On Saturday 9 April, LUISS opened the canteen in viale Romania to refugees and homeless people to offer them lunch, together with students.
It was a great initiative, organised by few student associations, in line with the spirit of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, and this event witnessed two different realities seating close to each other, maybe for the first time.
Such initiatives proves the direction the University has taken, one that goes towards greater – social and cultural – integration with the surrounding environment and the challenges it might bring.
The keyword is: sharing. This aspect of the personal education of a young student is often put aside, or maybe completely taken off, in traditional institution where an academic theoretical education is offered. However, in LUISS we have decided that it was still a fundamental perspective.
Educating to giving, sharing, donating time and resources to those who need them most is the baseline for a 360° education.
Young people who graduate today are thrown in a difficult world, in which work is difficult to find, internationalisation forces them to adopt different behaviours and mentalities than a few decades ago, and in which we eventually understood that resources (whether natural or human) are not endless.
According to a 2015 study from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if Europe adopted a more circular economy, it would have 1.6tr euro net revenues. Another research indicates that circular economy could raise the UK GDP by 29£ bn and create 205,000 new jobs.
Circularity is not just the last of a series of economic principles. It is a different and new approach to life, to management in its broadest sense, to the mentality we decide to adopt to survive the difficulties of the world we live in and whom we are due to make a better place.
In such a situation, the only way out is to share what we have to grow more, and better.
Education to circularity – of the economy, of human and material resources – goes through, and above all, highly valuable experiences, such as the lunch with refugees and homeless people on Saturday. The practice of solidarity instead of theory, reality instead of its mere study.