The Great Transition

Here you can find all of Luigino Bruni's editorials of the series entitled "The Great Transition" published in Avvenire between 4th January and 8th March 2015.

Poverty Re-creates the Future

The Great Transition/10 – It is on the peripheries that one learns how to generate and re-generate vocations

by Luigino Bruni

published in pdf Avvenire (70 KB) on 08/03/2015

Marea ridGod created man as the sea created the continents: by withdrawing.

Friedrik Holderlin

The big processes of change, those capable of regenerating the entire body and give way to a new spring, are never triggered and driven by the elites ruling in the phase of the emergence of the crisis. This dynamic is well-known and generally applied, therefore it is also true for the entities that we have called communities and charismatic movements (because they were born from a charisma, the gift of "looking differently" at the world).

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The Freedom of the Prophets Liberates Us

The Great Transition/9 - Encounters that "light up" spiritual and civil vocations

by Luigino Bruni

published in pdf Avvenire (54 KB) on 01/03/2015

Jeremiah lamenting ridTo hide from you I turned off my light,
but you surprised me with the stars.

Rabindranath Tagore

Generative communities and movements have always been those that put their members in a position to repeat the founder's experience in various forms. The same miracles, the same freedom, the same fruits. The history of Christianity is an eloquent demonstration of this: the fruitfulness of the Christian experience can be found in the thousands of communities and movements generated by the same origin that repeated the same experiences of the early days in time and space and have seen bread being multiplied, the lame walk and crucifixes raised. The charismatic experiences capable of a future have always been plural, pluralistic, orchards with many trees, gardens populated by hundreds and thousands of flowers, all equal and all different, growing from the same humus, with colours and scents that are similar or very different. The seed that takes the forms of the land where it grows, creating new personalities that enrich the earth.

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Do not give in to success

The Great Transition/8 The pitfall of '"dusk at noon" and its antidote

by Luigino Bruni

published in  pdf Avvenire (59 KB) on 22/02/2015

Sole di mezzanotte ridNow two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them... they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” (...) But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets!”

Book of Numbers 11:26-29

Organizations, communities, movements are living organisms: they are born, they grow, die, get sick and they are cured. There is a disease, the one that last Sunday we called "auto-immune", is particularly severe and difficult to cure, especially because its early symptoms are read as signs of success and health. As with all autoimmune diseases, the factors that used to serve to grow and protect a VDO (value driven organization), at some point begin to infect the same social body that they had been nurturing for so long.

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The Courage to Think of the Orchard

The Great Transition/7 The autoimmune disease of organisations can be cured

by Luigino Bruni

published in  pdf Avvenire (62 KB) on 15/02/2015

Creatività 02 ridKnow well, then, that the god orders this. And I suppose that until now no greater good has arisen for you in the city than my service to the god.” (30a; English translation: Thomas G. West)

Plato, Apology of Socrates

Many companies and organizations are created in order to seize a market opportunity, to respond to a need, to provide a service. Others, however, are the emanation of personality, passions, ideals of one or more persons, who put and embody the most solemn words and the largest projects of their lives in their organization.

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The Spirit of Differences

The Great Transition/6 - The Human Future is Creativity, not Cynical Homogenisation

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 08/02/2015

Motivation rid‘Not merely in the realm of commerce but in the world of ideas as well our age is organizing a regular clearance sale. Everything is to be had at such a bargain that it is questionable whether in the end there is anybody who will want to bid.’

Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling (English translation: Walter Lowrie)

The beauty of social life mainly depends on the game and the interweaving of differences. The earth is not only beautiful for the variety of butterflies and flowers. There is much beauty generated by the differences in the ways and forms of doing economy, enterprise or banking. Even greater is the beauty that comes from the differences between people, from the encounter of their different talents, from the dialogue between their motivations.

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Vulnerable Trust is the Strongest

The Great Transition/5  Making new alternatives to the logic of the castes grow

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 01/02/2015

Fiducia 01 ridCommunitas is a set of people united not by a “property”, but by a duty or a debt. Not by a “more”, but a “less”, by a lack, a limit that is set up as a burden, or even as an obligation or even as a defective way for the person who is “affected” by it, unlike the one who is “exempt” or “exempted.”
(Roberto Esposito, Communitas).

Communities and organizations that have preserved their creative and fruitful character over time have been able to live with their vulnerability; they have not eliminated it entirely from their territories but they took care of it.
Vulnerability (from vulnus: wound), like many true words of the human realm, is ambivalent, because good vulnerability coexists with bad vulnerability, and often the two are intertwined. Good vulnerability is inscribed in all generative human relationships, where if I do not give the other the possibility of “hurting me”, the relationship does not reach the depth to be fruitful.

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The Claws of Ingratitude

The Great Transition/4 - Workers not seen any more, managers reduced to technicians

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 25/01/2015

Lavoro in ufficio ridWe should get used to reflecting deeply on the fact that my own self is communion. If we can define communities like the regular meeting of a few individuals in a given time and space but also in their power of being a person each, then we should feel the radical insufficiency of the communities, and strive constantly to dissolve them, by exceeding them in communion.

Giuseppe Maria Zanghì, A Few Reflections on the Person

In all the great eras of passage the first shortcoming is that of words.
In this fast age of transition, the world of work also suffers from the lack of poets, artists and masters of spirituality that could donate new words to better understand our joys, sufferings and hopes. We lack the language to say how we are living, to tell and, through telling about them, to treat them.

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The Organization of Consumption

The Great Transition/3 Young executives sacrificed, just like in the armies and pagan cults

by Luigino Bruni

published inAvvenire on 18/01/2015

One can behold in capitalism a religion, that is to say, capitalism essentially serves to satisfy the same worries, anguish and disquiet formerly answered by so-called religion.

Walter Benjamin, Capitalism as Religion, 1921 (translated by Chad Kautzer)

Burnout 01 ridAt this stage in our – sometimes in-depth – thinking about the non-sustainability of economic and financial models that we have set up in recent decades, there is one aspect that seems to be rather overlooked if we put it in relation with the weight it has in our political life, in democracy, in our well-being and ill state. It is the management culture of the organizations, which is becoming a true global ideology, developed and taught at major universities and widely implemented by multinational corporations and in global consulting associations. It is an ideology that is entering in many areas of social life, because it appears as a value-free technique, which has been able to recycle many of the symbolic codes that Western civilization has associated with good life and wealth for millennia.

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The Roots of Development

The Great Transition/2 - Crucial innovation stems from among the youth and the poor

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 11/01/2015

Two prisoners, in two neighbouring cells, who communicate by knocking on the wall. The wall is what separates them but it is also what allows them to communicate. So it is between God and us. Every separation is a link, too.
Simone Weil (Gravity and Grace)

Innesto ridInnovation is a term in botany. It is used for buds and new branches. Innovations therefore need roots, good soil and a living plant.
They are life in bloom, generativity in action. And the innovations that become food, gardens and parks also require the work and patience of the farmer or gardener who accompanies them and looks after them during the frosts of the hard winters. And so the bud grows into a flower, the vineyard produces good wine, the fig tree starts to generate fruit after years of infertility and is saved.

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The Genius of the Future is Mestizo

The Great Transition/1 - Four (and more) different economies; new alliances

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 4/01/2015

How are you going to save the world? How find a straight road to progress, you menGiovani Start up 01 rid of science, of industry, of cooperation, of trade unions and all the rest? How are you going to save it, I say? By what? By credit? What is credit? To what will credit lead you?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)

While we suffer from a crisis that seems (and is) too long, in order to cultivate hope that is not vain we should be able to see the bustling crowds of new life, businesses, work and innovation in the undergrowth of our economy. Because it is there, really. However, the quality of the new phase of our capitalism will depend on which contemporary economy is able to "attract", absorb and exploit all the young, intellectual and technological energy that is being released in and outside of the "canvas" (web).

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