30 November 2021
A new global foundation launched to focus on universal fraternity through media
The foundation, unveiled at inaugural Unity Conference, will amplify efforts towards global peace and inclusivity
[ROME, ITALY] The Nuova Global Foundation was launched today as a new initiative, to spearhead and support capacity building among media focused on fostering peace and reconciliation globally, and building universal fraternity.
The Foundation, under the aegis of the Focolare Movement, aims to drive awareness of inclusive global development. It will focus on communitarian and solutions journalism, giving a voice to people at the grassroots level, and empowering the development of concrete solutions and collective action towards a united world.
To begin with, the Foundation will strengthen the efforts of its global affiliate network of 21 magazine and publishing houses of the Città Nuova (New City) brand, under the Focolare Movement. This network brings together nearly 100 journalists from around the world, who are dedicated to the mission of inclusivity and promoting dialogue among peoples, cultures, societies, countries, and religions.
The Foundation will help strengthen and expand this network of communicators, at a time where dialogue and other peace-building efforts are coming under increasing threats.
“We believe in this time of pandemic it is even more critical to create solutions for fraternity. We hope that this unique vision of a global foundation for media that bridges will result in a united world. That it is being set up on the 25th anniversary since Chiara Lubich [founder of the Focolare Movement] received the UNESCO peace prize for education is a fitting contribution to dialogue and fraternity,” said Federico Vescovini, Chairman of Nuova Global Foundation.
The Foundation was introduced today at the inaugural Unity Conference 2021, where global leaders shared their perspectives on building a more inclusive global economy. Nearly 300 people were in attendance at the conference, which comprised an online broadcast and a physical event in Rome.
Among the speakers at the event were Réka Szemerkényi, a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA); and Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, the former Deputy Secretary-General of Religions for Peace. Ms Szemerkényi and Rev. Sugino have also joined the board of Nuova Global Foundation.
Also at the event, two initiatives of the Foundation were presented:
- The Inclusive Economy Report, a global issue collecting data and stories of impact towards a more inclusive world, which will be published in the first quarter of 2022 in different languages;
- The Unity Mark, a global award program for individuals and companies who can demonstrate that their content contributes to building a united world.
For more details on the Unity Conference please visit https://nuovaglobal.org/unity-conference/
Federico Vescovini’s (Chairman of Nuova Global Foundation) and Margaret Karram’s (President of the Focolare Movement) speeches are attached.
About Nuova Global Foundation
The Nuova Global Foundation (NGF) is a global non-profit organization that serves as a platform for unity, inclusive dialogue, and action towards the common good.
NGF believes in supporting the development of media organizations and journalistic projects that highlight global challenges and solutions for the common good and humane global development.
NGF is headquartered in Madrid, Spain and supports a growing global affiliate network across 5 continents, and has operations in 42 countries, working collectively to pave ideas and solutions for inclusive and sustainable growth of our global society.
About Focolare Movement
The Focolare Movement has the features of a large and varied family, of a “new people born of the Gospel”, as Chiara Lubich, its founder, defined it. It is a movement of spiritual and social renewal, founded in Trent, Italy, in 1943, during the Second World War. The Focolare Movement, officially known as the Work of Mary, was approved by the Catholic Church in 1962. It is now present in 182 nations and more than 2 million people share closely in its life and work
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OPENING REMARKS BY FEDERICO VESCOVINI, CHAIRMAN OF NUOVA GLOBAL FOUNDATION, AT THE UNITY CONFERENCE 2021
Good day everyone!
As Chairman of the Nuova Global Foundation, I like to welcome all of you. I feel that it is my responsibility to present a clear and honest reality so that this conference is not mere words but action, concrete action for a united world.
The major challenge for any media organizations today is to combine sustainability with positive impact instead of bowing merely to commercial interests which many do. To address this issue it was clear that we needed to implement proper fundraising and financing, also to attract and pay professionals to do a better job at impacting a united world.
We believe that through a well-organised global foundation, we can reach this objective. As always, fundraising has to be transparent about the impact we seek to create: for example, we want to use our media group to increase consciousness about the environmental challenges in Latin America and its divisive effects on communities, or about a rising Africa, where there are new social innovators and entrepreneurs who are working to contribute to peace and unity.
So, we aim to raise funds globally for the local Citta Nuovas, also known as the Local Affiliates of Nuova Global, and only award these funds based on projects of impact. Every project will be evaluated properly to see that they are well-planned and also measurable in terms of outcomes towards unity, this professional approach will also help these Citta Nuovas become sustainable. In this way, we can support them with capability building for manpower, put in place proper fund management and measuring the global impact of our work in the media. We foresee that in order to achieve this, we need to be able to raise $10 million a year. This budget in comparison with other global media platforms is miniscule but we can manage with such a modest budget. Till date, we have not received any funds and you can help us to impact a united world.
In this professional fundraising approach, we believe that it will also be easier for donors, UN agencies, corporations who share our goals, to partner and finance us, as there will be a way to track impact and effects.
Such an approach will also allow for a coordinated global publishing and editorial strategy, leveraging the strength of so many varied local and regional presences through the 37 local magazines and publishing houses. This is also the first time we are able to coordinate their impact globally, so it will help to amplify their presence. In the Nuova Global Foundation website, you can read about the profiles of each of these Citta Nuovas.
What we seek to do is to build a networked global media channel which uses the existing New Cities as the grassroot layer. This channel in my view is the future, as it will be financed by a movement of people, groups, and individuals who believe in the United World, and recognize themselves in the vision for a united world expressed by Chiara in her speech at UNESCO which later on, the President of the Focolare, Margaret will explain better.
Just as Chiara invested the money of the UNESCO peace prize for the construction of a town for unity in the Philippines called “Peace” that over the years has generated a fruitful space for interreligious dialogue in Asia, so we want to realize together a new model of global media based on universal fraternity.
So I say that this project of Nuova Global is ambitious, because the founder, Chiara, was always ambitious for unity. Our ambition needs to match the evil that we confront but with the style that animated Chiara, which is undoubtedly COURAGE, inclusiveness combined with a spirit of gratuitousness and service for the benefit of the common good.
This pandemic has also pushed us to seriously consider new paradigms for each of these 4 pillars to help and positively influence leaders who do want to impact the world for good and fraternity. The following is our editorial method for a united world.
In ECONOMICS, our goal is to present plausible ideas and a growing body of evidence that an economy based on inclusiveness, fraternity and planet is not only essential, it can work.
In POLITICS, our goal is to present stories and examples of people in politics going the extra mile to build a united world. And to measure the impact of discord in politics that harms our collective good.
In RELIGIONS, our goal is to present the innovative progress of religions coming together for the common good. And to present a growing base of evidence of religion at the service of humanity.
Finally, in EDUCATION, our aim is to show how an inclusive form of education, one that respects diversity, is beneficial for humans and sustainable development.
With these 4 pillars in which the current Citta Nuovas already have in-depth experiences, we like to also encourage young generations to join us; they have lost much hope during this pandemic. Nuova Global as a project can prove that it is still possible to dream and act for a united world, triggering “contagious” processes and activists for peace and fraternity.
Only in this way are we ready to attract many other people, organizations, leaders and even entire governments to join us in all possible efforts in making the world a better, more inclusive and dignified place for everyone.
KEYNOTE SPEECH BY MARGARET KARAM, PRESIDENT OF THE FOCOLARE MOVEMENT, AT THE UNITY CONFERENCE 2021
I am very happy to be here to finally mark the official launch of the Nuova Global Foundation project. I express my thanks to its Chairman, Federico Vescovini, and to Stanislav Lencz, the Global Director.
I take this opportunity to greet all the guests who have gathered here in this hall and also those who are following online from all over the world; your presence shows that you believe that a more peaceful and united world is possible.
As President of the Focolare Movement, I think it is very important to focus deeply upon Chiara Lubich’s view of the world. She left the dream of a united world to all those who want to live the charism of unity; a world made of peoples who feel like brothers and sisters. And she always encouraged commitment in the field of communication, seeing the media as a wonderful phenomenon of the present day,” as she used to say, but always emphasizing its close link with the Movement’s purpose. She asked herself if, in fact, the Movement wants to contribute to the fulfilment of universal fraternity, “What is the purpose of the media?” “The collective vocation of all aspects of the media is obvious: it is to help people live together in harmony”.
When “Città Nuova” began in the 1950s, its purpose was to enable the people who had taken part in the Focolare’s annual Mariapolis in the Dolomites in Northern Italy to remain in contact with one another. The name Mariapolis means “City of Mary”. “Citta Nuova” was a means of sharing information, but it also allowed people to “network,” and to keep relationships alive even if they were physically distant from each other: it helped them to continue the sharing begun at the Mariapolis and to continue to live the charism of unity together.
“Città Nuova” grew and spread to various countries. Then came magazines and publishing groups that today produce periodicals, books and podcasts that offer platforms and services, moving from paper to digital to the web.
The name “Città Nuova”, for those who do not know its origin, might make one think of a publication on urban planning or architecture. In reality it is not wrong to think that “Città Nuova” is the bearer of an urban project: not about physical architecture, but certainly concerning a new type of city where, as in the Dolomites, mutual love among people gives life to networks of fraternity in all areas of social and civil life.
What does “Città Nuova” say today and how can we look to the future with this further development of “Città Nuova Global”?
I would like to emphasize three aspects in particular:
1) The vision
The invitation to look for the positive has always characterized “Città Nuova’s” communication: a style of communication in which the good is always sought out and brought to light, even if it is hidden; even where divisions seem to prevail, what unites is of value. Certainly, in these times the difficulties are enormous: the pandemic, the geo-political crisis. But precisely for this reason “new eyes” are needed, even in the media, that allow us to seize opportunities, means and instruments to continue contributing to unity among individuals and among peoples, tools that unite, that indicate ways to build fragments of fraternity.
This outlook is already at the “heart” of the work of journalists and communicators at “Città Nuova” and from now on, with Nuova Global, it will only expand and be enriched by the ever-closer collaboration of Città Nuova in different areas of the world.
2) Space for dialogue
The pages of a newspaper, a book or a website can become open and inclusive spaces, opportunities for encounters between peoples, cultures and visions of the world that are different and even opposing, but that never cease to seek ways of comparison and dialogue on the path of fraternity. Now, with the foundation of Nuova Global and its planetary dimension, this mission is enriched with new partners and new cultural spaces.
3) Increasing collaboration
Since the beginning of the various editions of “Città Nuova”, we have worked with a wide variety of organizations, bodies, and associations, many of which are here today, to advance the goal of a united world. But we must continue to work together, to unite our human, cultural and economic resources with those who, in every part of the world, share the same goals.
I am happy to know that, through Nuova Global, the network among the 31 editorial groups of “Città Nuova” present from Latin America to Asia is being expanded and enriched. This network already exists and includes many people who do not belong to the Focolare Movement, but who share its values and aims/goals. Certainly, the resources needed to support all editions of “Città Nuova” through the Nuova Global Foundation are great, but I would like to thank those who are helping us in a thousand ways.
The fact that the different Città Nuovas have been able to survive the pandemic is an impressive and encouraging fact. But we know that this was possible thanks to employees, collaborators, partners, and supporters who did not give up and believed in the work of these publishing groups and in their mission.
I would like to conclude with a quotation from Chiara Lubich, who in the year 2,000 addressed an audience of media workers here at Castel Gandolfo: “At this point I would like to raise a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the way he is present even in modern discoveries and in new technologies, and for the way he guides history. At this very moment humanity seems to be wandering in the dark, after the collapse of powerful ideologies and the obscuring of so many values, and yet at the same time there is such a great yearning for a more united world and a call for universal fraternity. At this very moment we find ourselves equipped with these powerful means of communication, which are a “sign of the times” that says “unity”. Can’t we see the hand of God in all of this?”.
Let us do possible all we can so that also through the Nuova Global Foundation we can fulfil this vision of the world on the way to unity.