Luigino Bruni Vita 250Luigino Bruni

"Nothing has more value than an act of gratuitousness"

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Narrative Capitals/9 Childlike spirit is the summit of adult life

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 07/01/2018

180107 Capitali narrativi 09 rid“But one had to be talented to be able to age without becoming an adult ".

Jacques Brel-Franco BattiatoThe Song of Old Lovers (La canzone dei vecchi amanti)

Every organization and every community would like to have members who authentically identify with their institutional mission, genuinely love its narratives and truly believe in what they say and do. This difficult operation of sincere individual identification with the institutional mission succeeds very well in the context of ideal-driven communities and organizations (IDO), especially when ideals are so high that they puncture the sky and let us glimpse paradise. This creates a perfect synergy between the individual and the community. Everyone believes, hopes, loves and desires the things of all others, without this "socialization of the heart" being experienced as the alienation and expropriation of the hearts of individuals.

Narrative Capitals/8 - Founding and continuing without haste, just like equilibrists

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 31/12/2017

171230 Capitali narrativi 08 ridWhen a truly original genius makes its appearance in the world, people make haste to get rid of it. To achieve this goal they have two methods. The first is elimination. In the event of failure, they adopt the second method (which is much more radical and hideous): exaltation, putting it on a pedestal and transforming it into a "god".

Lu Xun, An Introduction to a The sayings of Confucius

At the origins of many communities and movements there is an experience of intense and deep closeness, among all of the members and - in the first place - with the founders. It is an extended kind of intimacy that exalts and develops the intimacy of each person. This particular "relational good" attracts, fills and fascinates no less than the ideal message received and announced. The contact of hearts and bodies, the sharing of the same table where meals prepared together are eaten, the real hugs to the "lepers" that immediately become true and different hugs exchanged with each other upon returning home. These are radically anti-immunitarian experiences, precisely because the many forms of mediation that we have invented in order not to touch the "wound of the other” are not there yet.

Narrative Capitals/7 - Bad culture chases good existence away

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 24/12/2017

171223 Capitali narrativi 07 ridBut when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. (...) But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Paul , Letter to the Galatians (2:11; 14)

Life has its fullness that in itself has the power to satisfy and satiate. The moon, the dawn, the sunset, pain, love, a gaze, a child, are more concrete and true incarnate words than the words we use to describe them. If this were not so, we would not understand why most people, yesterday and today, do not know how to compose poems or theological essays, yet they can touch life at the same depth as the poet or the philosopher. It is this direct access to the mystery of existence that really makes us all equal under the sun, before the many differences and inequalities, whether they are good or bad. And that, perhaps, makes us occasionally able to feel a true universal fraternity with animals, plants, and the earth, that we feel alive, just like ourselves. But, as it often happens, this infinite richness can also be transformed, in some cases, into a form of poverty.

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 17/12/2017

171217 Capitali narrativi 6 ridPoverty is the first virtue to be discovered by all founders, and the first one to be forgotten by their successors.

Carlo Maria Martini, Per amore, per voi, per sempre (“For love, for you, forever” - the tr.)

Ideology is a very common and serious illness in ideal-driven organizations (IDO), and it develops especially during the crisis of narrative capital, when amidst the shortage of true stories to tell the offer of new artificial stories that seem to respond to the hunger for sense and future that is hitting the community becomes very seductive. Ideology is the neurosis of the ideal - just as idolatry is the neurosis of faith. Among the many forms that ideologies take, a particularly frequent and dangerous form is the one suggested by Spanish writer Don Juan Manuel’s novel entitled El Conde Lucanor (Tales of Count Lucanor), which is the medieval source of the fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes. But, unlike its various modern rewritings, in the original novel we find precious elements to add new words to our discourse on movements and communities that originate from ideals, charismas and motivations that are different and larger than the economic ones.

Narrative Capitals/5 - There is no more vital guarantee than “freedom-without-guarantees”

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 10/12/2017

171203 Capitali narrativi 5 rid«Human desire will forever remain only in its irreducible character (resistant to) any reduction and adaptation. »

Jacques Lacan The Seminar of; Book V (English translation by Cormac Gallagher)

It is not uncommon for experiences born in the name of gratuitousness to end up coming into conflict with the very gratuitousness that generated them. In many companies, the ‘simple’ goal of maximizing profit already produces organizations that do everything they can to try to direct all the available energies of their workers towards this end. But if the mission of an ideal-driven organization (IDO) is the definitive redemption of the poor or, perhaps, the conversion of the world, the members are asked to direct all available and even unavailable energies, possibly their entire life towards such a high cause. And so it often happens that in the practice of the IDO there is less freedom and gratuitousness than in the companies and organizations that the IDO criticizes precisely because of the lack of gift and freedom.

Narrative Capitals/4 - Founding and Saving facts and acts aren’t always striking

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 03/12/2017

171203 Capitali narrativi 4 rid“Only infinite love can reduce itself and, in order to become finite, become incarnated in order to love the other, to love the other as a finite other.”

Jacques Derrida The Gift of Death (English translation by: David Wills)

Narrative capitals are pluralistic. Not all the stories they are composed of have the same value. Only a few are able to carry the weight of the new construction. ‘Wheat’ and ‘weeds’ are found in all fields of the earth, including those special fields where our ideals grow. At the beginning we must grow all the plants in the field, because - as the great evangelical metaphor says - if the peasants intervened to eradicate the weeds they would also tear away the good and precious ears of wheat.

Narrative Capitals/3 - Great collective ideals germinate in seismic areas

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 26/11/2017

171125 Capitali narrativi 3 rid«Ci sono le voci.
Ci accompagnano.
Ci mordono.
Ci sussurrano brevissime consolazioni…
Ci comandano
ci sgridano
quasi mai ci lodano
gridano nelle notti insonni.
Le voci…
Di chi sono queste voci?»

Chandra Livia Candiani, Fatti vivo

The more we loved the great narratives we see vanishing, the more severe the famines of narrative capital are. When we had laid all our hearts, souls and minds in that good news, burned all our impossible desires, and it had become the dominant thought that did not let us sleep at night because we wanted to daydream our only true dream.

Narrative Capitals/2 - Rising again should be learned and is only possible without a contract

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 19/11/2017

171119 Capitali narrativi 2 ridThe great writers project their shadow in two directions simultaneously. In one they offer their shadow to their predecessors, in the other to those who follow them".

Wislawa Szymborska, How to live more comfortably

The most tenacious and constant search that humans conduct on earth is the search for consolation. It is impossible to give it up, especially in difficult times of existence, when the pain of the present and the uncertainty of the future generate the invincible temptation to construct illusions in order not to die. Many people, even the great, interrupt their ethical and spiritual journey and regress when and because they give in to these terrible temptations.

Narrative Capitals/1 - The new beginning of a spiritual and work heritage

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire il 12/11/2017

171112 Capitali narrativi 1 ridWe have to work in those intermediate areas between several orders of disciplines, in which exceptional wealth is often accumulated, like at the border of two different areas.

Achille Loria The Economic Foundations of Society

Communities, associations, movements, institutions and businesses live through many forms of capital. One of these is narrative capital, a precious resource in many organizations, which becomes essential in times of crisis and in the great changes on which the quality of the present, the possibility of the future, the blessing or curse of the past depend. It is the patrimony - that is, munus / gift of the fathers - made of stories, stories, writings, sometimes poems, songs and myths. It is a real capital because, like all capitals, it generates fruits and future. If the ideals of the organization or community are high and ambitious, as it happens in many ideal driven organizations (IDO), its narrative capital is also great. It is a precious resource during the first difficulties, when telling each other the great episodes of yesterday gives courage to continue to hope, believe and love today.

The Dawn of Midnight/29 - Generated for ever: the world will not be abandoned

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire on 05/11/2017

171105 Geremia 29 ridThe Bible is not my sacred text, even though I also feel its sacredness, which I derive from its capacity to absorb the screams of the world. Jeremiah's cry of pain is almost fully let out as a scream. Job screams. Isaiah, too. So it is a strange sacred text composed of despair, failure and an implacable faith in a God who does not answer".

Guido Ceronetti, from a 2013 interview

“The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: »Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: You said, ‘Woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’ (...) Thus says the Lord: (...) And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go«”. (Jeremiah 45:1-5).

The Dawn of Midnight/28 - Man and woman: the most beautiful "image" under the sun

by Luigino Bruni

published in Avvenire le 29/10/2017

171029 Geremia 28 ridThe longer we are uprooted from professional activities and our private lives, the more it brings home to us how fragmentary our lives are compared with those of our parents. Our spiritual existence remains incomplete.”

Dietrich BonhoefferLetter to Eberhard Bethge, 1944 (English translation by Reginald H. Fuller)

Ideology is anti-hope. Hope is born within the imperfect reality of today and feeds on a better tomorrow that it does not know yet but awaits. It is the gift-virtue of the crossings of deserts, when we walk in the scorching heat knowing that a promised land awaits us in the end, which is real even if nobody has ever seen it.

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The Dawn of Midnight

Logo Geremia Crop 150The series of comments by Luigino Bruni on Jeremiah's book comes out every Sunday on Avvenire

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Video EoC Summer School Prague 2015

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A Lexicon of Social Well-Being

A Lexicon of social well being ridLuigino Bruni

Palgrave Pivot, April 2015


Luigino Bruni’s articles and video

The Vocabulary of Good Social Life

Logo nuovo lessico rid modThe "words" of the New Vocabulary from the editorials of each Sunday published in Avvenire by Luigino Bruni

Communion - 09/02/2014
- 02/02/2014
- 26/01/2014
- 19/01/2014
- 12/01/2014
- 05/01/2014
- 29/12/2013
- 22/12/2013
 - 15/12/2013
Market - 08/12/2013
Common Goods - 01/12/2013
Cooperation - 24/11/2013
Experience Goods - 17/11/2013
A Critical Point - 10/11/2013
Types of Capital - 03/11/2013
Poverty - 27/10/2013
Relational Goods - 20/10/2013
Goods- 13/10/2013
Wealth - 06/10/2013
A New Vocabulary - 29/09/2013

The Wound and the Blessing

Wound blessingLuigino Bruni

Economics, Relationships, and Happiness

New City Press, 2012


United Nations Video

This short video was shot in occasion of the EoC presentation in the February 2012 UN Conference on Poverty Eradication.


Video - EoC in 5 words

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Presentation by Luigino Bruni to the Faculty of the Ateneo De Manila University. Manila, Philippines, September 23, 2011

Guidelines for conducting an EoC business

Binari_rid_modThe Economy of Communion proposes the following "Guidelines for conducting a business", to productive organizations who adhere to its message and its culture, written in the light of the life and thought of thousands of entrepreneurs and workers....

The Genesis and Ethos of the Market

The Genesis and Ethos of the market ridLuigino Bruni

Palgrave Macmillan, September 2012


The economy of giving

Chiara_Lubich_1Chiara Lubich

«Unlike the consumerist economy, based on a culture of having, the economy of communion is the economy of giving.... 

Avvenire Editorials

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