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Georgetown McDonough Hosts 27th Annual IAJBS World Forum and 2022 CJBE Annual Meeting 

A community of Jesuit educators – dedicated to the Future of Work and the Common Good – gathered at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Washington, D.C., July 17 to 19 to discuss the future of a rapidly evolving work environment and professional landscape. 

The International Association of Jesuit Business Schools and the Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education gathered inside the Rafik B. Hariri Building to hear from a wide range of speakers and experts in the business arena.

The two-day conference centered around a mission of embracing technological advances while ensuring Jesuit business schools can equip students and their communities to make positive contributions to modern society. 

Paul Almeida, dean and William R. Berkley Chair of the McDonough School of Business, welcomed influential speakers and attendees to the conference. 

“We, at Jesuit business schools, have a unique opportunity to take on some of the biggest economic and social challenges facing mankind — and examine the role of business and technology in solving them,” said Almeida. “After all, we are a far-flung network of institutions that can acquire and share knowledge, perspectives, and ideas, all the time guided by our history and our enduring values. This is quite unique in education.”

Paul Almeida, dean and William R. Berkley Chair of the McDonough School of Business, addresses IAJBS/CJBE World Forum attendees.

The first keynote speaker of the forum was Jamie Merisotis, who has served as the president and CEO of Lumina Foundation since 2008 – an organization committed to increasing educational attainment, promoting racial justice and equity, and preparing people for success in a global economy. 

Merisotis was introduced by Almeida as someone who can share insights into why he believes that the power of human traits – critical thinking, ethical reasoning, empathy – will remain timeless and necessary assets in an evolving workforce, and how educators can prepare students for the work of the future.

After Merisotis took the stage, he greeted the crowd with words of encouragement for the future of a business-oriented workforce, while he also posed thought-provoking questions to consider regarding anticipated technological developments and their impact on how business is conducted. 

“I sometimes think that the conversation about work in the future feels as if we’re in the middle of a great big experiment. In that experiment, we see many failures along the road of inquiry, but we also see a lot of successes. Today there are hopeful examples of programs that combine technical skills with so-called ‘power skills’ to meet the needs of the future.” 

A variety of other sessions were held throughout the conference, which included an array of inspiring speakers, some of whom participated in an emerging technologies demonstration, an Inspiration Paradigm panel and discussion, and several future of work panels focused on topics such as employment trends, healthcare, and Georgetown’s Pivot Program.

Attendees also heard remarks from keynote speaker, Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican, who discussed insights into Pope Francis’s vision for the future of work as an economy of care. 

“Work is not just making things,” said Smerilli. “All forms of work are about relationships with others, and because work is a relationship, it must include the concept of care because no relationship can survive without care. Work as care is about promoting the common good.”

After several days of experiential learning opportunities and discussion around the role of business schools in the context of the Inspirational Paradigm, the IAJBS World Forum and CJBE annual meeting concluded with remarks by Almeida. 

“On behalf of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, I thank you for joining us this week to engage in these critical conversations. It is a true privilege to be a part of this community, and I hope that together we can take what we have learned to face these challenges head-on in our schools, in our classrooms, and our communities.” 

To read more about this year’s conference, visit the 27th Annual IAJBS World Forum and the 2022 CJBE Annual Meeting website.

Loyola University Andalusia will host the 28th Annual IAJBS World Forum in Seville, Spain, next year.