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LoppianoLab 2014 Starts with the EoC

The fifth edition of LoppianoLab is now open at the Lionello Bonfanti Pole. Italian entrepreneurs and companies working on and committed to overcoming the crisis by healing the wounds of poverty and exclusion.

141003 05 LoppianoLab Virtual expo 01 ridThe first day of the fifth edition of LoppianoLab was opened at 9.30 am with the 'Virtual Expo' of 57 Italian companies that share in the same experience of communion in the economy. The national laboratory was entitled: A map for Italy: Between Relationships, Work and culture. A filmmaker has travelled through Italy from North to South to meet EoC entrepreneurs and tell their stories – now assembled in a video channel that will remain active for a year.

The first highlight of the day was the all-encompassing contrast of relationships 141003 05 LoppianoLab AIPEC 04 ridbetween politics and economics offered by AIPEC, the group of entrepreneurs who seek to propose the EoC practice within the Italian social and economic context. Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) only a decorative element or is it the basic tenet of economic policy? How to overcome the competitive disadvantage in a virtuous and law-abiding company in a crisis scenario that Minister Padoan defines as worse than that of 1929? To discuss these topics were the President of the Political Movement for Unity (MPPU) Silvio Minnetti, Head of 141003 05 LoppianoLab AIPEC 02 ridUmbra Cuscinetti Group Antonio Baldaccini, John Arletti (CHIMAR Group), a leader in the field of industrial packaging and Gaetano Guzzardi, a young lawyer from Catania who is also Secretary General of AIPEC. People who spread powerful messages of hope and resilience to the crisis. What motivates them to keep going? It is the certainty that their company has a value for the community. The winning response to this crisis is to focus on the people and the creativity of a team that is aware of the social function of their company. Finally, the winner of the business project award for innovation and social inclusion of AIPEC’s call for 2014 was announced: ‘The house on the rock’ by the Demetra cooperative from Avellino.

In the afternoon, Luigino Bruni opened the 5th EoC Italy Convention entitled: “Open 141003 05 LoppianoLab Convention Luigino 05 ridSpaces: Civil Entrepreneurship and Social Relations, Starting from the Talents and from the Last Ones”. Bruni compares the EoC to the seed of the Gospel that grows depending on the soil that it falls into. The sun, the rain, the hail of these long years of crisis have been the soil where the EOC as it is today has grown up in Italy. He reiterates that the EoC lives for the hunger of life of the poor. Today the EoC is hope because: ‘in a world of collapsing forests, you must see a tree that is growing’ and ‘it is in the suburbs hungry for life that peoples are reborn’. Finally, focusing on becoming a critical mass embarking on a journey with those who share our dream of inclusion, in freedom, not asking the other, ‘who are you?,’ but ‘Where are you going?

Next came the roundtable discussion entitled Poverty, one and many, and productive inclusion. Many stories of associations and social engagement are told; all of these place man, discomfort and poverty at the heart of their actions: Caritas argentina, Associazione Mondo Unito (AMU), Libera contro le mafie, Caritas Torino, Fondazione di Comunità (Messina), Coop. Sociale L’Arcolaio.

Giovanni Romano, President of Arcolaio tells about their project with the prisoners in Syracuse that has triggered a virtuous circle of trust: ‘We are trying to build paths of redemption and dignity with the convicts. We are giving them a chance for redemption, producing almond paste. This way we have also opened up to the surrounding area. In order for it to work, a prison needs surrounding areas where there is solidarity aid. There are many walls to break’.141003 05 LoppianoLab Convention Tiziana 06 rid

Tiziana Ciampolini from the Caritas Observatory of Turin describes the project “Fa bene” (“It's good for you”), invented by young people whom nobody gave credit, but Caritas decided to believe in them: and so an innovative action of solidarity was born in the daily practice of food expenditure in some district markets of the city of Turin, promoting the purchase of fresh quality food to families in difficulty, stimulating reciprocity.

Gaetano Giunta representing Fondazione di Comunità (Community Foundation) talks about his idea of a new welfare system that focuses on the individual and values ​​diversity, thereby releasing a large amount of resources.

All different stories, from north to south, but they are all equal bearers of innovation and hope. Stories that take our breath away and melt the ice layer of pessimism that surrounds our Italy: we are working together, we are creating a critical mass, we are inserting that little virus of communion into the sick ecosystem of capitalism that can really bring about a change. We had a really great day today at Polo Lionello!



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