After over 50 years of billions of dollars in foreign aid being channeled to developing nations, increasing numbers of people are concluding that aid has largely been a failure. Indeed there is growing evidence that free enterprise, access to global markets, strong institutional commitments to private property and rule of law, and the growth of human capital are the path to prosperity for developing nations.
On November 9, the Acton Institute in cooperation with the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal will be holding sponsoring a day-long conference - Catholic Social Teaching, Free Enterprise, and Poverty - in Lisbon, Portugal to consider the role of free enterprise in diminishing poverty in developing nations, and to explore the connection of these ideas with Catholic social teaching. With a special focus on Portuguese-speaking developing countries such as Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Timor Leste, and Guinea-Bissau, this conference brings together academics, practitioners, clergy, and policy-makers from developed and developing nations with recognized expertise in this area. This conference is the fourth in the seven-part series Poverty, Entrepreneurship, and Integral Development.
- Mr. Paul Atkins
- Professor João César das Neves
- Professor Raúl Diniz
- Mr. Samuel Grottis
- Professor Miguel Morgado
- Bishop Filippo Santoro
- Reverend Prof. João Seabra
- Mayor Davis Simango
- Mr. Domingos Simões Pereira
Mr. Paul Atkins 
A commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2002 to 2008, Paul Atkins is known for advocating for better transparency and consistency in the SEC's decision-making and enforcement activities, as well as for smarter regulation that considers costs and benefits. He represented the SEC at various meetings of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets and international bodies, including the Transatlantic Economic Council, Transatlantic Business Dialogue, World Economic Forum (Davos), and the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum. Prior to his appointment to the SEC, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked on regulatory compliance, internal controls, and risk-management issues for financial services firms. A lawyer by training, Atkins also represented U.S. and foreign clients on corporate finance and business combination transactions while at Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he spent a number of years in the firm's Paris office. He was admitted as conseil juridique in France in 1988. At AEI, Atkins works on issues related to U.S. and international regulation of the financial services industry.
João César das Neves, born in 1957, married, father of four, is full professor at Faculdade de Ciencias Economicas e Empresariais (FCEE)-Católica. Holds a PhD and BA in Economics (UCP), MA in Economics (Universidade Nova of Lisbon, Portugal) and MA in Operations Research and System Engineering (Universidade Técnica of Lisbon, Portugal). Currently he is President of the Scientific Council of FCEE-Católica. He was from 1991 to 1995 economic advisor of the Portuguese Prime Minister, in 1990 advisor to the Portuguese Minister of Finance and in 1990/1991 and 1995/1997 technician at the Bank of Portugal. His research interests are poverty and development, business cycles, Portuguese economic development, medieval economic tought and Ethics. Author of many 36 books, he is regular commentator at the Portuguese media.
Professor of Human Behavior in the Organization and Ethics and the Social Doctrine of the Church at AESE – School for Management and Business in Lisbon, Portugal.
Mr. Grottis was born and raised in Zimbabwe and trained in business management and development. He is a visionary with more than 32 years of business leadership. He started in the Corporate World in Zimbabwe and worked at various management levels for 8 years. He then owned and managed several profitable businesses for 15 years in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique. In 2000 he joined World Relief International for nine years serving as the managing director in microfinance operations, then as Country Director for Mozambique, and finally as Southern Africa Director. He is one of the founders of AfricaWorks and is currently President and CEO. AfricaWorks is an indigenous micro-finance and economic empowerment organization.
Professor Miguel Morgado
Professor at the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Lisbon in Portugal
Bishop Filippo Santoro
His Excellency is bishop of Bishop of Petrópolis, Brazil. He was born in Carbonara, Italy and was ordained a priest of Bari, Italy in 1972. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of the diocese of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1996 and installed as bishop of Petrópolis in 2004.
Mayor Davis Simango
Mr. Simango is a Mozambican politician, the President of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) and the current mayor of Beira. He is son of Uria Simango, the first Vice-President of FRELIMO. He joined the RENAMO in 1997 and became the mayor of Beira in 2003 as its candidate. On March 6, 2009, he founded a new party, the MDM.
Mr. Simões Pereira is the executive secretary of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP). Born in Guinea-Bissau, he studied civil and industrial engineering at the Odessa Civil Engineering Institute in the Ukraine. He received a Masters in civil engineering from California State University in Fresno. Prior to his current position at CPLP, Mr. Simões Pereira served as infrastructure advisor to the Prime Minister of the Guinea-Bissau, secretary general for Caritas Guinea-Bissau, minister of public affairs, construction, and urban planning, as well as minister of infrastructure.