A Mission-Based Approach to Teaching Finance

A Mission-Based Approach to Teaching Finance

Carolin Schellhorn (Saint Joseph's University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4972-7.ch006

Abstract

A focus on purely economic and financial metrics and tools has contributed to the failure of our economic system to address growing social injustice and environmental threats. Educational institutions with missions that aim to mitigate these problems are uniquely positioned to improve our economies and communities by adopting an approach to financial decision making that considers a broad range of information, and selects from that the sources and tools relevant to addressing specific issues. A holistic approach to financial decision making is supported by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the encyclical of Pope Francis. This chapter outlines a college-level course structure that emphasizes the critical roles of ethics, sustainability and industry-specific expertise in responsible financial decision-making. Business schools that aim to support sustainable development could provide fresh evidence to the accreditation bodies that teaching and learning in their campus communities are fully aligned with their missions by offering similar courses.
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Background

Increasingly, humanity is becoming aware that the survival of our civilization in the 21st century and beyond depends on our ability to set economies and communities on a path of sustainable development, allowing us to prosper within the planetary boundaries while simultaneously providing a fair and inclusive social foundation (Raworth, 2012; Sachs, 2017; Sachs, 2015). Given our currently predominant economic paradigm of profit -- or shareholder wealth -- maximization and consumerism, a shift to sustainable development requires the construction of a new mindset along with reforms of both local and global institutions and systems. To do that, Korten (2015) argues it may be necessary to profoundly reform our spiritual worldview by permanently shifting our collective focus from money to life.

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