Many of the lectures so far in the JPII series have focused on the problematic situation and future of Christianity in Europe, which is, indeed, a standard position, widely held today. In an attempt to follow in the footsteps of John Paul II, this lecture will take a different line. Using the example of Blueprint for Better Business, a business-led initiative based on Catholic Social Teaching that grew out of the experience of the 2008 financial crisis in the City of London, we will reflect on what the Church can offer to Europeans in resolving their various problems and crises and, in the light of the thought of John Paul II, what this could mean for the mission of the Church in Europe today.
Helen Alford studied Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and worked in various manufacturing companies including Michelin Tyre. After finishing a PhD thesis on “human-centred technology,” she joined the Dominicans and as a result was sent to teach at the Dominican University in Rome, the Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum). She is now an Ordinary Professor of Economics and Ethics and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences; between 2017 and 2021 she was also Vice Rector in the same university. Her research mostly looks at the role and impact of ethics and Christian social thought in the field of management, sustainability and, increasingly, artificial intelligence. She is an Ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a Consultor to the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and Senior Adviser to the “Blueprint for Better Business” based in the UK.