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Vatican organizes summer school for young economists

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J-P Mauro - published on 06/19/23

An international group of students will attend the Economy of Francesco's second International Summer School in 2023.

The Economy of Francesco will hold its second International Summer School, to be held at the Franciscan Sanctuary La Verna, Tuscany, from June 18 to 23. The theme of the week-long event will be “Spiritual, social, and narrative capitals: going beyond capitalism,” and will discuss the creation of a new economic paradigm, following the guidance of Francis’ pontificate. 

Launched by Pope Francis in 2019, The Economy of Francesco (EoF) is a global movement that aims to have young people advance current economic models for a more inclusive and just future. In September 2022 the Pope addressed an international gathering of more than 1,000 young economists, entrepreneurs and changemakers, explaining to them: 

“The first capital of any society is spiritual capital, for this is what gives us a reason to get up every morning and go to work and engenders the joy of living that is also necessary for the economy.”

Matteo Rizzoli, Associate Professor of Economic Policy at LUMSA University and coordinator of the EoF Summer School, expanded on Pope Francis’ instruction. Rizzoli explained why he is convinced that spiritual, social, and narrative capitals are fundamental “as they emphasize the human, social and cultural dimensions of the economy.” He said: 

“Social capital promotes trust and collaboration, fostering resilience and sustainability. Narrative capital influences people’s choices and behaviors, conveying values and promoting equity and innovation. Spiritual capital recognizes that material wealth alone does not guarantee well-being and that values such as compassion and respect for nature are equally important. Integrating these aspects contributes to an economy that is more inclusive, resilient, and geared toward the well-being of people and the planet.”

Noting the success of the last iteration of the program, this year’s summer program will be attended by 80 students, twice the number of attendees in 2021. The international group of students will represent 32 countries, including Vietnam, Honduras, Argentina, Botswana, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Haiti, Pakistan, and Italy. The program will have students reading and attending workshops and sessions, as well as guided visits to museums and the forest located inside La Verna. 

The Friars of La Verna, who are part of this initiative, expressed their excitement of welcoming this years’ students: 

“We’re delighted to welcome this initiative — says the guardian, Father Francesco Brasa — that embraces the instances of the magisterium of Pope Francis and the ever-timely prophecy of the Poverello of Assisi who lived the summit of his human and spiritual experience at La Verna. To invest in formation is to build the future together.”

EconomyEducationPope FrancisVatican
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