Broadening the horizons of knowledge. From 27 March to 2 April in Colombia the meeting “University, knowledge and wisdom: an outlook for Latin America”. A Latin-American campus for Sophia. 

Open-mind and gradual steps. These are the main principles guiding the meeting “University, knowledge and wisdom: an outlook for Latin America”. The meeting took place in Tocancipá, Colombia, from 27 March to 2 April. The event brought together the rector of the Sophia University Institute, Giuseppe Argiolas, and the transdisciplinary and intercultural committee. The latter has been working on laying the foundations for the future Latin American branch of the university for more than ten years. Francisco Canzani and Renata Simon also participated as representatives of the general Council of the Focolare Movement.

The main topic were the guidelines of the Congregation for Catholic Education to implement an unprecedented project in the history of pontifical universities: even if the single units of the Sophia Institute will be established in ither continents, they will still be part of a single global university based in Loppiano (Florence, Italy).

If approved, the project Sophia ALC (Latin America and the Caribbean) will be the first step in the construction of this “networking university” that will branch out into three different contexts: Argentina, the project provides a Master in “Integral Ecology and Interculturalism” in a hybrid modality (face-to-face and online); in Brazil an on-site degree in “Integral Humanism pedagogy”; in Mexico courses of university extension (mainly online).

Throughout the six-day meeting, the members of the commission worked intensively to find solutions to gradually carry out this complex project in all its different aspects: suitability to Ecclesial norms, adaptation to local legislation, economic sustainability, fundraising and dissemination strategies, infrastructures and curricula.

Lastly, one certainty: it is high time to broaden even more the horizon of experience of unity in diversity. Such experience has been gained by the members of the local commission of Sophia ALC coming from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay and experts in the following disciplines: economics, administration, theology, philosophy, history, law, pedagogy, sociology and communication. The future of the project depends on the enhancement of the already intense dialogue with Sophia’s rector and professors, with the people in charge of the Focolare Movement and mainly with the Congregation for Catholic Education that indicates the paths through which Chiara Lubich’s dream can be gradually made true, now in the Latin American continent.

Daniel Fassa