The North American EoC Annual Meeting was held at Hyde Park (NY). The title was: “Building an Economy of Communion. A New Vision for the Economy and Business

by Maddalena Maltese

170620 24 Hyde Park SS Convegno USA 29 ridLisbeth Wallin from New York is 26 years old, and after a year and a half she spent in various South American countries as a volunteer for social work in the Focolare Movement, she decided to create a small company,  Project Lia. In a 360sqm studio in Indianapolis, formerly incarcerated women are learning to turn discarded material into pieces of furniture, with hand-made fabrics. The activity has reduced the risk of recidivism because, as the creator of the project explains, “Women working on waste also discover the hidden value in every one of them, which has shifted from the former phase of waste to that of a new possibility.”

Nick Sanna from Washington is a well-established expert in cybersecurity. He heard the story of 170620 24 Hyde Park SS Convegno USA 05 ridBetsy Garcete’s fashion line for working women at an informal evening in the circle of some friends who are enthusiastic about the project of the Economy of Communion, and something special caught his attention behind the scenes: Betsy, a great supporter of immigrants and ex-prisoners, wants to lend her skills and knowledge in tailoring to their service to make them protagonists of a project that can provide them with a job, a salary and a future. Nick helps her out with the business plan, they identify the needs for machinery and spaces, but they also collect the availability of many volunteers who freely offer their time and skills for this project. Later there would be also Annie, Sacha, Ed, John, Andy, Jilles and many others making a contribution of their capitals and capabilities for new businesses where the profit and the centrality of the person are not in conflict but go hand in hand.

The stories of these entrepreneurs had so to say their stage provided by the annual conference of the Economy of Communion in North America at the Focolare Little Town, Mariapolis Luminosa, a few miles from New York. For the first time, the meeting was preceded by a Summer School with 25 young participants. This edition has expanded its borders to include Mexico and the Philippines: among the participants there was Christian Medina, a paintings and frames shop owner with his wife, Norma Sanchez Mendoza and also Tess Ganzon, CEO of Bangko 170620 24 Hyde Park SS Convegno USA 24 ridKabayan, a microcredit bank. Their entrepreneurial paths, too, have given a universal breath to the project launched by Chiara Lubich in Brazil in 1991 and today, 26 years later, it has become a global network the nodes of which include students and teachers who were present in great numbers in the North American meeting.

Pope Francis’ talk to the participants of the International EoC Conference on 4 February was the compass for the panels, workshops and moments of public sharing. It was given an in-depth reception and understanding by those present and will also serve as a guideline for the future projects, which won’t be just businesses but promoters of communion, capable of sharing profits and ideals, not slaves of money but serving ethical and spiritual values. The message was commented by John Gallagher from Maryville College and Tony Annette from Columbia University who also opened a side discussion on ties with the encyclical Laudato Sii. Two Evangelical university professors wanted to respond to the pope's challenge: Andy Gustafson from Nebraska decided to present the EoC at the meeting of business school directors at Jesuit universities that will take place in two weeks; at the same time, Scott Hanson a Presbyterian professor and managing director of the non-profit Evangelical Team, wished to highlight that “this experience manifests the very presence of God I see in my church; what’s more, I wish the copyright of the Pope's talk was ours, because it is what we need and want to live as Presbyterians.” Following a roundtable discussion on corporate social responsibility, the academics present assessed the possibility of a series of webinars 170620 24 Hyde Park SS Convegno USA 11 ridon the Social Doctrine, Ethics and Economics of the Church.

There were also interactive and challenging workshops on leadership, business communication, staff recruitment criteria and charismas that prompted profound and productive comparisons of operation and management practices. As a result, synergies emerged between those present, where talents, needs and skills were exchanged, and additional local projects were created to support foreigners, migrants, people in fragile conditions with a past of drugs or alcohol, without forgetting consultancy and support offered for new and innovative start-ups. The description of the first steps of the international network of business incubators (EoC-IIN) and news of the companies operating on all continents in the spirit of the EoC were received with great enthusiasm: everyone felt the urge to offer their ideas and expertise for the potential strengthening of the official launch. Plans for next year include working together in North and South America for a Pan-American EoC school.

Icona Flickr rid See Summer School photo gallery - Icona Flickr rid See Annual Meeting photo gallery

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Logo booster camp rid mod

 Call for projects by Feb 28, 2018 - more info - Download brochure

Follow us:

facebook twitter vimeo icon youtubeicon flickr


EoC Report 2016

Cover Edc44 EN mod

download the report 
go to the Report online

EoC PanAsian Congress 2016

The Dawn of Midnight

Logo Geremia Crop 150The series of comments by Luigino Bruni on Jeremiah's book comes out every Sunday on Avvenire

Go to the complete series

new tab icon 32291 Simply Life

Join the EoC

EoC Companies crop banner rid modBy registering your company on the following site:

Find out more...

EoC, the web site!

Nairobi 2015: a site to share all related contents

Logo sito Nairobi rid modInterviews and experiences  (videos and written contents), photo galleries, PowerPoint presentations: all materials that help you re-live the events of Nairobi 2015

Go to site    Go to EoC Congress contents  Go to EoC School contents 

Video EoC Summer School Prague 2015

150826 Praga EoC SS 11 rid sx"Let’s create our future! It is in our hands!"

Videos available here

Icona Flickr ridsee photogallery
facebook nsl see on Facebook

Photogallery EoC Congress 2015

150531 Nairobi Congresso EdC 76 rid modMariapolis Piero, Nairobi (Kenya)
May 27-31, 2015

go to the photogallery

Luigino Bruni’s articles and video

Structures of Grace

Structures of grace ridJohn Gallagher, Jeanne Buckeye

New City Press, December 2014


United Nations Video

This short video was shot in occasion of the EoC presentation in the February 2012 UN Conference on Poverty Eradication.


Ottmaring 2013

Community Ottmaring

4th Encounter of entrepreneurs and managers of the Economy of Communion from Northern and Eastern Europe

24th to 27th October 2013 - Center of Encounter Ottmaring, Germany

THE DYNAMIC OF GIVING A way into the future for companies, the economy and the common good


Here the invitation

Video - EoC in 5 words

video Eoc 5 words mod

Presentation by Luigino Bruni to the Faculty of the Ateneo De Manila University. Manila, Philippines, September 23, 2011

Message of the Youth

“From San Paolo to the World”
That economics in 2031 may be one of communion, for us and for all...


Guidelines for conducting an EoC business

Binari_rid_modThe Economy of Communion proposes the following "Guidelines for conducting a business", to productive organizations who adhere to its message and its culture, written in the light of the life and thought of thousands of entrepreneurs and workers....

The economy of giving

Chiara_Lubich_1Chiara Lubich

«Unlike the consumerist economy, based on a culture of having, the economy of communion is the economy of giving.... 

RSS - subscribe

This website uses “technical cookies”, including third parties cookies, which are necessary to optimise your browsing experience. By closing this banner, or by continuing to navigate this site, you are agreeing to our cookies policy. The further information document describes how to deactivate the cookies.