Launch Conference

Our launch conference was held on 18 September 2012.

Speakers included Dominic Barton, Global MD, McInsey and Company, Maurice Glassman. Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever and Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone.

The 2012 conference was in response to a request by business leaders to the Archbishop of Westminster to convene a gathering of business leaders to debate what the keynote speaker Dominic Barton called ” .. “A period of huge change that comes around just once every 200-300 years…” The call came as a result of previous work which culminated in a public call to action in a letter to the FT which posed a central question: “if the only question is, ‘Is it legal and profitable?’, then all that matters is that what is done complies with the regulations in force and makes a profit for the seller and the institution they represent. At its most extreme this philosophy… legitimates exploitation and in the end subverts the very basis of trust in the market on which all profitable activity depends.”

A pamphlet giving an overview of the conference can be viewed here: 2012 Conference pamphlet

Speaker Profiles

See the profiles of the speakers and panellists at our launch conference.

Read more

2014 Conference

The theme of our 2014 Conference was “Putting purpose into Practice”.

Read more

2013 Conference

The theme of our 2013 conference was ‘Business Success through Serving Society”

Read more

Overview and audio of the sessions

What is the business need for change?

The Global MD of management consultancy McKinsey, Dominic Barton, talks about the landscape of capitalism today and examines the crucial issue of trust. He then looks at the survey of delegates carried out in advance of the conference and what can be gleaned from it before examining four areas where capitalism can change for the better.

Is there an inevitable conflict between profit maximisation and developing common good?

A panel considered this questions from a range of different perspectives. The panellists were:

  • Naguib Kheraj, Barclays & Aga Khan Foundation
  • Nicola Smith, Head of Economic & Social Affairs, TUC
  • Colin Melvin, Hermes
  • Prof. Eilis Ferran, Prof of Commercial Lay, Cambridge


What is the distinctive practical contribution of a faith-based ethical framework to personal and corporate responsibility?

Archbishop Vincent Nichols talks about how trust might be regained in business. “Those business leaders who invited me to take today’s initiative did so because they felt there was a contribution faith could make…. Our society is looking for a new narrative for the place of business… A fresh examination of the social purpose of business – alongside profitability is fundamental “.  You can read his speech in full here: Archbishop’s speech

Maurice Glassman, Academic and Member of the House of Lords takes up the theme.

Unless there is this conversation between business and faith and labour, I don’t think our country will be a better place to live”

Leaders’ responses

Chief Executive of Vodafone Group Plc, Vittorio Colao, and Unilever’s Executive Director Paul Polman offer their observations to Archbishop Nichols and Lord Glasman’s addresses.