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Integral iMpact

What do we mean by "iMpact"?

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis published his second encyclical letter, Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home. In his letter, the Pope asserts that "business is a noble vocation directed to producing wealth and improving our world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the areas in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good" (LS 129). However, the business has to be integrated with respect for the environment, humanity and the common good: "We urgently need a humanism capable of bringing together the different fields of knowledge, including economics, in the service of a more integral and integrating vision" (LS 141).

Economy of Francesco

In May 2019, Pope Francis invited young economists, entrepreneurs and practitioners to gather in Assisi, Italy, to make a pact to build a new, more inclusive and sustainable economy. The event, Economy of Francesco, was supposed to take place in March 2020. The global pandemic made it necessary to pivot, and the event took place as a three-day, online event in November 2020, where more than 1,500 people from 115 countries participated. At the end of the event, the young economists and entrepreneurs published a final statement, which took the form of a message "to economists, entrepreneurs, political decision-makers, workers, and citizens of the world to make a positive impact."

The Economy of Francesco (EoF) is a serious and urgent invitation to transform the current economic thinking based on neoclassical economics to one inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis discusses growing economic inequalities, social unrest and environmental degradation. The Pope asserts an intimate relationship between the poor and the planet's fragility, our moral behavior (even our inaction and sins), and ecological degradation. Everything, he emphasizes, is interconnected. He speaks of our hearts needing to undergo an integral, spiritual and ecological conversion. Following suit, the EoF seeks to have a transformative impact on our current economic and financial methods.

In January of 2018, Laurence Fink, founder and CEO of BlackRock, the largest investment firm in the world with $6 trillion under management, expressed in a letter to business leaders that their companies need to do more than only make profits. Fink directed the global corporate world to make a positive contribution to society. He claimed that every business should be able to measure its impact on society, particularly the environmental, social and financial-economic results.

A Moral Obligation

bolte-school-of-business-students-at-table-with-professor-1200-450.jpgAt the Centre for Integral Ecology, Economy and iMpact (CIEEM), in partnership with Transform Communiversity Associates (TCA), we believe in creating an impact that every business can implement because it is the right thing to do. After all, we have a moral obligation to transform ourselves and transform our businesses.

“There can be only one permanent revolution, a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet, in our world, everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself” (Leo Tolstoy).

Creating Sustainable and Positive Integral iMpact

At CIEEM, we believe that creating sustainable and positive integral iMpact is a journey that starts from realizing our personal calling to love, serve and transform our realities with a meaningful purpose to transform our communities and businesses.

We want to create sustainable and positive integral iMpact. We called it “iMpact” because we want to highlight that the impact we want to make comes from Mount St. Mary’s University in partnership with all our associates (TCA).

We have developed an integrated model which has transformed businesses and communities in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

We believe in creating an impact economy that is transformational, led by iMpact entrepreneurs, and fueled by iMpact investment.

iMpact entrepreneurs seek transformational change that regenerates the businesses they create. They work within the presumption that systems change because we are all part of an integrated ecology.