Meeting, towards 2024 (Photo: Archivio Meeting)

Towards the Meeting 2024: "If we are not after the essence, then what are we after?”

The final press release of the 44th edition and the launch of the next Meeting to be held in Rimini from 20 to 25 August 2024.

"This year the Meeting reaffirms the reason for its founding: ‘Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples’, as is its full name. It is needed. Let hope and friendship also run through you and spread through your voices". This is how the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, visiting the Rimini Fiera, illuminated the title of the 44th edition of the Meeting ‘Human existence is inexhaustible friendship.’

"President Mattarella's visit, which has just ended with great applause full of gratitude, the Holy Father's beautiful message at the beginning of the Meeting, and the precious meeting with the president of the Italian Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, are for us a great honour and a strong encouragement to our commitment to dialogue, in building friendships between people and between cultures, and in the search for ways to peace," commented Bernhard Scholz, president of the Meeting. "We are grateful to have been able to dialogue in this Meeting on the many challenges that we are called to face in the perspective of that ‘inexhaustible friendship’ that the Pope called "a bold theme" because it goes clearly against the trend, in a time marked by individualism and indifference, which generate loneliness and many forms of waste".

The 44th edition of the Meeting recorded an influx of visitors that exceeded even pre-pandemic attendance. The enlargement of the overall area, which was increased from 105 to 120 thousand square metres, the 100 meetings with about 400 Italian and international speakers, the 15 exhibitions and 17 shows, the Children's Village with hundreds of events, and the sports area reached over 800,000 bookings, again thanks to the contribution of the 3,000 volunteers, more than half of whom were under 30 years of age, and the collaboration of 140 partner companies and institutions.

During the Meeting, crucial topics were addressed concerning the education of the younger generations, interreligious dialogue, ecological transition, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, sustainable economic development and the cultural foundations of democracy. There were many testimonies from people who have created places of hope in situations of war, poverty and social hardship. "It is indeed a promise that so many exhibitions, conferences and shows saw young people as protagonists," emphasised President Scholz.

The 45th edition of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples will be held from 20 to 25 August 2024 in the Fiera di Rimini with the title, taken from the novel 'The Passenger' by the recently deceased American novelist Cormac McCarthy:

If we are not looking for the essential, then what are we looking for?