The 2020s have just begun, and several things are coming to an end this year, this decade. The influence of the Americans is coming to an end, the influence of China and Russia is changing our continents, the fossil age is beginning to come to an end, and Green is seen as salvation. We are ready to become more aware of the lessons we can draw from the impact of the Pandemic. Health has become even more precious for each of us. The influence of social media seems out of control – what is fake news and what is real news? What decisions is human culture now heading towards? At the end of the pandemic, what will be the positive and negative consequences? How can faith and the Salesian charism save us from world crises? How is the relationship between city and rural life being reorganised as a result of the crisis? Where are the Salesians needed now? What are the challenges for the sustainability of Salesian works in the future? These are the questions we will seek to answer during the SDB Change Congress and throughout this year when, through the right channels, we will begin to create a network of information and updates on these issues.
The "SDBChange Congress" takes place during a tremendous turbulence that has gripped all our life systems. But this turbulence also has a positive side: crises dissolve locked-in patterns of thinking and destroy what no longer fits and has become superfluous. They force innovations that had previously remained dormant. We have included several topics on the Congress agenda that we will describe later,but the most important and decisive part will be the participants (Provincial economers, those in charge of PDOs, mission office and fund-raising directors, and so on).through their experiences and challenges the focus will be on future prospects, learning to take account of our traditions to create new things, to continue to transmit Don Bosco's ideas to young people.
With experts in the sector we will discuss and be informed of solutions to find and implement in order to achieve a Sustainable Economy: energy, water, food and self-sustainability (production, responsible administration, fundraising). Don Bosco is the dawn of a new era throughout the world, one of shared responsibility for keeping our planet habitable.
We know that in the Gospel we find the true and only source of our mission among the young, and this is why we will explore the topic of our Spirituality and Salesian leadership (Human Resources, safeguarding, transparency), because in these times of crisis, Salesian spirituality gives us comfort, strength and shows us a new vision of the future with a profound meaning.
Many of us have not yet understood how Artificial intelligence (AI) has already changed our lives and will determine it even more. So, at the Congress we want to show how artificial intelligence can help us to understand the new (dis)order in the world and survive.
Financial collapse, especially for the truly poor and disadvantaged in society, requires a new way of thinking about communication– not just to find the finances for our work, but also to find suitable people. Since new forms of communication are pragmatic future programs, we need to learn how, when, where and with whom to communicate so that our young people get the support they need.
The basis of successful revolutions is everyday life, and such a revolution is urgently needed in the field of fighting corruption, which is very damaging to our institutions and which we must fight more clearly at its roots.
The congress has already begun. Everyone can take part, discuss or put questions through our social media. Its purpose is what its title says: Change and Opportunity.
As Congress organisers we would like all those who are active in the Salesian world to begin today to shape tomorrow! To be advocates and defenders of the young as "Future People" in this world, so as to help them shape their future and pass on as many Christian values as possible so that this planet can achieve a substantial correction of its faults.
Jean Paul Muller, Economer General of the Salesian Congregation