Approximately 200 scholars gathered at the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus June 21-23 for the 10th International Conference on Catholic Social Thought and Business Education, and Sixth Colloquium on Christian Humanism in Business and Society.

At the conference, titled “Building Institutions for the Common Good: The Purpose and Practice of Business in an Inclusive Economy,” attendees discussed what the common good means and the extent to which it applies to the world of business.

“Our conference was more than timely,” said professor Monsignor Martin Schlag, director of the Ryan Institute. “Last month Pope Francis approved a document which affirmed that the Catholic Church encourages business schools to give due importance to business ethics, and to ground their education in Catholic social thought, directing the practice of business toward its purpose, the common good.”

The event included several panel discussions and concurrent sessions, with panelists traveling from as far away as Chile, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Panel discussions included:

  • “The Common Good as Principle for Business”
  • “Is the Business of a University Business?”
  • “Economic Common Good and Institutions”
  • “The Practitioner’s View of Business for the Common Good”
  • “The Common Good as Principle in Business Education”

For the concurrent sessions, organizers drew upon the more than 100 papers submitted for the conference. These sessions were organized into three tracks:

  • The meaning of common good and its capacity to inspire and sustain ethical institutions.
  • The relevance of the common good to specific fields of management.
  • Curricular materials, processes and ideas reflecting the significance and practical wisdom in relation to the common good.

As part of the vision for the future to collaborate to make a change for the common good, Schlag and conference co-chair Jeanne Buckeye, PhD, are launching a network of mutual support between centers of Catholic social thought and business schools.

Panelists Dr. Andrew Yuengert of Pepperdine University, Dr. Mary Hirschfeld of Villanova University, Dr. Monica Hartmann and Monsignor Martin Schlag of St. Thomas discuss economic common good and institutions.

Panelists Dr. Andrew Yuengert of Pepperdine University, Dr. Mary Hirschfeld of Villanova University, Dr. Monica Hartmann and Monsignor Martin Schlag of St. Thomas discuss economic common good and institutions.

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