On May 15 and 16, at the house of Spiritual Exercises “La Inmaculada” in Puerto de Santa Maria, the First Conference of reflection on the development interventions being carried out by Loyola University Andalusia was held.
This conference was organized by the Vice Rectorate for Research, the Development Commission and the ETEA Foundation – Institute for Development of Loyola University. It was attended by 54 people with a significant representation of all the Departments and Institutes of the University.
The objectives of the conference were to reflect on the interventions in the field of development carried out by Loyola University, trying to identify common characteristics; to analyze the alignment of our interventions with the documents of the Society of Jesus and the Social Doctrine of the Church; and finally, in the light of the latest strategic documents of the Society at the universal level and of the Spanish Province, to review what is being done in the field of development and to orient the steps towards the future.
It has been an intense two days in which a good sample of the development projects being carried out by different research groups of the University have also been presented, sharing a multitude of opinions on the current situation and the future of research on development. The projects were presented by the professors and researchers who coordinate them.
These conferences have clearly reflected the key points of development work at the university and how efforts and actions are being directed to put research at the service of development.
Validity of Ignatian thought
The conference was also attended by Ildefonso Camacho SJ, Guillermo Rodríguez SJ and José Juan Romero SJ, who defined in depth the essence of Ignatian thought and how it continues to be linked to development, whether by walking alongside the poor, accompanying young people in the creation of a better future, or through the care of the ‘Common House’, the Earth; all this so that Jesuit universities always constitute a force for renewal that will benefit future generations. Other speakers included Francisco Amador, Pedro Caldentey, Vicente González and José Manuel Martín.
These conferences have opened new windows of opportunity for interdepartmental collaboration, improved internal and external communication, the creation of new projects and even the realization of new, longer conferences, with incorporated improvements and the presence of the student body. José Manuel Martín, executive director of the ETEA Foundation, said: “These conferences have been possible because Loyola University has made development a fundamental pillar. We still have a long way to go, but there is also much that the Society of Jesus, through the university, can continue to contribute to development”.