IESE and the Social Responsibility of Businesses, Barcelona, Spain

The initiatives described in this section are educational, social, and cultural activities brought forward by faithful of the Prelature and cooperators together with many other people, both Catholics and non-Catholics. Those who undertake and direct these activities (taking on full responsibility for them, including their financial aspects) are trying to respond to specific local needs without any discrimination regarding race, religion, or social condition.

The Prelature of Opus Dei, through agreements with the organizers, or through the guidelines established by the statutes of each entity, contributes to the development of these social initiatives by providing Christian doctrinal and moral orientation, and priestly service, always with full respect for the freedom of people’s consciences.

IESE and the Social Responsibility of Businesses, Barcelona, Spain

On July 5 and 6, 2019, IESE Business School organized an ethics conference in Barcelona on “The Company and its Social Responsibilities,” coordinated by Professor Antonio Argandoña. This school of the University of Navarra has been training business managers for 60 years through an ethical and humanistic approach to business. The conference reflected on the social, economic and technological changes that are forcing business leaders to rethink the roles and responsibilities of companies and managers, and the impact business schools can have in this regard.

IESE Dean Franz Heukamp opened the conference by welcoming the participants who filled the Aula Magna – IESE alumni, executives, members of partner schools, employees – and those connecting by videoconference from Madrid, New York and Munich, where the school has local campuses. He expressed his gratitude to Blessed Alvaro del Portillo and Bishop Echevarría, who during previous trips to Barcelona had encouraged them to “contribute to the improvement of society,” keeping in mind that “every person is important.”

Fernando Ocáriz, Chancellor of the University of Navarra and Prelate of Opus Dei, gave the opening address, in which he thanked St. Josemaría Escrivá for having been “God’s instrument to begin this initiative.” The main theme of his address was that “a business is a community of people that serves other people within a society of people. Only after taking this into consideration do capital, facilities, technology, and legal realities come into play.”

The conference was attended by representatives from other business schools associated with IESE, all of whom share a Christian vision of work. The Prelate encouraged them to “be builders of human progress, not only materially but also spiritually.”

During the days of the conference, professors and directors of these business schools shared experiences on strengthening the Christian identity of their colleagues, students, alumni, and others taking part in their activities. Referring to this eagerness shown by those present, Monsignor Ocáriz offered some reflections on friendship: “Personal contact, treating people with affection, that is how to transmit the Gospel.” And he added that a “business school that wants to be Christian must live charity, and first of all justice.”

Luis Romera, Prefect of Studies for the Prelature, thanked the participants for “the social initiatives they are carrying out and their impact on the betterment of society. Continue forward with this endeavor that helps so many people and contributes to the spread of the Gospel.”

Romana, n. 69, July-December 2019, p. 275-276.

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