“This year you are celebrating the first decade of High Speed, a public work of strategic importance, which provides an essential link along the main axes of the country and every day offers thousands of passengers a high quality service”, Pope Francis told the directors and staff of the Italian State Railways Group, who were received in audience in the Clementine Hall. “The progress made and the innovations introduced in this short period of time are truly sensational, with an increase in travel speed, an increase in services and comfort for passengers, an increasingly strong interaction with territories and other means of transport, as well as a great development of the High Speed stations”, Pope Francis continued. For the Pontiff, “this rapid evolution is the result of careful and prudent planning, of which you, the directors, together with the top management of the company, are the interpreters and promoters”. “In a society in such rapid evolution as ours, it is essential to formulate a clear plan of action, inspired by a vision of the future that is being built, to be adapted gradually on the basis of new circumstances”, the Pope remarked. “This vision – he explained – is the result of in-depth study, requires collaboration with experts and a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of society, to whose needs it is intended to respond. Even more than in the past, it must be an overall view of reality and problems, because never before has it been necessary to recognise that individuals, groups, local communities and states are not realities in their own right: globalisation puts us in front of the urgent need to work and think together, because we are not islands, but rather points of connection”.