2010 Notre Dame Forum to examine global marketplace and its impact on the “common good”

by Todd Woodward

Friedman_Thomas_forum 2010

“The Global Marketplace and the Common Good” is the topic for the 2010 Notre Dame Forum, the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today.

Scheduled for Nov. 3 (Wednesday), the forum will examine the inherent demand for an essential moral framework in the quest for human development, a topic that has taken on increased scrutiny in the wake of the global economic crisis of 2008-09. Thomas Friedman, the influential Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist from the New York Times, has been confirmed as one of the guest speakers.

“The world has been shaken by the current economic crisis,” Father Jenkins said. “The Notre Dame Forum will create a year-long discussion on the role of ethics, values and morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy. In his recent encyclical ‘Caritas in Veritate’ (‘Charity in Truth’), Pope Benedict issued a reminder that ‘the economy needs ethics in order to function correctly – not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centered.’ That encyclical comes out of a long tradition of the Church’s social teaching which asks us to reflect on the moral dimensions of individual and collective economic choices, and evaluate them with regard to their contribution to justice and the common good.”

One of the nation’s most influential commentators, Friedman has examined a wide range of topics, including globalization and worldwide economic issues, religious fundamentalism and terrorism, and the Middle East conflict. He has won three Pulitzer Prizes and has had four best-selling books, most recently “The World is Flat,” currently a best-seller.

The topic was reached after discussion with the Dean’s Council. Subsequently, a small steering committee was formed to undertake initial planning for the event. As in past years, Father Jenkins will create a Notre Dame Forum working committee charged with leading the planning of the 2010 event, as well as partnering with colleges, schools, institutes and centers on events and speakers related to this topic. The committee will include faculty, student and administrative representatives.

Established by Father Jenkins in 2005, the Notre Dame Forum has brought leading authorities to campus to discuss substantive issues of the day. Past forum topics have included immigration, sustainability, global health and the role of religious faith in a plural world.