I felt that the values I had received at school and university (mainly Catholic entities), were far away from the current economic and business reality and that I perceived in both the public and private sectors. After talking to several trusted and experienced people: business executives, business school professors, priests, and even a coach or career counselor, I realized that this was something generalized and they encouraged me to challenge the status quo. I considered different avenues such as the priesthood or politics, but I thought that from my personal reality and my capabilities it was in the business world where I was able to make a greater contribution. At that moment I saw in the media the call of Pope Francis and I did not hesitate to sign up.
You are an engineer and an expert in renewable energies… EoF is not only about economics, right? How would you explain or encourage someone to participate in EoF if they are not very interested in the world of economics?
We all participate in the economic world, even if it is simply as consumers we can also influence others with our purchasing decisions. In this way we can avoid buying products or services from companies that we feel do not share our values and/or do not do enough to reduce their environmental impact.
We can also influence the companies we work for and our social environment to promote greater fiscal responsibility, as well as more efficient use of natural resources and energy.
You told us that personal egos (Vanity) and the desire to live in consumerism and luxury (Greed) are two problems you have encountered. In your opinion, and according to your experience, what is the biggest “moral blight” in the world of business and in the world of economics in general?
I think that the market economy has worked better than socialism, and of course communism, in lifting people out of poverty and giving people opportunities. However, this model is “dying of success” by depleting natural resources and subordinating everything, including the dignity of the human person, to the market. Here I am not only talking about the military industry, military geo-strategy, pornography, drugs, or abortion but also about more mundane situations such as manipulating the truth according to interests, trying to impose working conditions that make it materially impossible for people from forming a family, considering that if you do not benefit unduly someone else will do it for you, etc.
When there is no higher value, no universal truth or common good, what remains is the all against all and transactional relationships (I give you because you give me). This is the opposite of what is proposed in the last encyclical of Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, in reducing our fellow colleagues, clients, shareholders etc. to mere economic utility-producing units, when the person is much more than that. We can say that there is much to do, much to improve, much “room for improvement”.