human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
Webinar series: human-centred economy
10 September 2020, Webinar 1
Webinar Series Proposal
In the framework of the MIND project and building on the collaboration between Caritas International Development Directors, a group of European Caritas organisations (Caritas Czech Republic, Caritas Denmark, Caritas International Belgium, Caritas Norway, Caritas Slovenia, CAFOD, SCIAF and Caritas Europa (CE)) is organising a series of webinars to discuss Caritas’ commitment towards achieving a more human-centred economy with respect to Catholic Social Teaching (CST), and the role of the private sector in this context.
The webinars will offer a platform for Caritas organisations to present their concrete actions in the area of international development that support the development of a fair and sustainable economy and that are undertaken in collaboration with the private sector. The webinars will also give participants the opportunity to discuss how Caritas can play a more active role in enhancing the social contributions of private sector actors and in transforming the existing economy into a human-centred one.
This will be the first webinar of the series, which will continue throughout autumn 2020 and will include a webinar on Caritas’ social economy initiatives in Europe and another on enterprise development in the global South. Although participants are invited to attend all webinars, these are stand-alone webinars, which do not require consistent participation.
Webinar Series Background
There is a growing international consensus on the fact that the predominant model of human progress is no longer sustainable for either our planet or its people. As Pope Francis says in Laudato Si’, we need an alternative to the globalisation of indifference and to place the economy at the service of peoples. Taking this into account in Caritas Internationalis (CI)’s and Caritas Europa’s strategic frameworks and incorporating it in an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity of the excluded, and contributing to integral human development, this approach pays specific attention to socio-economic inequalities and to the fact that existing economic structures perpetuate or even exacerbate the former. For example, this is evident by the erosion of working standards and/or access to social and economic rights. A discussion on the importance of economic fairness and social/economic justice in international development is thus aligned with Caritas’ mission to foster a people-centred economy, feasible models of social inclusion, and development processes that are not just about the material dimension, but about the whole human person.
Human-Centred Economy in International Development
Webinar #1: How to engage with and influence the ways companies work? Lessons from a guiding framework
Within Catholic Social Teaching, there is a recognition that economic activities must operate within a broader moral framework of honesty and accountability, respect of human dignity, fairness, and a vision of integral and authentic development that goes beyond mere material profits. Enterprises based on these principles are beneficial because they promote an economy of inclusion and participation, seek to rebalance power in the global economy, and enhance social values such as solidarity and subsidiarity, hence enriching the social fabric.
This webinar will offer a platform for exchange on promising practices for identifying potential business partners, whose practices are consistent with Caritas’ identity and CST principles, and therefore enable an entry point for pursuing common business-related objectives. In this webinar, we will hear about Caritas Spain’s guidelines on relations with companies and institutions. These guidelines, alongside Caritas Spain’s Code of Ethics, provide a reference framework for their collaboration and supportive work in the development of an economy that puts the person at the centre – with the aim of prioritising those affected by poverty and social exclusion. We will also hear about Oxfam’s experiences having established criteria for assessing which enterprises they are not willing to partner with, taking into account potential risks of being instrumentalised, as well as potential reputational risks.
Bernadette Van Raemdonk started her career in international cooperation in 1990 in Africa, Guinea Conakry, where she worked in the EU delegation. After a short passage at the cabinet of the Belgian Minister of International Cooperation, Bernadette started working for Caritas in 2001 where she has been responsible for Burundi, Tchad, Middle East, strategy, and quality. Since 2015, she is the Head of the International Cooperation department at Caritas International Belgium.
Maria Angeles Garcia Fernandez Graduated in Information Sciences (Advertising and Public Relations) at the Complutense University of Madrid, and MBA specialized on Marketing at ESIC Business & Marketing school. For 12 years, she worked in different private companies where she collaborated in the launch of several new brands and led the action plans to attract corporate partners. She joined Cáritas Española in 2005. From the past 15 years, she is responsible of promoting and improving long term collaborations with companies and institutions within the framework of corporate social responsibility. Since September 2017, she leads the Donors and Institutions department in Cáritas Española, with the mission of building strong and lasting relationships with individuals and companies in order to contribute to the construction of a more just and fair world and to the organisation`s sustainability.
Lies Craeynest is Head of Private Sector Engagement at Oxfam International. She works across the Oxfam confederation to support Oxfam’s relations with Multinational Companies (MNCs) and large businesses, speaking out and campaigning against them when needed, and collaborating where this is possible. She has been working with Oxfam for almost 10 years, starting off in Oxfam’s GROW campaign (www.grow.org) which campaigned on climate change and social injustice in the global food system. Her focus was on European policies on aid to agriculture as well as on European climate policy and international climate negotiations. Lies has worked for almost 20 years in the NGO sector, in both development and environment NGOs in the United Kingdom and Brussels. She has a Masters in Anthropology of Development and a Masters in Psychology. In her private life, and as a way to bring the climate change struggle closer to home, she is an active citizen aiming to improve air quality as part of Clean Air Brussels.
Facilitator: Bernadette Van Raemdonk, International Cooperation Department Director at Caritas International Belgium
14:00h – 14:10h: Welcoming remarks and introduction
14:10h – 14:30h: Maria Angeles Garcia Fernandez on Caritas Spain’s reference framework and code of ethics on relationships with companies and institutions
14:30h – 14:45h: Q&A
14:45h – 15:05h: Lies Craeynest on Oxfam’s criteria to assess which enterprises to partner or not with
15:05h – 15:30h: Q&A and wrap-up
Who can attend
This webinar is open only to members of the Caritas network.
Although participants are invited to attend all webinars, these are stand-alone webinars, which do not require consistent participation.
The webinar will be conducted in English.
This is an online event. You will be able to connect via GoToWebinar. You will receive detailed instructions on how to connect and a link to the webinar upon registration.