In 2019, the Business Roundtable redefined the purpose of a corporation to promote “an economy that serves all Americans.” In 2020, the New York Times endorsed this redefinition of corporate purpose fifty years after Milton Friedman’s editorial and amid protests for recognizing and including all. This year the Fordham University School of Law’s Institute on Religion, Law, and Lawyer’s Work and Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding invite you to explore how business can accomplish these humanistic goals. The Economy of Communion (EoC) is an economic model created within the Catholic tradition positing that business exists for the benefit of all people who make up a workplace, workforce, and marketplace. Religion has long influenced the norms and practices in which business is conducted, iconically with the Weberian “work ethic” informing capitalism. This conference will explore the continuing evolution of its relationship with business from a religiously diverse lens over four one-hour sessions each Tuesday in October. There will also be two Thursday sessions for reflection and networking.
Session III: The Nuts and Bolts—EoC Business Operations and Governance
On How Such Businesses Function Like Businesses: Making Money and Codifying Social Purpose in Articles of Organization, Bylaws, and Other Governance Structures
- Kent Greenfield is an internationally recognized scholar of constitutional law and corporate governance and a law professor and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at Boston College Law School. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School, Greenfield is the author of three books, including Corporations Are People Too (And They Should Act Like It) (Yale University Press). He is also the principal author of the two U.S. Supreme Court volumes of Moore’s Federal Practice.
- Lawrence Chong serves as the group CEO of Consulus, a global innovation-by-design firm serving leaders, companies, and cities in their transformation to shape a better world. Consulus is an economy of communion enterprise; founded in Singapore in 2004, it’s now present in 16 cities from the Americas to Asia and Europe. Chong serves as the Distinguished Fellow for Global Economy at the Washington Institute for Business, Government, and Society. He teaches a leadership course about holistic leadership at Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He is the co-convenor of the Economy of Communion Asia Pacific. Active in interreligious dialogue, he was appointed by Pope Francis in 2020 to serve as consultor on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
- Andrew Gustafson is a Christian philosopher, and professor of business ethics and society at the Heider College of Business at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on business ethics and business and faith since 2005. He has a strong interest in how business can contribute to the common good, which is demonstrated in his publications on utilitarianism, CST, and business, as well as works on the economy of communion. He learns a lot practically from his work as an entrepreneur, restoring buildings and renting them out, with help from local neighbors in need of work and community.
Gregory E. Louis, associate professor of Law, City University of New York
This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.