On May 16th, May, Bishop Javier Echevarría, the Prelate of Opus Dei, who is also the Chancellor of the University of Navarra, went to IESE, the university's business school in Barcelona, to give the key-note address at the 15th annual International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society.
The symposium was part of IESE's 50th anniversary, and the Prelate was accompanied by Ángel J. Gómez, president of the University of Navarra, and Jordi Canals, IESE's Dean.
In his address, "Christian Humanism in Business and Management," Bishop Echevarría, described a company as, above all, an organization of free and responsible people working together to contribute resources, develop their humanity, and collaborate effectively to produce products and services.
Bishop Echevarría explained how the concept of Christian Humanism offers a complete vision of the person, one that includes both individual and social dimensions. Beyond the structural aspects of a company, he explained how such a humanism shows itself especially through those who manage the organization. Such a task involves education, experience, technical capabilities, and most importantly, virtues.
Speaking about the importance of caring for and serving others, Bishop Echevarría emphasized how virtues not only enrich us as people, but also as business leaders. It is important to recognize each person's individuality, rather than seeing them simply as economic resources. Furthermore, the spirit of service must lead managers to discover the real needs of others and do all that is possible to serve them effectively.
Every year the symposium brings together academics, executives, and thought leaders from around the world, to discuss key issues such as how to promote human-centered business models and practices, new conceptual developments, and the practical ways in which individuals can find human meaning and moral motivation in their work.
Other key speakers at this year's symposium included Jeffrey Pfeffer (Stanford University), Michael Hoffman (Bentley College), Peter Koslowski (Free University of Amsterdam), Carrie R. Leana (University of Pittsburgh), Enrique Sendagorta, (University of Navarra, Enterprise and Humanism Institute) as well as IESE professors Antonio Argandoña, Josep M. Rosanas and Joan Fontrodona.