Fireside Chat with Father Phillip Larrey Provides Insights into Capitalism 2.0
In a fireside chat with Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of the International Well Building Institute (IWBI), Father Phillip Larrey, Dean of Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University, the Vatican’s seat of higher education, explored the Vatican’s commitment to ESG efforts, the goal of human flourishing, and the importance of dialogue among states, non-state actors and civil society to address pressing challenges to the environment and the future of humanity.
Father Larrey spoke to Pope Francis’ commitment and leadership to a people-centric form of capitalism and encouraged corporations to take ESG goals to heart. “A company that does good is going to be a better company,” he concluded. But there is still much persuasion work to be done: “There has been some skepticism. What ethical system are you talking about? Which one should we follow?”
Father Larrey, the Chair of Logic and Epistemology at Pontifical Lateran University explored the global capitalism in a very frank manner: Corporations may be headquartered in one country but they operate in other countries: Things shift, things change and regulations do too, even ethical standards. What is appropriate in Riyadh is not appropriate in San Jose.”
To respond to these vagaries, he applauded titles like “Chief Ethical Officer” and “Chief Well Being Officer”. “This goes beyond the legal aspect. This is where human flourishing comes in,” he offered. But there was a clear call for better forms of measurement and standard setting. To do so, Father Larrey and Humanity 2.0 is collaborating with the Oxford Center for Human Flourishing and a number of other academic institutions, stakeholders, inter-governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations. “Humanity 2.0 is engaged in developed metrics for holding ourselves accountable.”
Father Larrey concluded by referring to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si, the Pontiff’s worldwide wake up call for humanity to help the environment. “This is his legacy,” confirmed Father Larrey, “He is saying ‘Let’s take care of the planet.’”