Resources and research on how
religious freedom is good for business


Feeding the Soul – 17-18 Sept. 2015 – Expo Milan*

The world’s growing diversity creates exciting opportunities and new challenges for the food & design industries.

  • Consumers are looking for products and services that honor and celebrate their cultural and religious traditions in food and design.
  • Markets are growing worldwide for food processed and prepared according to religious guidelines.
  • Faith-inspired innovations in apparel, art and design lift the spirit and point to higher realities.

At the same time, businesses face new challenges. These include balancing competing demands over such things as humane animal slaughter and public regulation of religious symbols. And businesses increasingly face challenges when they seek to maintain a moral and ethical conscience in the workplace informed by spiritual and religious values.

In addition to addressing these issues, the Global Forum will showcase sustainable enterprises that help ethnic & religious minorities better integrate and contribute to the societies in which they live.

Senior business executives, government and religious leaders, and top scholars will gather on 17-18 Sept. 2015 for a high level event to explore these themes and to launch a global network of businesses working towards a future of innovative and sustainable economies where religious freedom and diversity are respected.

The Forum is sponsored by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and co-organized with the Università degli Studi di Milano. Highlights include:

  • Top scholars will look at legal, social and economic issues associated with freedom of religion or belief, including how religious freedom provides businesses with opportunities and challenges.
  • CEOs of major corporations will give the multimedia “talk of their lives.” In 15 minutes or less, they describe how faith and religious freedom inspire their innovation and success.
  • Faith-based aid executives will also give the multimedia “talk of their lives.” In 15 minutes or less, they describe how faith and religious freedom inspire their work in alleviating hunger worldwide.

These leaders will help launch the Milan Religious Freedom Centre, dedicated to studying the contributions of freedom of religion or belief to human, social and economic development.

Milan 2015 – Only the beginning!

The Milan Freedom Centre will invite Milan businesses and organizations to help lead similar Forums at the 2017 Astana and 2020 Dubai World Expos.

* Background on Expo Milano 2015

Expo 2015 will be an extraordinary universal event displaying tradition, creativity and innovation in the business of food. It will bring together many themes that have already been handled by this event in the past, and set them out anew in light of new global possibilities whose common core is the idea that everyone on the planet should have access to food that is healthy, safe and sufficient. Workshop and debate themes include:

  • Improving food quality and security: the security of having enough food to live on, and an assurance that the food is healthy and the water drinkable;

  • Ensuring healthy and high-quality nutrition for all human beings, doing away with the hunger, drought, infantile mortality, and malnutrition that still afflict 850 million people on this planet, and extirpating famine and pandemic disease;

  • Preventing the new epidemics and diseases of our time, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, by championing practices that have proven to be effective;

  • Promoting innovation in research, technology, and business practices along the entire food supply chain to improve the nutritional value, conservation, and distribution of foods;

  • Providing education in proper nutrition and encouraging more healthy lifestyles, especially among children, adolescents, the disabled, and the elderly;

  • Enhancing the value of cultural and ethnic heritage as expressed in culinary traditions.

About Expos

An Expo is a non-commercial Universal Exposition (not a trade fair) organized by the nation which wins the candidature, with other countries participating through the diplomatic channels of the hosting nation.

  • The first Expo was held in London in 1851 and was such a success that other nations were encouraged to organize similar events like the Paris Expo in 1889 for which the Eiffel Tower was designed and built.

  • Each Expo has a universal theme and is held in an area which has been masterminded as a place of exchange and encounter to promote a unique experience for participants and visitors who discover and experiment with the theme. More than displaying major technological novelties the Expo’s role is oriented towards interpreting the collective challenges to which mankind is asked to respond.

  • The international organization which regulates the frequency, quality and progress of the event is the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) set up under an international convention which was signed in Paris in 1928. Currently some 157 nations are BIE members.