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Guest Lecture Master Christianity and Society

Date: Time: 11:45 Location: Tias Building, TZ 11

The purpose of business. Towards a more just and less exploitative economy, by Huub Ruël, PhD

Climate change, global inequality, poverty and hunger, natural resources exploitation, and labor migration – corporations have a role in these challenges and carry responsibility. How can they contribute to an economy that is more just? It seems that the impact of concepts such as CSR (corporate social responsibility) and ESG (environment, social and governance) principles is limited. Fundamental questions should be asked. Wat is the purpose of business? How should corporate governance change to tackle today’s global challenges? Catholic social thought as a more than 125-year-old intellectual debate may offer relevant and progressive insights to answer these questions.

Huub Ruël is a is a business and management scholar at University College Twente, working on topics at the intersection of international business and international relations. In this lecture he will discuss how Catholic social thought challenged liberalism as well as socialism and defined its own ideas on the purpose of business. This position may offer an alternative to the dominant corporate governance model that focuses on the interests of shareholders. Huub Ruël will show examples of businesses that use the principles of Catholic social thought to promote a more just and less exploitative economy. The lecture reflects the PhD research he is doing at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology. There will be ample room for discussion.