How can investors link profit to solidarity? The topic was addressed by Pope Francis as he spoke before a Conference on ethical investing. It's part of a two day symposium on how entrepreneurs can combine the common good and at the same time, make a profit.
'A sense of solidarity with the poor and the marginalized has led you to reflect on impact investing as one emerging form of responsible investment.â?
The Pope talked about 'impact investors' who focus on improving communities, reducing poverty and limiting social inequality, with the help of financial institutes, all while keeping in line with the social doctrine of the Church.
The gains may be relatively moderate, said the Pope, but the results have long lasting social results.
'These investors turn to financial institutes which will use their resources to promote the economic and social development of these groups through investment funds aimed at satisfying basic needs associated with agriculture, access to water.â?
The Pope then criticized the way in which some financial markets are shaping the destiny of entire communities, instead of serving their needs. Also, how some receive immense wealth from the system, while many are affected by the consequences.
It wasn't just about investors. The Roman Curia also joined in the conference.
'Representatives of the Roman Curia have joined you in these days of study aimed at assessing innovative forms of investment which can benefit local communities and the environment.â?
The conference is sponsored by the Vatican's Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, Catholic Relief Services and the Mendoza College of Business from the University of Notre Dame.