The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, opened the Blueprint for Better Business Conference on 24 October at Prince Phillip House in London.
The Conference was set up in 2011 by business leaders concerned about the extent of loss of trust between business and society. They felt that this problem could not be solved by business alone and knew that restoring trust is a long term project requiring business and society to work together.
The Archbishop opened the proceedings of the day commenting on how Catholic Social Teaching led to his involvement in the initiative and how we should all be striving towards the common good in business and elsewhere:
“What these traditions offer is a rich and distinctive idea of the common good. The common good is an emergent property. This means it does not exist prior to, or apart from, the commitments that people make to each other, and the relationships they form whether as friends, colleagues, customers or citizens. The common good does not belong to any one person and is of its nature shared. Institutions which have at their heart a commitment to the common good bind people together and help form cultures that nourish us all, and help us to live better lives. Business at its best does this. It produces better goods and services. It also contributes to forming better people.”
The Conference was attended by leading businessmen and Anglican clergymen, including the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Right Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham. Archbishop Nichols thanked them for their presence at the Conference, saying it shows a ‘powerful sign of our shared thinking’.