Category: Events

During her evening plenary presentation, Magatte Wade asked the audience to raise their hand if they cared about poverty alleviation; hands went up all over the room. She followed up by asking how many in the room had checked the doing business index recently; far fewer hands went up.

It’s easy to forget that the most powerful poverty alleviation tool is a job, and that jobs are more plentiful in those parts of the world where it is easier to do business. Wade, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Tiossan, used her time on the stage of Acton University to show the power of entrepreneurship to change perceptions and lift up the poor. You can view her presentation below.

The spring session of the 2016 Acton Lecture Series closed on May 17th with an address by Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico entitled “Freedom Indivisible: Private Property as the Solid Ground for Religious Liberty,” which examined how private property provides an essential foundation for religious liberty in a free and virtuous society. We’re pleased to share the lecture with you via the video player below.

 

No one questions the sincerity of Pope Francis when it comes to his demonstrated concern for the poor and downtrodden of the world. Many, however, have questioned whether the solutions that he has suggested will actually alleviate the poverty that afflicts too many around the world, or whether those solutions will actually exacerbate the problems of the poor.

Samuel Gregg, Acton’s Director of Research, addressed this topic in his March 30th Acton Lecture Series address in which he lays out some of the potential problems with the Pope’s approach to poverty, and suggests some modifications to the way that the Catholic Church applies its timeless moral principles to prudential matters of the current day.

Acton’s Director of International Outreach Todd Huizinga has been quite busy since the release of his book The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in EuropeLast week Thursday, he continued to talk about this topic in an Acton Lecture Series address that we’re pleased to share with you today on the PowerBlog. Additionally, we’ve posted audio of Todd’s hour-long appearance last night on WBZ Boston’s “Nightside” show with host Dan Rea after the jump.

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On February 18th, the Acton Institute was pleased to welcome Jay Richards and Joseph Pearce to our Mark Murray Auditorium for an exchange on two distinct ideas on economics: Distributism vs. Free Markets. The gentleman’s debate was moderated by Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico.

Joseph Pearce, writer in residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, and Director of the college’s Center for Faith and Culture, argued in favor of distributism; Jay Richards, Assistant Research Professor School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and Executive Editor of The Stream, defended free markets. It was a lively exchange, and we’re pleased to present the video of the event below.

The 2016 Acton Lecture Series continued on March 3rd at Acton’s Mark Murray Auditorium with an address by Acton Research Fellow and Producer of Poverty, Inc. Michael Matheson Miller. Miller’s topic for the day was “Technocracy and The Global Political Consensus.”

Many of our current political and social challenges center around the fundamental question of what it means to be a human being, and our understanding of what it means to live an authentic human life. The answers to these questions will have profound consequences for liberty, for the family, and for the kind of society we create. We’re pleased to present Miller’s examination of these vital questions via the video player below.

The Blue MarbleYesterday I had the pleasure of taking part in a panel discussion at Calvin College, hosted by the Paul B. Henry Institute, focusing on challenges facing the next president. The topic of this inaugural panel for the series was “The Environment,” and there was what I thought was a very worthwhile conversation with Jamie Skillen of Calvin’s Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies department, moderated by Micah Watson of Calvin’s political science department.

I had the chance to prepare some opening remarks, and I ordered them as five basic theses each paired with its own corollary. To wit:

Thesis 1: Our world belongs to God. Corol. God’s world belongs to us.

Thesis 2: Humans have a unique stewardship responsibility. Corol. Humanity is of unique significance in the world.

Thesis 3: Stewardship involves being productive. Corol. A clean environment is a costly good (cf. Cornwall Declaration).

Thesis 4: Economic and environmental stewardship, rightly understood, are not fundamentally opposed. Corol. Short-termism is the enemy.

Thesis 5: Good stewardship of fossil fuels is the key environmental challenge today. Corol. Nuclear has to be part of the solution for transcending fossil fuels.