An interview with Elio D’Anna, Founder and President Of the European School of Economics
After the financial crisis, the frontiers and the players of the global economy have changed. The technological developments and the rise of social media have changed the way we reach information, people… We live in a world which is very different from 20 years ago. In which way does the European School of Economics (ESE) respond to this new order?
“Until now all economic systems have dealt with survival, with peoples' basic needs: food, shelter, clothing and reproduction. The economics of Neanderthals and the economics of a modern complex society are essentially the same. The new economics of the coming decades deals not anymore with survival or to keep people alive for a few decades, but with longevity and everlasting life. New technologies and resources aim at the indefinite extension of each human Life. This is the beginning of a twenty-first-century Economics of Immortality. All existing ideologies of left and right are outdated and obsolete. Powerful forces coming from the individual and not from the mass are steadily rewriting the fundamentals of Life. Every individual is called to create, through his dream, a new humanity, and redesign and project in the world of events a new economics and a brand new epoch.” - Elio D’Anna from ‘The
What is the major difference between ESE and other business schools?
“You can create and experience all kinds of desires, but your dream is only yours. The aim of the European School of Economics is to focus each of its students on the uniqueness of his own dream.
Conventional education, which has pervaded for centuries in schools and universities all over the world, has created conformity, and has regimented young minds, pruning away the fantasy, the vitality, and the search for one’s own uniqueness.
Above all, universities have become factories that produce employee-minded men and women, job-fillers worried about nothing more than finding an occupation and surviving. Our civilisation needs visionary leaders, pragmatic dreamers, individuals.
Beyond the powerhouses of industry... the skyscrapers of finance...behind all that we see and touch, at the origin of every intuition, of every scientific achievement there is the Dream of one man, an individual. Only individuals can transform society.
ESE dedicates particular care and attention to each and every student. It has developed an educational system that places the individual at the core of its activity. From day one, lecturers and tutors guide student to focus on the achievement of his/her professional goals by creating tailor-made courses of study designed to orchestrate in-class learning with hands-on work experience.
The excellence of the faculty, the innovative teaching methods, the international environment, and the unique placement programme carried out in collaboration with over 1500 leading corporations make the European School of Economics graduates among the best on the new global market. This is reflected in one of the highest graduate employment rates in Europe.
The creative motto of the European School of Economics, Visibilia ex Invisibilibus,’ contains the very nature of its educational philosophy, and can be summed up simply by remembering: All we see and touch, all we perceive, the skyscrapers of finance, the pyramids of industry, the discoveries and achievements of science and technology, all we call "reality", is nothing but the projection of an inner invisible world, a world of ideas and values that runs vertically to the plane of our existence: the world of Being. The way we feel, and think, our aspirations and the uniqueness of our ideas, what we believe in, and our dreams are what determine our destiny.
Like in a cosmic laboratory, in the six ESE centres, from London to Milan, from New York to Rome, and from Florence to Madrid, a formula for undergraduate and graduate study is being elaborated to prepare, in politics as in economics, a new generation of leaders, incorruptible men, capable of facing the challenges fast approaching our civilization.
At the centre of any activity of the European School of Economics, of utmost priority is the aim to educate men and women towards self-discovery and inner responsibility.”
You say that humanity is not facing an environmental, political or financial crisis, but a crisis of values. Would you explain this comment?
“In the past, economy has been based on calculation, programs, plans and mathematics; and mathematics cannot deal with qualities, but only with quantities. If you live in a merely quantitative universe, nothing is possible for you - neither change, nor transformation, because transformation is a question of quality.
The financial crisis is only the disastrous effect of a loss in your inner being. What you personally are going through is not a financial crisis, but a crisis of values Any time you have difficulty making an important decision, you can be sure that it is the result of being unclear about your values. In a qualitative economy, the amount of efforts is insignificant in comparison with the quality of efforts.
Money like love is an inner matter. Money is a state of Being. Money-affluence manifests in time what you have conquered through inner responsibility and creative victory, which is love. In the same way, any fault in your Being makes you weaker and poorer. Any crack in your vision shatters the foundations of your financial power.
A young businessman once asked me, “But if the state of integrity or unity of being can be reached in an instant, why is it taking me so long?”
I told him, “Years and layers of neglect, negative emotions and false ideas have kept you in a tattered, powerless state......You have to understand that even if you could catch a glimpse of your totality, you would not be able to sustain it. You must work hard to uncover and strengthen your will - your will is for your being like the muscles for your body.. the more you dedicate to strengthening it, the more you will be rewarded with glimpses of totality. Integrity, then, will not be a state you temporarily experience, but your very permanent reality.”
You say, reality and vision are the same thing. How and why?
“From my point of view, nothing is external.
The separation between the outer world and the inner one, between perception and projection, between being and having is only apparent .
States and events, being and becoming, inner and outer are not separate realities, but one. The apparent outer reality is only a projection, a reflection of the inner one. The healthier you are, the wealthier you become. Your vision determines your reality and not vice-versa - the healthier your vision, the richer your Life.
The man of the third millennium will understand that all that which exists in the world is a wonderful representation of his own Being, and that the entire Universe in all its magnitude, is not really perceived from outside but incredibly dreamed and projected from within — 'a film script that will realize itself while you write it.'
The world is watching what is happening in the Middle East after the so-called “Arab Spring”. If we say that there is a crisis of values, which values are missing?
“The Arab Spring, like all the conflicts and political intrigues and wars, is reflecting the inner conflict of man. It is there where we have to intervene.
Modern governments must move from an anachronistic, obsolete, false democracy of left and right, conservative and liberal, to a real democracy where the single citizen votes not for parties or leaders, but directly on issues. Self-government is not only more democratic, but it is also a more rapid, efficient, honest, depoliticized way of making decisions. The new humanity is moving upwardly. We are now at an epochal technological transition. Suddenly the old industrial technology is falling apart and the industrial communities of Europe and U.S. are suffering the full brunt of this breakdown.
The advent of internet and the new systems of communication created an awakening in the individual consciousness which may project in the mass a new order and a new life. In order to live a democracy based on justice and freedom, man must pass this transitional phase he is living now especially in the Arab Countries. The will and integrity necessary to live a paradise on earth are not missing but forgotten, buried deep in the inner recesses of his being.
There is a lot on this in my next book.”
What should be the characteristics of tomorrow’s leaders? Can you mention a name from the real world who can be considered as a good leader? (from political and business life)
“There are many leaders today who have conquered this inner integrity and guide at a distance all of humanity. It is difficult to single out just one as often they choose to occupy positions that allow them to work from behind the scenes. These men remain invisible, because they know that a country is not guided by going onto the field and debating – but in stillness, secretly and silently, they change the world. The slightest change in your being moves mountains in the world of events.
In politics as in economics, leaders of the future will be driven by infinite, eternal principles. This is the economics to come. Industries and corporate enterprises should teach the Art of Dreaming - the principles of self-improvement and inner integrity to enable their people, managers and employees, to grow and become advanced beings. The world of business has to realize that real, financial expansion comes out of quality, and declines rapidly when quality is missing.
At the time of a great financial crisis many bankers, businessmen and stockbrokers ‘crash’ also because they totally identify with the failing economy.
In what should be a marvelous game of creativity and intuition, they instead are hypnotized to the point that they no longer realize to be the players and not the pawns, the observers and not the observed, the dreamers and not the dreamed. They depend upon external conditions to plan their strategies, and rely upon budgets, reports and financial forecasts to unconsciously build nothing more than a house of cards.
One day all organizations, from the smallest businesses to the huge multinationals will have at their helm a philosopher of action, a pragmatic dreamer, a luminous visionary who has taken care of his own integrity, who knows how to believe in the impossible and make it concrete.
I really adored your book “The School for Gods”. How do you explain the popularity of your book all over the world?
I believe the main reason the Book has been so popular worldwide, is because everyone can identify with the protagonists and everyone would love to meet the Dreamer. The integrity of the Dreamer is something that lies hidden and forgotten or buried in the innermost recesses of every being, but very few have the courage to touch that part of themselves – to touch what is really able to change the world.
My next Book, “The Technology of the Dreamer,” due for release this Fall, aims to outline very simply in a much more synthetic manner the formula for touching this part of oneself – for Dreaming, and begins with this phrase:
“You came here to learn how to dream a new dream. It is a revolution that will turn upside down your old, narrow vision with its dreary projections which you have nurtured for so many years. Wars, disease, misery and death will disappear from this planet if you understand that all comes from within and that all can be changed through a new dream - a powerful movement that will give birth to a brand new reality.”