Whether on Main Street, Wall Street, or a market on another continent, business is changing the world. In an age of increasing urbanization, few parts of the world could flourish without goods and services fueled by business and economic growth.
Unfortunately, in recent years we’ve seen ethical lapses and market failures that have wreaked havoc on communities at home and across the world. Public trust has been eroded and the imagination for what business can be has been seriously marred.
But what if business were to be understood as a source of blessing and healing for the nations? What if business were recognized as a creative force, an ethical steward and partner, and a life-giving institution for the benefit of others?
The Business Changing the World Track at Urbana 12 will explore the idea of business as stewardship in both North America and internationally—enabling people to serve across cultures. Real world examples of businesses demonstrating value creation will act as a model for what business can and should be.
From microenterprise to family-owned businesses to social entrepreneurs to large global corporations, this track is for anyone interested in exploring the role of business in God's greater economy, bringing economic, social, and spiritual vitality to people around the world.
Track General Sessions
Receiving the Great Invitation for Business
Our opening session explores the importance of an underlying theology of work and business that informs and shapes our calling as Christians in the marketplace. If we don’t understand how our work in business contributes to God’s overarching mission, we won’t be able engage well (or even recognize) strategic opportunities to extend God’s purposes in and through business. This first session will use the creation-fall-redemption-new creation framework as a way to help participants begin to think about their mission in business.
Responding to the Great Invitation in Business
A moderated panel highlighting three examples of business leaders (and businesses) who serve as sources of healing and hope in the world, and intentionally create jobs in communities of need. The panelists represent a wide range of business and economic initiatives and geographic focal points.
Living out the Great Invitation in Business to Change the World
How do we set a trajectory for life and work that enables us to engage business as Kingdom-oriented and life-giving enterprise? What do we do when we face challenges that threaten to take us off track? What do we do when we’re not sure if we can really make a difference? What spiritual disciplines can we put in place?
In this moderated “fireside chat” session, each panelist will offer a challenge they faced in business, followed by a strategy they employed to overcome this challenge.