Commitments and appeals to make a better world: The global compact, Laudato Si’ and our future

By: Jim Walsh, Angelo Solarino

Walsh, J. and Solarino, A. "Commitments and Appeals to Make a Better World: The Global Compact, Laudato Si’ and our Future." Journal of Corporate Citizenship (in press).


We live in a world of need. Business, as perhaps the most powerful transnational force in the world today, can either aggravate or attenuate that need. Recognizing such power, the United Nations launched the Global Compact in 2000 in an effort to change the way firms do business. The UN wants to ensure that a firm is as committed to those it touches with its many activities as it is to its bottom line. Pope Francis entered this world of aspiration in 2015 with his encyclical, Laudato Si’. Calling out the failings of a “might is right” world view, he worried that too many of the world’s powerful people have lost sight of their humanity. He begged us all to steer clear of the sin of indifference and to work for the common good. Taking stock of these efforts, we conclude that the dynamics of compassion fade and compassion fatigue can undermine our high aspirations. In the end, we propose a complementary initiative that just might serve as an antidote to indifference and help to make the world a better place.