Serving the Common Good

Notre Dame’s mission is clear:

The University seeks to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings, but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice, and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.

In numerous ways, the University community serves the common good—in the scholarship and research of its faculty, in the service learning opportunities that students pursue, and in the work and activities of its staff and alumni. Here are just a few stories that illustrate the ND family’s commitment to the common good—on a global scale.

Business on the Front Lines: MBA Students Visit War-Torn Nations

Through the Business on the Frontlines course, Notre Dame MBA students have the opportunity to study a different kind of text than anything written in a book: real life in countries trying to rebuild their economies after a war or violent conflict. How do businesses operate when energy is cut off? Are there enough skilled people to hire to allow a business function? What is the role of business in a country’s recovery from war? Destinations have included Bosnia, Lebanon, Kenya, and Uganda.

Piracy and Its Effect on World Economies

It’s a domino effect. Nearly every ship on the high seas today is unprotected from the illegal market—piracy. Goods, money, people, and services routinely cross borders without notice, causing fear, shifting wealth or power, and often ruining lives. Mapping this illegal activity is one way to combat it and to formulate policy to prevent it. Professor of Anthropology Carolyn R. Nordstrom studies the complexities of piracy and its fingerprint of crime on world economies. Learn more.

Designing Products that Serve Populations in Developing Countries

A pregnant woman labors, then gives birth. The hard physical work is finished and the relief is sheer joy… or is it? The use of non-sterile medical instruments in Nepal had been one cause of high infant death in that country. After a group of ND students, led by Ann-Marie Conrado, associate professional specialist in industrial design, visited Nepal in conjunction with fair trade organizations, one student designed a tool to address the infant mortality issue. Ashley Ceniceros ’10, an industrial design major at Notre Dame, designed built a small reusable—and sterile—umbilical cord cutter to be used in developing countries. Learn more.