Pope Francis stated in October 2020 that "Covid-19 has accelerated and amplified many of the emergencies and urgencies we were experiencing and revealed many others"1. The pandemic has shown humanity its vulnerability, the fragility of the human condition in many ways.
The Holy Father recalled that in the development of the pandemic "health difficulties were followed by economic and social difficulties"2, and that education systems around the world have suffered from the pandemic at both the school and academic levels and have shown a marked disparity in educational and technological opportunities.
Education and technology are key factors for proper development. Ensuring that both reach everyone is a challenge that must be faced from all fields of science, in a new context of crisis and difficulty brought about by the pandemic.
The pandemic cannot be used to increase the "throwaway culture", but to build together a better civilisation, the civilisation of love.
"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4). Man has not only a bodily or material dimension, but also an intellectual and spiritual one. The relationship with God calls us to build a new world open to Hope.
About the conference
The III International Congress "Poverty and Hunger: Education and Technology in the context of the pandemic", will analyse poverty and hunger and how education and technology contribute to their eradication, as well as the conditioning factors to carry it out in the current pandemic situation.
This congress is part of a permanent line of research and transmission to society of the Chair of Theology of Charity Santo Tomás de Villanueva, promoted by the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV). From there we have been denouncing and studying the problems of poverty and hunger in all its dimensions, together with great experts and institutions, in line with the magisterium of Pope Francis and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences, with the support of its Chancellor D. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo.
At the 1st International Congress, entitled "Poverty and Denouncing Food Destruction. Hunger in the world and emerging foods" (Valencia, 13, 14 and 15 October 2016), we analysed the problem of hunger in the world, the destruction of food and its possible solutions with new food sources, together with Nobel laureates Richard John Roberts and Werner Arber and the creator of golden rice, Ingo Potrykus.
In the II Congress held under the title "Poverty, Hunger and Sustainability: For a New Humanity" (Valencia, 5 and 6 October 2017), we studied sustainability as a key that should guide our actions from the integral ecologism that Pope Francis proposes in the encyclical Laudato Si', highlighted by great economists such as Jeffrey Sachs as a reference document on sustainability.
We complete these major congresses with a summer congress in July 2019 dedicated to the study of the problem of water as a universal good, where we have some of the leading experts and institutions dedicated to the management of this valuable natural resource, such as the Tribunal de las Aguas of Valencia.
1 FRANCISCO, Video-message to the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome on the Global Education Pact, taken from Vatican News. Vatican City, October 15, 2020. Available at https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-10/pope-francis-global-compact-education-video-message-relaunch.html