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Business as a ‘space’ capable of generating wealth for all

The Archdiocese of Turin publishes a booklet on the links between business, work and local areas

A proper, forward-looking notion of business and work should be something everyone can agree on. But that, unfortunately, is not always the case. It’s often a matter of adverse conditions, but there are also aspects of business and work culture that need to be changed and developed. This will start from mutual understanding, perhaps beginning with young people. This was the premise of a recent initiative by the Archdiocese of Turin, to create the conditions for mutual understanding between young people, businesses, educational institutions, employers’ associations and trade unions. The project consisted of a series of round tables on various aspects of business and work. The results yielded ‘Futuro al lavoro. Riflessione sull’esperienza e sui valori del lavoro’ (‘The Future of Work: A Reflection on the Experience and Values of Work’), a collection of articles focussing on the following topics: young people and work, work and training, work and representation, work and businesses, and guidance in the world of work.  Discussions from each round table contributed different chapters to the booklet. Each begins with a description of the issue, followed by a summary of the discussion of it and a list of good practices and working proposals.

The foreword, by the Archbishop of Turin, Cesare Nosiglia, attempts to identify the common threads linking the different parts of the study. ‘The need to create adequate conditions and policies for economic development,’ Nosiglia explains, ‘is part of the idea of promoting human work, a factor that is crucial not only for the economic growth of a territory, but also for the growth of the individual and society as a whole.’ He then points out that ‘Solidarity is often depreciated because it asks people in the world of work to invest in relationships that transcend their own interests and personal benefit. The challenges of history end in defeat when we face them alone. But when we face them together, they become opportunities…’ Commenting on the role of business within today’s society, the archbishop highlights the possibility of viewing it ‘as a new form of solidarity, an opportunity to create wealth that is not strictly monetary, while rediscovering the benefits of a civilised economy.’ He proceeds to discuss the role of entrepreneurs, suggesting that business ‘can be a space capable of generating wealth for others, rather than merely for personal gain, while creating jobs for the community. This is good, quality employment that serves both the individual and society.’ He goes on: ‘Being an entrepreneur means first and foremost investing in people’s abilities, without subjugating them to the inescapable forces of money, power and profit at all costs.’

‘The Future at Work’ presents an idea of entrepreneurship that may seem limiting to some, but which certainly has much in common with the highest expressions of business culture seen in Italy today.

Futuro al lavoro. Riflessione sull’esperienza e sui valori del lavoro’ (‘The Future of Work: A Reflection on the Experience and Values of Work’)

Various authors.

Archdiocese of Turin, May 2019

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