The Future of Climate, Development and Social Justice at St. John’s in Rome

I. I. (July 19, 2019)
Experts and academics across various fields discussed major issues relating to climate, development and social justice, with a particular focus on their relationship to education and envisaging solutions for a better future, during a symposium held at St. John’s University’s Rome Campus.

On June 8, 2019, St John’s University’s Rome campus hosted a symposium on climate, development and social justice, moderated by Dr. Jeffrey Fagen, Dean and Professor of Psychology at the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the occasion of the graduation of their students studying Global Development and Social Justice.

The topics covered included re-engineering developed countries to address climate change, discussed by Mechanical Engineer Cristina Parenti of Infratel Italia, who talked about how newer urban construction as well as existing and particularly historical buildings could be re-engineered to address growing climate concerns. 

Dr. Christopher Vogt, Professor of Theology at St. John’s University, spoke on Ecological Conversion and Social Justice, calling for a re-imaging and re-conceptualizing of ourselves and our relationship with the creation. 

Afterwards, Dr. Luca Rosi of Istituto Superiore di Sanità, tackled Development and Challenges in a Globalized Healthy World, challenging the audience to re-think some of the indexes used to assess global health, stating “Almost half of the global population live with less than 2 dollars per day; 876 million adults are illiterate, two thirds of which are women, and 20% of the global population have 90% of the wealth. Is this a Healthy World?”

Dr. Pamela Fabiano, of the Vatican’s Dicastery of Integral Human Development, approached the issue of Development and Structural Challenges, explaining that the Dicastery does not offer any “formulas” for solutions, but acts as a promoter of dialogue between and among various specialized agencies, institutions and academic disciplines to bring about well-being. 

Discussing Political Discourse in Globalized Economy and Challenges for Environmental and Labor Protection, Prof. Ottorino Cappelli of Link Campus University examined how the rhetoric and the vocabulary of labor and environment movements are shaping current perceptions of social justice.

Finally, Professor Pierluigi Malvasi and Laura Ferrari of Università Cattolica of Sacro Cuore, Brescia, discussed Laudato Si’s connection to climate change and education, arguing that it should be required text for academic instruction.