PPCU symposium on global sustainability in Rome September 26, 2017

A symbolic significance to our most pressing matters

PPCU symposium on global sustainability in Rome

On 19 September the Pázmány Péter Catholic University held an international symposium on global sustainability at the Hungarian Academy of Rome.

It has a symbolic significance that the main topic of PPCU's first international symposium in Rome was one of the most pressing questions of our times, namely Earth's carrying capacity, particularly in relation to the concept of dignity of the lives and an ever-growing human population.

PPCU's research team, founded in 2015, took the name Laudato si' in 2016 following Pope Francis's encyclical on sustainable development. However, the beginnings of PPCU's Process Analysis Engineer and Sustainability Center (CPSES) can be traced back even further to 2005, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began its research, later joined by Chicago and Illinois University research teams in 2010 with Professor Heriberto Cabezas as its lead.

The choice of the name is a fundamental message in itself: on the one hand, it is the professional recognition of the papal encyclical, and on the other hand, it signifies the ethical and moral commitment of the research center to respond to the challenges of global sustainability with respect to the creator and savior of all, God. God has left the responsibility of cultivation and preservation of our world to humanity, as  Professor Szabolcs Szuromi, President of PPCU, repeatedly pointed it out in his opening lecture, while analyzing the text of the encyclical.

The research center has cooperation with the world's most relevant research institutes, and during last year - thanks to the mathematical model used to evaluate process analysis, linked to Professor Ferenc Friedler - the PPCU Laudato si' has been able to achieve the status of the World's number one sustainability analyst research center in global comparison.

Professor Szabolcs Szuromi has announced front of wide publicity during the conference that from 19th of September the centre was elevated to the rank of Institution under direct leadership of PPCU's President. Professor Szuromi expressed his thanks not only to Professor Heriberto Cabezas and Professor Ferenc Friedler, who have compiled the professional material of the conference and invited the participants of the symposium, but also to Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Tebaldo Vinciguerra, First Secratary of the Dicastery, whom translated Cardinal Turkson's greeting and joyful words in connection with the scientific event. Professor Szuromi Szabolcs also expressed his thanks to István Puskás, the Director of the Roman Academy, the Hungarian Catholic Bishops' Conference and Tamás Tóth, the Rector of the Hungarian Papal Institute, and greeted the United Nations (UN) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) renowned experts, as well as Eduard Habsburg-Lotharingen, the ambassador of the Holy See in Hungary.

The lectures included Professor Szabolcs Szuromi, the Laudato si' encyclical as the fundamental law of responsibility for global sustainability; Heriberto Canezas (PPCU), The purpose and research activity of the Global Sustainability Center; David Bolster (University of Notre Dame, Illinois) Science for Society - Environmental Changes and Scientific Initiatives; Audrey Mayer (Michigan Technological University, USA), Ecology and Sustainability; Professor Ferenc Friedler (PPCU), Results of the networks for the modeling of sustainability processes (benefits of objectivity in application in a mathematical model); and Urmila Diwekar (Vishwamitra Research Institute, Illinois, USA) Theorum of conditionality and Optimum Control.

The forty-five-minute presentations were followed by a summary discussion of the Institute's future activities. The lectures at the symposium, which will be published as an independent volume, have specifically pointed out the unique role of the Catholic University in the scientific analysis of the issue of sustainability and sustainable development. In this respect, in addition to the outstanding quality and objective mathematical analysis, the consistent application of the teachings and moral principles of the Catholic Church have a decisive role, as it can provide a feasible and morally viable alternative as to the practical solutions of said processes. The PPCU Laudato si' Institute intends to cooperate closely with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in research and training, and this cooperation extends to the organization of other international symposiums and scientific events.