research fellow from an NGO named the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development that was founded by former president Fernandez of the Dominican Republic. Dr. Muthukumara Mani, a lead environmental economist at the World Bank, also spoke.
New Humanity of the Focolare Movement was a sponsor along with the Global Foundation, the International Federation of Business and Professional Women and the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF). Joe Klock, the coordinator of New Humanity, Inc. in the US, is quite active in promoting the EoC at the UN and deserves all the credit for assuring our participation in the event.
The audience responded well to all the presentations that were followed by a very active Q&A session. Some asked questions on impact development and Nick fielded several questions on the EoC. At the end of the meeting, several persons came forward and asked Nick for follow-on meetings in DC. One attendee asked to get involved and will try to attend the upcoming EoC Summer School. The next day, Joe Klock’s contacts from the UN in New York told him that they enjoyed the EoC presentation very much, especially noting the concrete examples that were given.
Joe also attended a session for faith-based organizations chaired by the leader of the World Bank’s Global Engagement faith initiative, Adam Taylor with about 25 attendees. Apparently, the World Bank is starting to engage civil society and faith-based organizations to look for insights into what delivers results in leading people out of extreme poverty. They see these organizations as a vehicle for communicating with people at the grassroots level. Joe plans to continue participate in those meetings and promote the EoC and other New Humanity projects as models of socio-economic development.
The Civil Society Policy Forum have become integral part of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring and Annual Meetings that bring together 10,000 from all over the world.
Learn more about the Economy of Communion by attending the EoC Summer School (June 20-23) and Annual Meeting (June 23-25). You can get more information and register here.
“This was the best presentation about business ethics I have seen in my four years here. It was realistic.” (student)
“I thought that today’s panel presentation was very well done, and exactly the kind of perspective to which we should be exposing our students. It was right on in terms of our mission: Developing responsible leaders for the greater good and the bottom line.” (faculty)
These were some of the impressions from the circa 150 students and professors of St. Bonaventure University that attended the panel discussion on ‘the Business Practices of the Economy of Communion’ on April 6th, 2017.
If you didn’t get to go and want to watch it, you can access the video via this link.
April 6, 2017 – Live Streaming of Panel Discussion on ‘Business Practices of the Economy of Communion’
A panel discussion at St. Bonaventure University on Thursday, April 6, will address business practices of the Economy of Communion, an international business and societal model based on shared profits and a “culture of giving.”
The program, a presentation of the William C. Foster ’62 Center for Responsible Leadership in the School of Business at St. Bonaventure, in partnership with the university’s School of Franciscan Studies, will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The Economy of Communion (EoC) was started by Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, in response to the social problems and imbalanced economy she found on a visit to Brazil in 1991. Today, some 860 EoC businesses in more than 50 countries embrace EoC’s alternative to capitalistic systems: a sharing of profits to help combat poverty and indigence, and a commitment to work toward a common good.
It’s a topic that fits a Foster Center initiative of providing our students with leadership and scholarship opportunities in the Franciscan tradition, said Dr. Michael Gallagher, assistant professor of finance at St. Bonaventure. “The Economy of Communion embraces these very ideals, and seeks to promote a fraternal economy, a new conception of economic behavior, with businesses not only sharing profits and community productivity, but fighting various forms of exclusion, poverty and indigence,” he said.
It’s also a topic ripe for the times, said Fr. David Couturier, O.F.M., Cap., dean of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure, executive director of its Franciscan Institute, and one of four experts on the panel.
“Ever since the November elections, budget talks have swirled around increased defense spending and tax cuts for wealthy Americans with large-scale cuts to programs such as Meals on Wheels and Medicaid. Some economists are forecasting a rise in income inequality and a ‘class warfare’ between the rich and the poor over the next few years,” said Couturier.
“This discussion will introduce several different economic models to understand our financial issues. We will invite participants to get to know several ‘economies of communion’ and ‘relational economies’ that might help navigate these turbulent economic times with our social, cultural and family relationships intact,” he said.
Couturier, who earned his Ph.D. in pastoral psychology and organizational studies, has written and lectured extensively on the organizational and economic dynamics of religious and not-for-profit institutions. Known for his combined expertise in organizational development, strategic planning and Franciscan education, he has worked as an organizational consultant for congregations, religious communities and dioceses through the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Joining him on the panel is a professor who has spent a decade researching the business practices of companies in the Economy of Communion, as well as the heads of two EoC businesses:
- Dr. John Gallagher, professor of management, who teaches strategic management and international business at Maryville College, Maryville, Tenn., as well as executive MBA courses at the University of Tennessee. He previously spent more than 20 years as a corporate executive and consultant in manufacturing and service industries. He is co-author of the book “Structures of Grace: Business Practices of the Economy of Communion.” (New City Press, 2014.)
- Nicola “Nick” Sanna, CEO of RiskLens, a provider of cyber risk management software, and the former head of several internet analytics and security companies. Fluent in five languages, Sanna lectures extensively on the subject of social entrepreneurship and is an advisory board member of the School of Business and Economics at Catholic University of America.
- John Mundell, president and CEO of Mundell & Associates, Inc. of Indianapolis, Ind., an earth science, environmental and water resources consulting firm founded in 1995 as part of the EoC. Mundell serves on the International and North American EoC commissions, aiding development of the EoC at the national and global levels.
Admission to the April 6 event is free and the public is welcome. The panel discussion will be available for real-time viewing and archived for future viewing on the university’s Ustream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/st-bonaventure-university-live-stream.
The Foster Center for Responsible Leadership is made possible through an endowment gift by Daria L. Foster, Managing Partner of Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC, honoring her late husband of more than 30 years, William C. Foster. A member of St. Bonaventure’s Class of 1962 and Fordham Law School (’65), William Foster practiced law for 35 years, retiring in 2000 as senior associate counsel for Champion International. He served on St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees from 2008 to his passing in 2010.
Learn more about the panel discussion and about the Foster Center for Responsible Leadership at www.sbu.edu/fostercenter.
This article was first published on St. Bonaventure’s website on March 28, 2017.