Lumen is one of the small businesses participating in the EoC-Hub of Cuba – which originated with the idea that economics can be person-centred.
Arianna and George came up with the idea of Lumen because they were looking for an activity that could give them an income but was also ‘special’. Hence the idea of making lamps from recycled materials to “light up” hearts as well. “We didn’t really know how to start because we had a lot of general information but nothing concrete. After attending an Economy of Communion meeting, we immediately said that was our model because it wasn’t just about having a shop, it was much more”.
“We had created the project thinking of how we could have an income but one day as we were walking through the streets we realised that Havana was in the dark so we said to ourselves why not make different lamps that could light up the city more? With the EoC the business’ perspective changed completely because it was no longer just about earning money but about putting people at the centre; the idea was to create a lamp with others in mind”.
Arianna has had to learn a lot about lighting over the past four years, and George has gone so far as to make some of his own tools because it wasn’t easy to find the right ones in Cuba for their creations.
“One of the reasons we were drawn to the EoC is that you feel it’s part of you. When we heard about the EoC, we realised we could identify with something we felt but didn’t know how to express before – the simple desire to also help people without receiving anything in return, to make others as happy as we are. Now we can identify what we do with the name – Economy of Communion”.