Pope Francis to host business elite at Vatican
Fortune and Time magazines are holding a meeting in the Vatican about forging a new global social contract.
The so-called Global Forum will bring together those who believe capitalism is the way to beat poverty and a Pope who deplores the damages caused by unbridled capitalism.
On December 2, Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, will lead the first discussion on the Moral Imperatives of Modern Leadership. The following talk will be a “call to action” by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Ghanaian president of the Vatican Integral Development office.
Turkson is the only Vatican official scheduled to speak in this meeting mainly of business leaders and NGOs (including Cherie Blair head of the Blair Foundation for Women) sponsored by Monsanto, Siemens and other corporations. In the past Turkson has criticised of the introduction of genetically modified food in African agriculture but Monsanto has sponsored them internationally.
Most of the topics begin with a phrase from Francis and link it to a current problem: for instance his “it is increasingly intolerable that financial markets are shaping the destiny of people rather than serving their needs” introduces the working group discussion of financial services.
Other topics include refugees, energy innovation and protection of the environment, creating jobs in an era of technological advances, and ensuring adequate food and water supplies for an expanding population.
On the second and final day, Francis will address the participants.
Last year in Bolivia, Francis, who has repeatedly condemned the “idolatry of money”, told a huge audience of poor workers, “the exploited and underprivileged”, that “the future of humanity was largely in their hands”. On his return flight to Rome, journalists asked about his attitude to capitalism and he said he had much to learn before his visit to the United States which he made without damning capitalism.
He endorsed using several international firms such as McKinsey, which is also involved in the Global Forum, to overhaul Vatican finances but he has not approved Cardinal George Pell’s “capitalist” idea of pooling all Vatican resources for more profitable investments whose profits can be used to aid the poor.
Pell’s Vatican Asset Management plan has not yet got off the ground.
Francis and the Global Forum participants may have a mutual educational experience.
This is not the first time that business leaders have come to the Vatican but usually they simply listen to the Pope rather than discuss the interplay between Catholic social doctrine and major socio-economic problems.
In an age of disruption and turmoil, Pope Francis calls on the “noble vocation” of business to help create a more inclusive and humane economy. Even as free markets have lifted billions out of poverty—with business “stimulating and developing the immense resources of human intelligence”—too many have been left behind. This Forum offers an historic opportunity for Fortune 500 and Time 100 leaders to engage with the Pope to forge a new social compact for the 21st century.
Inspired by the Pope’s pleas for more and better jobs, broader prosperity, and lasting ways to lift the poor, the Forum will be a solutions-based conversation aimed at encouraging transformative actions and an economic system that both promotes growth and spreads its benefits more broadly.
Forum attendees will engage with subjects including technology and jobs, global health, food and water, commitment to communities, energy and the environment, and financial inclusion—each representing critical elements related to poverty alleviation and in need of urgent attention. By bringing together global business and NGO leaders to address these challenges the Forum will focus on ways the private sector can be a driving force in ending poverty and creating a more sustainable world for all.
Attendance is by invitation only, and subject to approval. The 2016 Global Forum will gather business leaders from the world’s largest companies, members of the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people, and a cross section of leaders from NGOs, non-profits, organized labor and religion.
“If we want security, let us give security. If we want life, let us give life. If we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”
–Pope Francis to U.S. Congress, September 2015
the progressive pope..lets see who hes mixing with now..
“Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, will lead the first discussion on the Moral Imperatives of Modern Leadership.”
“NGOs (including Cherie Blair head of the Blair Foundation for Women) sponsored by Monsanto, Siemens and other corporations.”
monsanto..yeah because they are so fucking great for the earth..