Economic Justice Program

Economy of Communion as Stakeholder Capitalism Online Conference: Exploring Religion's Evolving Influence on Business

This conference took place over four one-hour sessions each Tuesday in October 2021. There were also two Thursday sessions for reflection and networking.

In 2019, the Business Roundtable redefined the purpose of a corporation to promote "an economy that serves all Americans." In 2020, the New York Times endorsed this redefinition of corporate purpose fifty years after Milton Friedman's editorial and amid protests for recognizing and including all. This year the Fordham University School of Law's Institute on Religion, Law, and Lawyer's Work and Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding invite you to explore how business can accomplish these humanistic goals. The Economy of Communion (EoC) is an economic model created within the Catholic tradition positing that business exists for the benefit of all people who make up a workplace, workforce, and marketplace. Religion has long influenced the norms and practices in which business is conducted, iconically with the Weberian "work ethic" informing capitalism. This conference will explore the continuing evolution of its relationship with business from a religiously diverse lens over four one-hour sessions each Tuesday in October. There will also be two Thursday sessions for reflection and networking.

  • Speakers

    Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Chair of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission.

    Luigino Bruni is Professor of Economics at the Lumsa University, Rome. He is a Consultant to the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, President of SEC - School of Civil Economy and columnist for the Newspaper Avvenire. Editor-in-Chief of IREC (International Review of Economics), Director of the PhD in Civil Economy Sciences at Lumsa in Rome.


  • A space for small business and middle-management practitioners of diversity and inclusion to share their experiences doing so.


    John Mundell is the President of Mundell & Associates. Founded in 1995 to provide professional earth and environmental consulting services to industry, municipalities, governmental agencies, engineering firms and the legal community. As part of his involvement in the EoC, John currently serves on the International EoC Commission and the North American EoC Advisory Board which help coordinate the activities and development of the EoC at both global and national levels.

    Peter Trent has five plus years in the IT field of network communications. He started from New York City Transit as an intern and is now a full-time employee for Netpro communications, a full-service IT consulting company based in New York City.

    Yusra Alshanqityi studied law at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia and completed her LL.M. program with a dual concentration in international law and justice and international dispute resolution. Years later, after interning at the African Services Committee, a nonprofit based in Harlem, Alshanqityi worked on immigration and asylum cases and decided to seek an SJD at Fordham Law. Alshanqityi’s doctoral research produced scholarship and proposals on labor law and labor rights for laborers to reform the sponsorship system in her native Saudi Arabia.

    Nellie Torres is the founder and President of ProjectSpan, Inc., a woman/minority certified construction support company specializing in transportation infrastructure projects. Torres brings over 20 years of experience in all aspects of Construction Operations and has extensive knowledge in public infrastructure projects. Her wide-ranging supervisory and hands-on experience is diverse and includes all areas of project management and internal controls. Nellie has worked closely with local and national public agencies and Fortune 500 commercial clients. She holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from NYU / Polytechnic University and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from Baruch College.


    Gregory E. Louis, Associate Professor of Law at the City University of New York, and FLS '09


  • On How Such Businesses Function Like Businesses: Making Money and Codifying Social Purpose in Articles of Organization, Bylaws, and Other Governance Structures.


    Kent Greenfield is an internationally-recognized scholar of constitutional law and corporate governance, Kent Greenfield is Professor of Law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at Boston College Law School. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School, Greenfield is the author of three books, including Corporations are People Too (And They Should Act Like It) for Yale University Press. He is also the principal author of the two Supreme Court volumes of Moore’s Federal Practice.

    Lawrence Chong serves as the Group CEO of Consulus, a global innovation by design firm serving leaders, companies, and cities in their transformation to shape a better world. Consulus is an Economy of Communion enterprise founded in Singapore in 2004, now present in 16 cities from the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Lawrence serves as the Distinguished Fellow for Global Economy at the Washington Institute for Business, Government and Society. He teaches a leadership course about Holistic Leadership at Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He is the Co-convenor of the Economy of Communion Asia Pacific. Active in interreligious dialogue, he was appointed by Pope Francis in 2020 to serve as Consultor on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

    Andrew Gustafson is a Christian philosopher, and Professor of Business Ethics and Society at the Heider College of Business at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on business ethics and business and faith since 2005. He has a strong interest in how business can contribute to the common good, which is demonstrated in his publications on utilitarianism, CST and Business, as well as works on the Economy of Communion. He learns a lot practically from his work as an entrepreneur, restoring buildings and renting them out, with help from local neighbors in need of work and community.

    Sarah Eagle Heart is an Emmy-award winning storyteller and the co-CEO of Return to the Heart Foundation, where she works tirelessly for social justice and the visibility of Native American women. Ms. Eagle Heart won the2017 American Express NGen Leadership Awardas an emerging leader under age 40 who has already demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs.


    Gregory E. Louis, Associate Professor of Law at the City University of New York, and FLS '09


  • Exploration by and for ERG leaders + Chief Diversity Officers of the application of the EoC in their work.


    Dr. Denise Breaux Soignet is the Director of the Tyson Center for Faith-Friendly Workplaces. An associate professor of Management in the Walton College of Business (University of Arkansas). She earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management from Florida State University and is a Certified Professional for the Society for Human Resource Management.

    Sadaf Parvaiz has over 20 years’ experience in the private sector as an Inclusion & Diversity industry leader. Sadaf works at GHD where she was appointed as the first ever Global Enterprise Inclusion & Diversity Leader. Sadaf is leading the I&D strategy across GHD with over 200 offices globally and over 10,000 employees with presence across the US, Canada, UK, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Philippines and Singapore.

    Teresa Ganzon took over an ailing family rural bank - Bangko Kabayan - in the ‘70s and, together with her husband, Francis, turned it around to not only become a viable, relevant financial institution but a region-wide private development bank today, serving the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines countryside. Their inspiration and guide have been the Economy of Communion, which they tried to integrate into current management practices through the past 40 years. Retiring in 2018 from active management, Teresa is a current member of the Board of Directors of Bangko Kabayan and heads the BK Foundation, which serves as the social arm of Bangko Kabayan today. She is also Co-convenor in the EOC Asia Pacific network.

    Wael Abuelmagd serves as the Global Co-Lead of the Interfaith EBRG at Merck & Co. since 2018. His passion revolves around supporting employees from diverse religious, spiritual, and cultural backgrounds to bring their whole selves to work.Over the years, Wael supported of the expansion of Interfaith Organization within Merck & MSD across the globe, mentored many D&I leaders.