A young researcher from the United States describes how he hopes to learn about the realities surrounding inequalities during the Economy of Francesco event in Assisi, as he and other young people apply the values and principles of St Francis.
By Francesca Merlo – Assisi, Italy
Anthony Guidotti is attending the Economy of Francesco, taking place on 22-24 September in the central Italian city of Assisi, as a researcher and “villager” in the Inequalities Village.
Village against inequality
Speaking to Vatican News, he explains that throughout the event there are a series of “villages”, each focusing on a different topic.
“My village,” explains Anthony, is called the CO2 of inequalities, although, he adds, “we are not just talking about inequalities that relate to sustainability, but across all the domains of inequality, whether it’s of opportunity, financial or ecological.”
Anthony explains that his research focuses on economic dignity and community wealth building. “I believe that what I bring is an approach that really thinks about my work with policymakers, at the local level, to think about how to turn these ideas and these principles we have into actual action that improves people’s lives.”
We do not know yet how to do so, but “I think that the first thing comes from identifying our principles.” He warns that if we do not have a normative basis to compare a public policy, “then our public policy is going to serve some other master besides the common good.”
Bearing that in mind, Anthony continues, “I think the first thing is to have conversations and gatherings like this one, in which we can really say and commit to: these are our principles, these are our values, and then we can work together and say: okay, what does that mean for our public policy?”
Values and principles
Values and principles, especially in a place like Assisi, are very clear, says Anthony. When so many people from all over the globe come together, we all bring something, and that, according to Anthony, is “an important aspect of this event and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
We need it to be “a global movement”, he stresses. However, continues Anthony, “even more than what we bring, I think it’s what we are open to, what we listen to.”
Coming from the United States, Anthony thinks that there is a lot he can learn about inequality, as well as “more authentic and authentic public policy” by listening and collaborating with colleagues and new friends from all these different countries: “It’s actually how we engage, collaborate and receive from one another.”
Excitement of seeing Pope Francis
Pope Francis will travel to Assisi on Saturday to attend the final day of the Economy of Francesco event.
Looking forward to seeing the Pope, Anthony expresses his excitement to witness first-hand Pope Francis’ leadership on global issues.
“He is someone who exemplifies that value of listening and receiving,” says Anthony. “And I believe that his leadership on all of these issues that are covered at this event are really important as we think about the Catholic Church in the modern world, both in terms of how we deal with the challenges of today, but also how we look toward the future in our stewardship of that future.”