As a finishing touch to the “Networking for Justice” meeting that took place in Loyola from November 16th-20th and in which 60 people from different continents, Jesuits and laypeople from various sectors of the Society of Jesus, including the four Global Igantian Advocacy Networks that work on migrations, the right to a quality education for all, ecology and governance of natural and mineral resources participated, a roundtable discussion was organized at Comillas University in Madrid, Spain, on Monday, November 23rd.
The event was entitled “Global challenges, networking responses” and was chaired by the Rector of the University, Julio L. Martínez and Marta Muñiz, Head of ICADE Business School. Some leaders of the GIAN networks intervened in the colloquium: Benny Juliawan, leader of the Migrations network, Lucía Rodríguez and Augustin Kalubi, leader and member of the network for the right to education respectively, Julie Edwards, leader of the network for the governance of natural and mineral resources and Daniel Villanueva SJ, the director of the Spanish NGO Entreculturas.
The meeting was an opportunity to share some lessons learned from the networking that has been carried out at a global level by the Society of Jesus since 2008, in areas such as ecology, migrations, natural resources or education.
Lucía Rodríguez started off by stressing the need of this new way of organization to deal with the repercussions of globalisation for the most vulnerable. She also highlighted the strengths of the Society of Jesus when it comes to networking given that it has been an international apostolic body since its creation. She also explained how this new way of proceeding demands a new organisational culture in which it is essential to constantly search for synergies and resources, dialogue, a shared leadership and high motivation, generosity and dedication.
The speakers shared concrete networking experiences: in the Migrations network, they presented a vision of a possible legislative strategy that would have to take into account the diversity of migratory flows in the world, the awareness campaign of the Governance of Natural Resources network with Alboan about the extractive industry and the use of minerals in electronic devices, or the monitoring and participation of the network for the Right to Education in the international education agenda towards 2030.
The roundtable concluded with the words of Daniel Villanueva SJ in the hopes that the meeting would open channels of collaboration with the academy and with the motivation that the ground covered by the networks up until now together with the internal cultural change that the Society is experiencing will be useful to work together and horizontally for global justice and the most vulnerable populations around the world.