Skip to main content

After giving false hope to millions, Theranos, the health technology company once valued at $9 billion, was exposed for marketing a fraudulent blood testing device and dissolved. Meanwhile, in the pursuit of profit, other businesses face accusations of spiking drug prices, polluting the environment, and implementing unjust pay scales that drive income inequality.

These examples of bad business force us to ask: What does Good Business look like? What does it look like for a company to not just succeed and be profitable, but to do so in a moral way that benefits society?

On October 16, leading experts and accomplished business leaders will advance a global conversation on important topics like: 

  • What is Good Business?
  • What is the deeper meaning of work?
  • How should one’s faith inform one’s work life?
  • How can businesspeople lead their companies ethically?
  • How can companies do well while doing good?

This will be the second annual Business Matters conference, Acton Institute’s major educational and networking event focusing on the intersection of work, business, morality, and faith.


Conference Speakers

James Otteson
James Otteson
Wake Forest University

Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics and Professor of Economics

James R. Otteson is the Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics and Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University. Dr. Otteson also serves as the Executive Director of the Eudaimonia Institute, which studies the nature of institutions that support human flourishing. Dr. Otteson is particularly esteemed for his work on Adam Smith, classical liberalism, political economy, business ethics, and related issues.  

Prior to his position at Wake Forest University, Dr. Otteson was a Professor at the University of Alabama and Yeshiva University. In addition, he has taught as a visiting scholar at Bowling Green State University, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Georgetown University, and New York University.
Dr. Otteson earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame, his MA from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Kim Tan
Dato Dr. Kim Tan
SpringHill Management Ltd.

Founder and Chairman

Dato Dr. Kim Tan is a partner and advisor to a number of impact funds including Springhill Equity Partners (US), Inqo (SA), Novastar Ventures (Kenya), Truestone Impact Investment Fund (UK) and Garden Impact Investment (Singapore). He is the co-founder of the Transformational Business Network and is on the advisory boards of the John Templeton Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Citizenship Trust and PovertyCure. He is a board member of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets & Ethics (Oxford) and the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum. He was the founder chairman of the Nilai Cancer Hospital (Malaysia) and a board member of the Saracens Rugby Club (UK). He is a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Surrey (UK), the inventor of sheep monoclonal antibodies and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK).

Frank Hanna
Frank Hanna III
Hanna Capital LLC


Frank J. Hanna is the CEO of Hanna Capital in Atlanta, Georgia. He invests as a merchant banker in technology and financial services, and has started and sold a number of businesses over the last twenty-nine years. Prior to going into the investment business, he was a corporate attorney. He is featured in the Acton’s documentary, The Call of the Entrepreneur. Mr. Hanna has been involved in education for the last 35 years. He has been instrumental in the foundation of thirteen new educational institutions, from preschool through post-secondary. He served as Chair of a Commission on Education Excellence under President George W. Bush. He has been a frequent speaker to various groups and mass media regarding macroeconomics, education, and philanthropy. He is the author of two best-selling books: What Your Money Means, and A Graduate’s Guide to Life.


He currently serves on and advises the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, both within the Catholic Church, and in the secular world, including the Papal Foundation, EWTN, the Acton Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute. 

JoAnn Flett
JoAnn Flett
Partners Worldwide

Organizational Consultant

JoAnn Flett is an Organizational Consultant for Partners Worldwide. She is the recent recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Scholar’s award to Trinidad and Tobago and will be teaching there in January – May 2020 at the University of the West Indies. She is a frequent speaker and collaborator to various groups about the intersection of faith and business. Her most recent collaborative project is with B-Lab, Local First, Sojourners, and Solidarity Capital, who together are envisioning a Sacred Economy.

She currently serves on and advises the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations that include: The Accord Network (100+ faith-based international development agencies); Geneva Global - Capital for Good (a performance philanthropy firm), Board Street Ministry (non-profit serving the most vulnerable Philadelphians), Everence Financial (Philadelphia Initiative), Initiate Australia (a social enterprise in Melbourne, Austraila). 

Oye Waddell
Oye Waddell
Hustle PHX

Executive Director

Oye Waddell is the Executive Director of Hustle PHX. Waddell grew up in inner city Los Angeles and has a long track record in urban education and entrepreneurship. He attended the University of Washington on a full athletic scholarship to play football. He later earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Education from Arizona State University. He is the founder of Gameplan International and serves as a pastor at New City Church in downtown Phoenix.

Widmer headshot
Andreas Widmer
The Catholic University of America

Director, Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship

Andreas E. Widmer is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and the director of the Art & Carlyse Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business & Economics.

Previously he co-founded The SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization promoting enterprise solutions to poverty. Widmer is a seasoned business executive with experience in high-tech, international business strategy, consulting and economic development. He served as CEO of the business strategy firm OTF Group (formerly part of the Monitor Group) and helped lead web content management pioneer Eprise Corporation, speech recognition pioneer Dragon Systems, and internet pioneer FTP Software. He has worked extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, has brought more than 100 leading-edge technology products to market, and was an executive in residence at Highland Capital Partners.

Andreas is the author of The Pope & The CEO: Pope Saint John Paul II’s Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard, a book exploring leadership lessons that Widmer learned serving as a Swiss Guard protecting Pope John Paul II and refined during his career as a successful business executive.

Mauren headshot
Kris Alan Mauren
Acton Institute

Executive Director and Cofounder

Kris Alan Mauren is the co-founder and executive director of the Acton Institute. The Acton Institute publishes scholarship and film and organizes educational seminars around the world, promoting an understanding of the ethical dimensions of the free market economy. Kris serves as a director or board member for a number of institutions, and is widely recognized as a leader in non-profit management, consulting globally on best practices in governance, management, measurement, and fundraising in the not for profit sector.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Mark Murray Auditorium | Acton Institute
98 E Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States


Click here to download the conference schedule.


$75 (Full Conference)
$15 (Lunch Session Only) 


Directions to the Acton Institute

Drivers can pay with cash and credit card at meters and pays stations. Download the Motu app (Google Play, App Store or via the web app) to pay using your mobile device.

Paid parking lots are also available nearby. Please enter building off of Sheldon Blvd.

More Upcoming Events