Business, Markets and the Common Good: the Challenge of Laudato Si' (6/10/16)


Business, Markets and the Common Good: the Challenge of Laudato Si'

This event took place on Thursday 6 October 2016, at St Michael's Cornhill in the City of London. Click on the pictures below to play videos of our speakers: Fr Augusto Zampini Davies, Theological Adviser to CAFOD, Dr Sam Gregg, Director of Research at the Acton Institute, USA, Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Chair of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, USA and Sian Ferguson, Trust Executive, Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. The discussion was chaired by James Featherby, chair of the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group and chair of Bible Society.

Fr. Augusto Zampini   

Read a collection of quotes from the speakers' talks here.  We have Fr. Séamus Finn's full text here.

The discussion focused on what the finance and enterprise sectors can do to be part of the global solution to inequality and climate change. We took as our starting point, Laudato Si' (On Care for our Common Home), published by Pope Francis in June 2015. A love letter to all mankind and an urgent call to tackle the global human and ecological crisis, it received an enthusiastic reception from the ecology community, both in and outside the Catholic Church. However, it met with a more muted response from business and enterprise: this discussion addressed the practical steps this sector is taking to rise to Francis' powerful and inspiring challenge.

This event was organised in partnership with the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham, and was supported by CCLA and Social Stock Exchange.


Dr. Samuel Gregg is research director at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, and natural law theory. He has a D.Phil. in moral philosophy and political economy from Oxford University. He is the author of several books, including On Ordered Liberty (2003), The Commercial Society (2007), The Modern Papacy (2009), and Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy (2010), Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future (2013), and For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance can Serve the Common Good(2016). He has also written on the thought of St. Thomas More. He publishes in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public PolicyJournal of Markets & MoralityEconomic AffairsJournal des Economistes et des Etudes HumainesNotre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public PolicyOxford AnalyticaCommunioJournal of Scottish PhilosophyUniversity BookmanMoreanaForeign Affairs; and Policy. He is a regular writer of opinion-pieces which appear in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Fr. Augusto Zampini Davies is CAFOD’s theological adviser. Formerly a corporate lawyer, he trained as a moral theologian in Argentina. He holds a PhD in Theology and has conducted research on environmental ethics. He is a regular contributor to mainstream and Catholic media on Pope Francis and Catholic Social Teaching. An active participant in the Association of Teachers in Moral Theology of Great Britain, he is also a member of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing, the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain, the European Society of Catholic Theology, and the Sociedad Argentina de Teología. Augusto is an ad-hoc adviser to Cardinal Vincent Nichols on environmental issues and previously served as an assistant priest and chaplain in the poorest neighbourhoods of Greater Buenos Aires.

Sian Ferguson is the trust executive of three of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Ashden Trust, JJ Charitable Trust and Mark Leonard Trust). She also manages the Climate Change Collaboration—a group of four of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts formed in 2011 to support pilot and research projects to find ways of reducing CO2 emissions quickly. Sian has worked with the trusts and partners in the US and Europe to establish Europeans for Divest Invest. Sian has a background in Natural Science and 25 years’ experience working in environmental sectors. She is also chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee.

Rev. Séamus P. Finn, O.M.I. is Chief of Faith Consistent Investing for the Oblate International Pastoral (OIP) Investment Trust and remains as a consultant to the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation office of his congregation. He is an international leader in faith consistent and socially responsible investing and has participated in four Vatican sponsored events on responsible investing and corporate social responsibility. He serves as Chair of the Board of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), . Séamus actively engages corporations in the financial and extractives sectors, as well as multinationals on labor and supply chain issues. Seamus has given numerous presentations in different venues on faith consistent investing and corporate social responsibility. He has been interviewed for print and radio shows and has appeared on a number of TV shows, including Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, CBS, PBS, Al Jazeera America, RTE and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He blogs occasionally for the

James Featherby has worked in the City for over 35 years. He is chair of the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group and chair of Bible Society. He was previously a partner of Slaughter and May, specialising in corporate law. He is the author of The White Swan Formula, which makes the case for positive values in business, and Of Markets and Men, which suggests practical ideas for reforming the financial markets. He is also the General Editor of Business and Human Rights. James has a number of connections with China and Africa and speaks regularly on the connection between faith and business.