On October 17, the Acton Institute held its second Business Matters event, a one-day conference that brings together entrepreneurs and business leaders to explore the good that business does.
Executive director and co-founder of the Acton Institute, Kris Mauren, gave opening remarks. “Business does matter… work through enterprise is the normative way individuals rise out of poverty and pay for the basic needs of our families,” said Mauren. “But can work and enterprise have a richer meaning for us than the riches it brings to us? Can it be a way to live out and discover a spiritual calling? These are great questions that we will raise and discuss throughout the day.” Examples of bad business force us to ask these questions, to seek to answer what good business looks like and what the deeper meaning of work is. Through panel discussions, interviews and a luncheon lecture, topics such as the theological underpinnings of work, the role of the entrepreneur, and innovation in business were explored.
The conference consisted of three panel discussions and a lunch presentation, with guests such as Jim Otteson, Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics at Wake Forest University; JoAnn Flett, Organizational Consultant for Partners Worldwide; and Andreas Widmer, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business and Economics. “If we want to continue to train students in finance and marketing and accounting…then we need to explain how it is that that can be inherently valuable,” explained Otteson.
During the conference, episodes of Acton’s short film series The Good Society premiered, including one that explores the impact of entrepreneurship as seen through the lens of a world-class game lodge in South Africa. Kozuko Lodge was founded on the idea of creating a relationship between conservation, job creation and social transformation. Learn more about The Good Society here. To register for upcoming conferences, view Acton’s full event calendar.