What do a bank and a university have in common? This is the question I asked myself when I began to write on this blog on the occasion of the visit of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
I came to this conclusion: The World Bank and our university share the determination to fight poverty and reduce abysmal social inequalities.
While distinct in terms of size and purpose, these entities come together on these meaningful issues for modern human development.
We all know that both problems have to be resolved with the current state of knowledge and technology in the world. We must contribute to this.
To that end, the World Bank, which until recently was an entity that lent money for development and contributed to the macroeconomic stability of nations, has developed an influential new area that has made it a true think tank of development today. It is involved in academic labors, practical considerations and creative activity to benefit people.
I think this is another area where there is a clear intersection between bank and university.
An essential mission of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú is to form its students as people who master the intellectual components of their areas of study, as well as servants of society who can produce positive change. All of this can be achieved by giving and receiving knowledge but also by developing the creative force of thought.
World Bank Group President Dr. Kim comes from the social sector of the world and has a special devotion to working on behalf of others. He uses the neologism deliverology to describe it. This means serving – and serving well – those to whom we are obliged.
And here is yet another meeting point between university and bank. Serving others has been considered a value since antiquity in the area of ethics, a branch to philosophy, which is a quintessential part of university labor.
Professors and students develop this spirit of promoting human values in our university education. Thus, as president of this university and on behalf of this house of study, I am very pleased to have received individuals such as Dr. Kim, who share these ethical concerns and have a global presence.
A high point was his meeting with the university community and with a globally-renowned member of our academic family, Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, who has been a professor here for decades and a leader in the battle for social equality.
For all of these reasons, and many more, the visit of the head of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, was an honor for the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and confirms what the two institutions have in common.