Meeting 2021: "The courage to say I”

The final statement of the 2020 edition. The numbers, its themes and protagonists. Next year the event will take place between Friday 20 to Wednesday 25 August.

The title, "Devoid of wonder, we remain deaf to the sublime", proved particularly valuable to reflect upon the reasons for a renewed personal and social commitment. Pope Francis’ message strongly encouraged us to understand that it is precisely “amazement that sets life in motion, allowing it to start again in any circumstance” and that gives us "the strength to face discomfort and difficulties.” The president of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, thanked the organizers for organizing the Meeting again this year and invited the participants to be "prophets of wonder and hope". In his talk on the title of the event, constitutionalist Joseph Weiler recalled that the human being itself is an amazing source of wonder, even when challenged by dramatic or inhuman events. A key word of the Meeting in the face of the dramatic situation we are going through has been "hope": the contribution of Fr. Julián Carrón, president of the CL Fraternity, went to the heart of this experience, investigating its origin and reasons.

Attention towards young people has not only characterized the meetings on school and education, but also those on economy and welfare. From Mario Draghi’s inaugural speech (former president of the ECB) to the speech by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, many guests stressed the importance of a shared responsibility to create a different future with a competent and courageous political framework. In a series of meetings dedicated to the nexus between sustainability and subsidiarity, decisive issues related to the economy, mobility and the development of cities were discussed.

The message of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella emphasized in an incisive way the need for a reconstruction with "deep ideals, a broad vision and great concreteness", a need that was highlighted in wide-ranging discussions on the future of democracy, the meaning of Parliament, the relationship between the central State and regions and, at the same time, in more focused meetings on the reforms of health and welfare systems. President Mattarella's emphasis upon the change of the European Union as a "precondition for Italy’s revival" was echoed in debates upon the use of the Recovery fund - Next Generation EU, particularly in the speeches by Davide Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, and Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy.

World-renowned intellectuals, writers and scientists have documented that wonder and gratitude for the beauty of reality allow us to grasp the deepest meaning of our existence, and to enrich the pursuit for good. Although the anti-Covid regulations only allowed a limited number of people to participate in some meetings, the content was made accessible on the Meeting’s digital platforms and social media, which so far have recorded more than a million engagements, with on-demand viewings constantly increasing and remaining available to all.

A large part of the program has also been broadcast in 130 places around Italy and in 25 other countries, where the Meeting’s “ambassadors” have organized evenings and events. A special thanks goes to the volunteers in Rimini, and to all those who organised the “meeting points”, the speakers, technicians, collaborators and sponsors. All have committed themselves with passion, responsibility and creativity. This Meeting has shown that each of us can start again positively, while fully respecting the rules that the Covid circumstance imposes upon us. The Special Edition 2020 ended with the testimonies of four women who, each in a different corner of the world, often inhuman circumstances with "a hope that does not disappoint", which acts as a bridge towards the next edition (the 42nd) which will take place from 20-25 August 2021 in Rimini; the title will be “The courage to say I.”