The second cluster meeting of the cluster took place in Brussels on July 14 and 15.

The Higher Education for Social Transformation (HEST)  campaign is envisioned as a fifteen-year, pan-continental, cross-disciplinary endeavour which will consider a range of issues including; Christian-Muslim relations, the interaction between science and religion, what it means to be human, how to integrate migrants and refugees, and the role of spirituality (especially Ignatian spirituality) in contemporary life. The goal is to produce meaningful and quality research that can be communicated to a range of audiences so as to promote progressive advocacy in each area.

The second cluster meeting of the cluster on Economy, Poverty and Ethics took place on July 14 and 15, at the CEP office in Brussels. Dr. José Sols and Dr. Pedro Caldentey, the two coordinators of the clusters, welcomed us and leaded the session.

7 people participated in the meeting:

  • Pedro Caldentey from Universidad Loyola Andalucía
  • Annick Castiaux from Université de Namur
  • Dariusz Dankowski from Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow
  • Kevin Hargaden from the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in Dublin
  • Marcel Remon from the Centre de recherche et d'action sociales (CERAS) in Paris
  • José Carlos Romero from the CEP
  • José Sols from IQS – Ramon Llull University

This time, we scheduled a two days meeting starting with the lunch on Friday and finishing with a farewell lunch on Saturday.

Since it was the second meeting of the cluster and hence we already knew who we were and what we were doing, we devoted the meeting to discuss the next steps.

During the Friday afternoon, we reviewed the situation of the global HEST initiative in general and the cluster on Economy, Poverty and Ethics in particular. Two projects had been proposed as possible focus areas of the cluster, i.e. (1) ‘Towards a humanistic management of the firm. Business activity to enhance integral human development’ and (2) ‘Fourth Technological Revolution, the Crisis of Employment and the Basic Income’. Pedro Caldentey and José Sols presented them and a fruitful dialogue came afterwards in which good insights were provided.

Consequently, the second session on Saturday morning focused on the design of a concrete Action Plan for the cluster. Eventually we agreed on meeting again in March 2018 in Madrid and to start working on 4 different publications based on the proposed topics.

Speaking after the meeting, Kevin Hargaden from the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in Dublin said, “To be able to collaborate within such a diverse group of expertise is a real honour. With the professionalisation of research, all too commonly we lose the big picture because we are so focused on the details of our specific field. With the HEST initiative, research communities across Europe have the chance to rediscover the big picture”.

Read also 2 articles of the Irish Centre for Faith and Justice (ICFJ):
Ivory towers or places of power?
JCFJ Joins European Research Initiative for Social Transformation