Conference organized by
the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Vatican COVID-19 Commission
with the support of
the Pontifical Council for Culture
and in collaboration with
Diplo Foundation, Torino World Affairs Institute, the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America and Pax Christi International.
Held in person in the Sala Etchegaray at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and virtually on Zoom.
For virtual attendance, please register at this link.
The conference will bring to light emerging moral and ethical questions related to the impact of new technologies on the post-pandemic world towards new approaches to integral human development and peace. Experts will offer a general scientific and ethical analysis along with case studies showcasing how new technologies can be placed at the service of integral human development, especially in the fields of food security, integral healthcare including fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, dignified labor, peace and security, and promotion of a communal economy. The event will raise crucial questions regarding the use of these technologies and their impact on the human being and its integral development in light of the vision laid out by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti: "we can once more broaden our vision. We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology; we can put it at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral" (Laudato Si' 112).
The COVID-19 pandemic has widely affected the entire spectrum of human activity and piqued global reflection on the structures and phenomena that govern the world. One of the most salient is the rapid development of new types of technologies, including new generations of artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, internet of things, and 5G (from hereon “new technologies”). Yet these developments are seldom accompanied by ethical and moral reflection, and governing human activity rather than serving it. Without a comprehensive moral and ethical framework, rapid technological advancements risk sharpening inequalities and leaving the most marginalized behind. On the other hand, a far-reaching moral vision could set these technologies towards minimizing harm and serving integral human development.
At this crucial point in history, there is a great need for a shift away from the technocratic paradigm, as described by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si' (106). Following the dialogue initiated at the 2019 conference The Common Good in the Digital Age, the Promoting Integral Human Development and Peace in the Digital Age hybrid conference will aim to contribute to the global dialogue on the role of new technologies in the post-pandemic era with a view towards integral ecology, justice, an integrated “One Health for All” approach, and a more communal economic system.
A note on format
The hybrid conference will feature in-person and virtual participation from speakers, while all attendees are invited to join the conference virtually. Each session will be streamed live on the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development’s YouTube account in English with simultaneous interpretation available in Italian and Spanish. The conference will begin with an introduction, followed by two sessions deepening reflection on the theoretical role and practical implications of new technologies, including a presentation on the work of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission’s New Technology for Peace and Integral Human Development Working Group.
* The flyer and graphics have been created by Altimeter Group, a U.S. based creative and strategic advisory firm. Special thanks to the designer, Mimi Shyngyssova, for her commitment to human-centered design, storytelling and unique aesthetics.