Economy of Communion
Realizing the dream of a society with no more poor people through a new style of economic action.
During a trip to Brazil in 1991 Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, went to San Paolo. “We had visited the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil several times – she said herself on the occasion of the inauguration of the Polo Lionello – but, one day in 1991, we saw it in that paradox of its, which strongly impressed and scandalized us: a forest of skyscrapers, kingdom of the rich, with a “crown of thorns” around it, an infinity of favelas, kingdom of the poor.
A circumstance, a paradox, through which God also called us to do something”. An observation that gives life to an inspiration. During that trip, Lubich matures the idea that it is necessary to live and spread a new culture, that of giving and sharing, to give life to a project that helps to heal the gap between rich and poor.
This culture of giving, which is also at the basis of entrepreneurial choices, can in fact generate a new economic activity that leads companies, even if inserted in the market, to contribute to the creation of a more just, more equitable, supportive world. This is how the Economy of Communion project was born, which today involves over 800 production and service companies on the market in the five continents, 200 of which are in Italy.
THE ECONOMY OF COMMUNION: USEFUL IN THREE PARTS
The Economy of Communion is a project that combines economy and communion, efficiency and solidarity. The companies that freely join the project undertake to divide the profit into three parts: one for the company, for its development and support; another to form “new men” and spread the “culture of giving” and reciprocity, without which it is not possible to realize an Economy of Communion; a third goes to set up a special solidarity fund to help disadvantaged people, providing for their basic needs.
THE ECONOMY OF COMMUNION BECOMES CULTURE
Since its beginning, the Economy of Communion project has attracted the attention of the academic world, in Italy as well as in various countries around the world. There are numerous degree theses and scientific publications, many university courses and congresses dedicated to the Economy of Communion, to its achievements, its potential. It is always visited by people from the world of politics, the culture of economics and finance as an element of absolute innovation in the world of economic action. It is also constantly visited by groups from various associations and groups in the academic world.
The EoC (Economy of Communion) Identity Card
[This document expresses the need for] 10 requirements, among which the first shows that:
“1. The Economy of Communion (EoC) is a movement that involves entrepreneurs, businesses, associations, economic institutions, but also workers, managers, consumers, savers, students, economic operators, the poor, citizens, families. It was born by Chiara Lubich in May 1991 in San Paolo in Brazil. Its purpose is to contribute, in the light of the Charism of Unity, to giving life to fraternal enterprises that feel, as their own mission, to eradicate misery and social injustice, to help build an economic system and human society of communion where, imitation of the first Christian community of Jerusalem, “there was no destitute among them” (Acts 4: 32-34).
Point 7 clearly outlines the requirements, which are:
- a serious commitment by the entrepreneur / s to begin a journey of communion with the entire local and international EoC movement, not only as a single person but, in the case of entrepreneurs, also as an expression of the business community;
- sharing the aims of the project and the aims of the charism of the Unity of which the EoC is an expression;
- the opening to allocate company profits, when they are present, according to the three purposes of the project, which are:
- concrete help to the poor,
- the formation of “new men”,
- the development of the company itself;
- inspiring their own corporate governance to fraternity, according to the document “Guidelines for conducting an EoC enterprise”;
- comprehending and living the relationship with people in a situation of indigence on a level of substantial dignity, respect, equality, reciprocity, and communion;
- conceiving own company and/or action as a place and a tool to reduce indigence, misery, and injustice, both in one’s own local context and globally.
The guidelines for conducting an EoC enterprise
The guidelines for conducting an Economy of Communion enterprise, written in the light of the life and reflection of thousands of entrepreneurs and workers, follow the scheme of the so-called seven colors. The reference to the colors of the rainbow is one of the foundational charismatic intuitions of the way of conceiving and practicing associated life in the context of the charism of Unity, of which the EoC is an expression, and can also be applied to the business reality:
- RED: entrepreneurs, workers, and companies;
- ORANGE: The relationship with customers, suppliers, lenders, civil society, and external parties;
- YELLOW: Spirituality and Ethics;
- GREEN: Quality of life, happiness, and relationships;
- BLUE: Harmony in the workplace;
- INDIGO: Training, education, knowledge;
- VIOLET: Communication.
Both documents are an integral part of all the rental contracts for the spaces of the Polo Lionello Bonfanti that the entrepreneurs of the companies sign to enter it.
For further information, please refer to the sites:
The international website of the Economy of Communion project:
- Culture of Giving http://edc-online.org/it/chi-siamo-it/cultura-del-dare.html
- Communion of Profits http://edc-online.org/it/chi-siamo-it/comunione-degli-utili.html
- EoC Identity Card http://edc-online.org/it/chi-siamo-it/documento-di-presentazione.html
- How to adhere http://edc-online.org/it/chi-siamo-it/come-aderire.html