Technological Innovation and Social Justice: In Dialogue with Catholic Social Teaching
Technological innovation often results in unintended consequences. Since the end of the 20th century, one of those unintended consequences has been the skewing of income distribution towards the: wealthiest members of society, away from the middle class and poor. In a revamped graduate management course at Saint Joseph's University, student teams compete in a strategy simulation game that takes place in a hypothetical high-tech industry, while evaluating the impacts of technological advancement on society through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Using lgnatian Pedagogy, students begin the semester by describing their own context- who they are, what animates their lives, the executives and firms they admire. They are encouraged to experience the highly realistic competition that takes place with in the simulation game, while experiencing the tension between their desire to win and the impact of their decisions on firm stakeholders, and society at large. At the end of the semester, students arc required to write a reflection essay, and are asked to identify areas of tension or disappointment between the ideals they described at the beginning of the semester, and the decisions they made within the game. Finally, students are asked what actions they will take to change the way they will proceed in the world after graduation.