Brandon Kengmana Brandon Kengmana 

#EOF2022: Through cross-border connections changes can be made

A young economic analyst from New Zealand looks ahead to the upcoming Economy of Francesco event in Assisi, expressing his hope for unity across borders and global innovation in sustainable economic solutions.

By Francesca Merlo

The Economy of Francesco is only two days away. The three-day event, which will see the participation of young people from over 100 different countries, builds on Pope Francis' 2019 appeal to young people to meet, discuss, brainstorm and share ideas for a better world economy that puts the human person at its centre.

Since that appeal was made, young people across the world have been studying and meeting, online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, until this year when they will meet in person to discuss their ideas. Pope Francis will participate in the event when he travels to Assisi on Saturday, 24 September, for its closing day.

A young economist

25-year-old Brandon Kengmana from New Zealand notes that "it's not every day" that Pope Francis calls on young economists to gather together, and that he seized the opportunity and applied straight away. As far as he knows, he's the only young person travelling from New Zealand... a very long way from Italy. 

Listen to our interview with Brandon Kengmana

Brandon is currently an economic analyst at the Central Bank of New Zealand. Describing himself as "just a normal economist and a normal young person who has different gifts and talents just like everyone else", Brandon specifies that he hopes to be able to merge his youthful aspirations to make the world a better place, to his knowledge and understanding that "many of the systems that are in place right now are intended for good, and that some aspects of the way the world is need to be slightly changed to help everyone's wellbeing, while others need to be significantly reformed or completely changed".

Looking ahead without forgetting the past

Brandon explains that the best contribution he can bring is to stress the importance of steering clear of ideologies as we move "cautiously forward, whilst using the wisdom that came before us". 

In this way, he concludes, "In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the issues facing us around the world", we will leave this meeting with"real connections, across borders, that will continue to be a part of making the world a better place". 

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20 September 2022, 11:40