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Think Tank on Social Justice and Human Dignity: the responsibilities of Business Leader in Promoting Integral Human Development

On July 3rd, 2018, a think tank was held at Anglo American PLC headquarters near Trafalgar Square in London, bringing together business, academic and religious leaders to discuss how their energies can best be combined to promote integral human development.

The think tank was jointly organized by UNIAPAC, which is an international association of Christian business leaders, and St Mary’s University Research Cluster in Business Ethics, with the assistance of the Oxford-based Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics. The think tank was kindly hosted by Anglo American PLC and in particular its CEO, Mark Cutifani, to whom the organizers are very grateful. We are particularly pleased that leaders of different Christian denominations took part in the think tank.

We were delighted to receive a video message of encouragement from Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.


In her introductory speech, the Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, pro vice-chancellor of St. Mary’s University, pointed to the need to re-build the public’s trust in business and banks following the last financial crisis, and of the positive role that Catholic social thought can play in bringing this about. Prof. Philip Booth, Director of Research and Public Engagement and Professor Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St Mary’s University, gave a talk in which he analysed the term ‘social justice’ from a Catholic point of view and gave examples of its application in different circumstances. The Right Rev John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, spoke of the business leader’s call to holiness in the professional life, and even went on to say that business leaders are called to be mystics!


3-3.30pm: Welcome

Welcome by Franco Nava, UNIAPAC Europe President and the Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, Pro Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, followed by:  

Religious leaders                   
  • The Right Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham
  • The Right Reverend John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster and Titular Bishop of Hilta
3.30-4pm: Academic leaders
  • Prof Philip Booth, St Mary's University, Twickenham
  • Revd Richard Turnbull, University of Oxford and Director of CEME
4.15-5.30pm: Business leaders
  • Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American
  • Rolando Medeiros, CEO of Elecmetal and UNIAPAC International President 
  • Prof E Yunlong, Consultant for China Xinxing Corporation
5.30-6:15pm: Coordinated panel discussions

Led by Gherardo Girardi of St Mary’s University, in lieu of Stephen Barrie, Secretary of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG), Church of England

  • The Most Revd Albert Chama, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa
  • Charles Wookey, CEO of A Blueprint for Better Business
  • Rev Séamus P. Finn (OMI), Chief of Faith Consistent Investing for the OIP Investment Trust and Chair of the Board of the ICCR
  • Adam CT Matthews, Director of Ethics and Engagement, The Church of England Pensions Board and Co-Chair of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI)
6.15-6.30pm: Debate open to all participants

All speeches and remarks made by the participants, including those in the panel discussion, can be found in a document available online.

think-tank-delegatesThis photograph shows a number of participants including the UNIAPAC co-organizer, Nelida Ancona, in the centre and the St Mary’s University co-organizer, Gherardo Girardi, third from the left.