End of last year young people from 115 countries participated in the international online event “The Economy of Francesco” that was supposed to take place as a personal meeting in Assisi in spring. They were invited by Pope Francis in order to initiate a process of global economic change. Among the participants were two young Kolping members from Europe, Dominik Presul (Slovakia) and Sven Messing (Germany).
During the previous months, the participants of the Economy of Francesco had worked in twelve thematic villages such as “work and care”, “energy and poverty”, “women for economy” or “vocation and profit” in order to develop ideas for an economy that safeguards the environment and ensures justice for the poor. Based on these ideas, the participants developed specific proposals that were presented to Pope Francis during the online event.
Besides this, high-level speakers such as Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize winner 2006) discussed with young people from all over the world about different aspects of improving the economic system. The event concluded with a speech from Pope Francis who motivated the participants to be protagonists of the global economic change: “You cannot absent yourselves from those places where the present and future are generated. You are either part of them or history will pass you by.”
The Economy of Francesco has been a great opportunity for Dominik Presul and Sven Messing, who are both board members of Kolping Youth Europe, to incorporate the experience they have gained in Kolping into a global process. Additionally, they created a network with economists and change makers from all over the world and demonstrated that Kolping is willing to support economic changes that are connected with social and ecological benefits.