Business as an Agent for Social Change: Social Entrepreneurship; Benefit Corporations; and Curing Poverty (part of the Higher Calling Series)

Join us for a two- part interdisciplinary program examining how entrepreneurship and new business models might affect social change.

Date & Time:

Thursday, April 24, 2014
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
April 24, 2014, Session One: 3-5 p.m., Reception 5-5:30 p.m., Session Two: 5:30-8 p.m


University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis campus 

The Law's Relationship to Social Enterprise and the New Benefit Corporation

3:00-5:00 p.m.
Schulze Grand Atrium
University of St. Thomas School of Law
Approved for 2.0 Continuing Legal Education Credits (Event Code: 186007) 

Can Business Be a Better Agent for Social Change?  Last month Minnesota legislators introduced the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act (MPBCA), a bill that would create a type of for-profit business entity organized to pursue a public benefit, or social purpose. Would this new form of corporate structure in fact support social entrepreneurship? Join our expert speakers Lizzie Babson (Drinker, Biddle, and Reath LLC), Lyman Johnson (UST School of Law and Washington and Lee University School of Law), John McVea, Ph.D.(Associate Professor Entrepreneurship, UST Opus College of Business), Haskell Murray (J.D. and Assistant Professor of Management, Belmont University), and Michael Naughton,  Ph.D. (UST Professor, Catholic Studies and Opus College of Business) for a vibrant discussion on the role benefit corporations can play in bettering the world, the issues they raise, and some possible unintended consequences this new business form might have for businesses of all types.  Elizabeth Schiltz (UST Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy) will moderate the afternoon program.
5-5:30 Reception in Opus Hall Atrium, 2nd floor

Curing Poverty

5:30-8:00 p.m.
Opus Hall Great Room (201/202)
University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business
Dinner is complimentary, but advanced registration is required. 

Can Social Entrepreneurs Cure Poverty? The conversation continues over dinner when Michael Miller, Producer and narrator of the award- winning video series, PovertyCure, shares real life testimonies of how business and faith can bring sustainable economic prosperity to impoverished communities. Miller will show clips of the video and lead a discussion on practical ways entrepreneurs can successfully combat global poverty based on a proper understanding of the human person.

Michelle Rovang Burke, Director of the Veritas Institute at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, will moderate the evening program. T. Dean Maines, President of the Veritas Institute, will provide a welcome and introduce Dr. Julie Sullivan, President of the University of St. Thomas, who will share some brief remarks about social entrepreneurship. 

The Higher Calling Series is presented in collaboration with the University of St. Thomas Habiger Institute, Veritas Institute, Department of Entrepreneurship, Department of Justice and Peace Studies, Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, and Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy.


Elizabeth Babson is an attorney with Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP and is a member of the Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Babson represents public and private clients in a variety of corporate and securities matters, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, venture investing, corporate governance, ongoing compliance with federal securities laws and general business counseling. Babson is a crafting author of the Benefit Corporation White Paper, “The Need and Rationale for the Benefit Corporation: Why it is the Legal form that Best Addresses the Needs of Social Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Ultimately, the Public,” and has written extensively on benefit corporations and social entrepreneurship. In 2011 she was named a "B Corp Champion." Babson also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she was a staff member of the Temple Law Review.

Lyman Johnson has served at the University of St. Thomas School of Law since 2008 as a professor and the Laurence and Jean LeJeune Distinguished Chair in Law. Johnson also holds the Robert O. Bentley professorship at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he has taught since 1985. Over the years, he has taught business associations, securities regulation, corporate finance and business planning courses. Johnson’s scholarship is in the business law area and his writing has appeared in many prestigious journals. He is a member of The American Law Institute, where currently he is a member of the Consultative Group for the Principles of The Law of Nonprofit Organizations project, a project addressing director and officer fiduciary duties.  He is also a member of the Business Associations section and the Socio-Economics section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

John McVea, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Entrepreneurship department of the UST Opus College of Business. He researches and teaches in the areas of entrepreneurial strategy and social entrepreneurship. His work had been published in The Journal of Business Venturing and The Journal of Business Ethics, among others. McVea has written more than a dozen business case studies focusing on issues such as market entry strategy, innovation field studies, cash flow forecasting, the challenges of growth and the use of social media. Before returning to academia, McVea spent a dozen years working in industry for Dupont, initially in product/market development in the U.S. and ultimately as manager of textile filament manufacturing operation in the U.K. After earning his M.B.A., he worked for Bain & Co. in Boston as a strategy consultant advising in fields ranging from paper manufacture to oil drilling to private equity acquisition assessment.

Michael Matheson Miller is research fellow and director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute. With some 10 years of international experience, Miller has lived and traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He lectures internationally on such themes as moral philosophy, economic development, social theory and entrepreneurship. He is a frequent guest on radio and has been published in the Washington Times, The Detroit News, The LA Daily News and Real Clear Politics.  Miller is the director and host of the PovertyCure DVD series and has appeared in various video curricula, including Doing the Right Thing, Effective Stewardship and Birth of Freedom. Much of his current work at the Acton Institute involves leading PovertyCure, promoting entrepreneurial solutions to poverty in the developing world.  Before coming to Acton, he spent three years at Ave Maria College of the Americas in Nicaragua, where he taught philosophy and political science and was the chair of the philosophy and theology department.

Haskell Murray teaches business law, negotiations and mediation at Belmont University, where his research areas include alternative dispute resolution, corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, and social enterprise law.  Murray received his B.A. in business administration from Rhodes College and his J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. Before entering academia,  Murray practiced law as a member of King & Spalding’s M&A/Corporate team in Atlanta, GA.  He left King & Spalding to clerk for former vice chancellor Stephen P. Lamb on the Delaware Court of Chancery. Following his clerkship, Murray was recruited to Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York City, NY, where he practiced as part of the firm’s Corporate Governance & Securities Litigation group.  Prior to joining Belmont University’s faculty, Murray taught as a visiting assistant professor at Georgia State University College of Law and as an assistant professor at Regent University School of Law. Professor Murray has written multiple scholarly articles on social enterprise law and advised five states on their social enterprise legislation.  His most recent article, Social Enterprise Innovation: Delaware's Public Benefit Corporation Law, will be published in the Harvard Business Law Review this summer. 

Benefit Corp event

Michael Naughton, Ph.D. is the holder of the Alan W. Moss Endowed Chair in Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas where he is a full professor with a joint appointment in the department of Catholic Studies (College of Arts and Sciences) and Ethics and Law (Opus College of Business).  He is the director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the Center for Catholic Studies, which examines Catholic social thought in relationship to business theory and practice. He is the author and editor of nine books and over 20 articles.  His most recent books include Leading Wisely in Difficult Times (Paulis, 2011).  Naughton currently serves as board chair for Reel Precision Manufacturing, a global producer of innovative torque solutions for transportation, consumer electronics, medical,  and office automation products. He received his Ph.D. in theology from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.