Dignity and Development Forum


Location: Zoom

World leaders including Pope Francis have issued a call to action in response to a complex global crisis arising from the joint impacts of climate change and ecological degradation, the impoverishment of millions, the flow of migrants and refugees, and the violation of human rights and the norms of democracy and peace. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis wrote that the global community faces not merely a series of separate social, ecological, and economic challenges but rather “one complex crisis”—an encompassing ethical challenge linking all these domains.

In light of this complex crisis, how do we chart a path towards a just and sustainable future?

The Keough School of Global Affairs will examine this question through a yearlong series of engagements with global leaders, scholars, practitioners, and policy experts, who will meet to share innovative proposals for advancing integral human development.


About the Dignity and Development Forum

Beginning on March 17-18, 2022, the Keough School will convene experts with diverse perspectives to explore the complex crisis challenging our global community. The initiative will include thought-provoking talks from prominent world leaders, investigations of important proposals by scholars and practitioners, and much more. Our forum will culminate in a major international conference in March 2023 at the University of Notre Dame.


Our Flexible Approach

In response to the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, we begin the forum by inviting the global community to join us virtually in March 2022. The Notre Dame campus community may attend in person. Our approach as the year progresses will remain flexible, sensitive to the advantages of in-person community and aware that the burdens and risks of the pandemic are not borne equally across our global communities.


The Keough School of Global Affairs

The University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs responds to the interconnected nature of global challenges by connecting and convening students, researchers, and policymakers from traditionally unrelated fields of study, and by engaging with people on the ground who are suffering, along with stakeholders in government, the private sector, and civil society. We are guided by the principle of integral human development — a positive vision of human flourishing centered on the idea that the dignity of the human person is expressed not only in work and economic activity, but also in cultural richness, artistic creativity, religious belonging, and spiritual practice.