Monday, 7 January 2013

Paradigm Shift 2013 in corporate social responsibility

An email I received today from a certain Mayanja Dani:
We are organizing an international conference on the paradigm shift 2013 in corporate social responsibility. I have looked at your cv and feel that you could be resourceful at dispensation of the following themes:
1. From Religion to Spiritual Wholesomeness; Doing Good and Healing the World. The paper should be all round covering problems of    Environment, Poverty, Corruption etc. and proposing the way forward for the world.
2. Corporate Social Responsibility paradigm shift for "The New Economic Order".
The Conference shall be held in Uganda in February-March, 2013 at an International facility called Mweya Safari Lodge within the Queen Elizabeth National Park. We would be happy if we could network together for Corporate and Academia participation in the Conference both from India and other parts of the World. Could this be a chance for us to cause a paradigm shift to save human kind?  Waiting for your urgent reply.
What to make of this? I don't know.

But the topic is certainly interesting from a Lonergan point of view.

What comes to mind is:

1. The economics.
2. The basic belief in the Healing that has been given. [The invitation mentions, in fact, Doing Good and Healing the World. The slightly negative element is "From Religion to Spiritual Wholeness."] The economics would form part of the Creating component in the Healing and Creating. [The New Economic Order will be based on an attempt to truly understand the basic processes, before attempting to give solutions. A slogan can be: let us hear all parties. Let us not ignore possible Wisdom.]
3. Some matter from The Apostolate of the Jesuit in the Modern World, which I used for the article on the priesthood.

The whole point will be to do what we can while not lamenting the world. The not lamenting comes from the fact that we believe, or else we make, a basic option that Healing has been given.

Part of Healing will be faith, hope, charity. Charity involves forgiveness - the element that was missing in Shimon Peres' speech on 31 Dec 2012. Forgiveness as global strategy. We have great examples before us: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mandela, King Hussein of Jordan. Make use of the work also of Yoder.

One of the tasks will be to work out a strategy that will take into account personal and group biases (which include national interests as well as those of multinational corporations), while trying to handle and circumvent the general bias of common sense.

From my paper, "Priesthood and Identity in the Secular World":

Bernard Lonergan has an article containing a very interesting proposal for the ministry of the Jesuit priest in the modern world.[1] A principal duty of priests, Lonergan says, is to lead and teach the people of God. But all leadership and teaching takes place in the context of one’s times, and the times – Lonergan is writing some 40 years ago – are marked by modernity, secularism and self-destructiveness. The modern Jesuit, Lonergan goes on, has to (1) overcome vestiges of his classicist upbringing; (2) discerningly accept the gains of modernity; and (3) work out strategies for dealing with secularist views on religion and with concomitant distortions in our notion of human knowledge, our apprehension of human reality, and our organization of human affairs. Just how such strategies are to be worked out is an enormous question, but Lonergan offers the following hints: such a strategy will be a creative project emerging from an understanding of a situation and a grasp of what can be done about it; it will not be a static project set forth once and for all, but an ongoing one, constantly revised in the light of feedback from its implementation; it will be not a single ongoing project but a set of ongoing processes, “constantly reported to some central clearinghouse.” This central clearinghouse will have the twofold function of drawing attention to conflicts between separate parts; and keeping all parts informed both of what has been achieved elsewhere and of what has been tried and found wanting.[2]
Lonergan's thoughts here will have to be completed / corrected / qualified with what he says in Method in Theology, esp. in the last chapter. 

[1] B. Lonergan, "The Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle in the Modern World," A Second Collection, ed. William F.J. Ryan and Bernard J. Tyrrell (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1974) 165-214.
[2] Lonergan 183-187.

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