About Us

Transforming Business is a multi-disciplinary research and development project based in Cambridge (UK) but global in scope. Cambridge is an ancient yet ever-new centre for excellence that is famous for world-changing innovation in ideas, research and entrepreneurship.

Surrounding the project is a growing network of business ethicists, economists, practitioners, consultants, psychologists, educators and opinion formers in research institutions and companies around the world.

They are united in their passion to integrate their faith with their knowledge and skills to address the most pressing moral challenge of our time: the elimination of poverty and social disintegration.

Co-ordinated by Dr Peter Heslam and Dr Flint McGlaughlin, the network has the benefit of a number of distinguished patrons and advisers, some of whom are listed below.

Transforming Business has given birth to a number of research and outreach initiatives, some of which are noted on our Home page. They have involved fruitful partnerships with a number of other organizations.

One such initiative is Belief in Enterprise, which we launched with collaboration from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town in 2012. Its Principal Investigators (directors) are Dr Peter Heslam and Dr Eric Wood and its initial data collection was assisted by a Research Coordinator, Dr Carol Christopher, a Research Associate, Rebecca Shah and a number of Case Study Researchers. This world class team of researchers represents a powerful mix of entrepreneurial and academic expertise.

This is also true of many other partners within the Transforming Business network with whom we have worked closely over the years, including:

  • Dr Kenneth Barnes, former Associate Director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative at the University of Oxford, who is now the Mocker-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics, and Director of the Mocker Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton (Massachusetts) in the USA (the Center's website is here).
  • Dr Richard Goossen, based in Vancouver (Canada) and former Director of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Transforming Business. He is now Director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme, organized in association with Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford (details here).
  • Dr Richard Higginson, Director of Faith in Business at Ridley Hall, University of Cambridge (website here). Faith in Business has co-organized several events with Transforming Business and co-publishes the Christian business journal Faith in Business Quarterly, in which Transforming Business has a regular column.

Our doctoral award in business and economics, co-sponsored by the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics in Cambridge, is currently held by Kevin Hargaden, Peter Hinton, and Mark Sampson.

The Transforming Business Association is made up largely of business owners around the world. Many are based in North America, where Transforming Business has the highest profile internationally. This is largely due to its Boaz project, which involves American Christian business leaders running substantial companies in that are making a difference in their local communities. The spirit of enterprise is alive and well under American skies and still provides an important source of inspiration for entrepreneurs around the world.

Principal Research Questions

These are some of the questions we seek to address:

  • How does the convergence of Christian faith and enterprise help tackle poverty and social exclusion?
  • How do Christian business leaders understand their vocation and how can they inspire and equip those in the early stages of exploring a call to business?
  • What would a theology of entrepreneurship look like and what practical value would it have?
  • How does Christian belief and practice foster innovation, integrity, responsible risk-taking and entrepreneurial aspirations, especially amongst young people?

The current global entrepreneurial revolution and rapid rise of Christianity ensure that these questions are of crucial importance to the future of the planet and its people.

Patrons and Advisers

Project patrons and advisers include:

  • Helen Alford, OP (Pontifical University, Rome)
  • Ben Andradi (CEO, Servista)
  • Prof Alan Barrell (Cambridge entrepreneur and business academic)
  • Matthew Bishop (The Economist)
  • Prof Philip Booth (St Mary's University)
  • Dr Stephen Copp (Institute of Business and Law, Bournemouth University)
  • Dr Catherine Cowley (Heythrop College, London University)
  • Antony Farr (Allan Gray Orbis Foundation)
  • Prof Ram Gidoomal CBE (CEO, Syntel, Chairman of Traidcraft)
  • Dr Alan Gillespie (Chair, ESRC)
  • Lord Stephen Green (House of Lords, former Chairman, HSBC)
  • Lord Brian Griffiths (Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs)
  • Prof Prabhu Guptara (UBS-Wolfsberg)
  • Lord Prof Richard Harries (King's College, London University)
  • Prof Sir John Houghton (Chair, Victoria Institute)
  • Prof David Jackman (London Financial Academy)
  • Prof Graeme Leach (Legatum Institute)
  • Clive Mather (Shell, Tearfund)
  • Mark McAllister (CEO, Fairfield Energy)
  • Prof David Miller (Princeton)
  • Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (Chairman, Hermes)
  • Prof Geoff Moore (Durham Business School)
  • Prof Michael Naughton, SJ (St Thomas University)
  • Prof Paul Oslington (Alphacrucis College, Australia)
  • Prof Simon Peyton-Jones (Microsoft)
  • Dr Jennifer Roback Morse (Acton Institute)
  • Dr David Ryall (Catholic Bishops' Conference)
  • Prof John Schneider (Notre Dame University)
  • Lynne Sedgemore, CBE (Talent Foundation)
  • Andrew Small (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)
  • Prof Jesús Huerta de Soto (Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid)
  • Sir Christopher Wates (Chairman, Wates Group)
  • Sir Philip Watts, KCMG (Former Chairman, Shell)
  • Prof Andreas Widmer (Catholic University of America)
  • Prof Paul Williams (Bible Society)
  • Prof Adrian Woods (Brunel University Business School)
  • Prof Michael Woolcock (World Bank/Harvard)
  Kings College

Location

Transforming Business stands in the great tradition of entrepreneurial spin-out projects from the University of Cambridge. From the vibrant and dynamic environment of Cambridge, it reaches out into the global and fast-moving world of contemporary business.

Plethora of Projects

In association with amazing partners around the world, Transforming Business has given birth to a number of cutting-edge projects. These are summarized on our Home page.

Commendations

We receive a lot of positive responses to our output. Here are some of them, from business leaders, academics and policy makers on four continents:

"Your reflections are clear and timely. They influence our business decisions."

"Transforming Business provides concise ways of handling important issues."

"The rigour of your research enables you to highlight ways in which businesses can make a profit while serving the common good."

"I associate Transforming Business with intelligent and measured engagements with complex issues in ways that are biblically and economically sound."

"The output of Transforming Business is not only intriguing and enlightening. It is also articulate, thought-provoking, practically relevant and transformational."

"Your observations concur exactly with our experience of working with leaders of major multinationals."

"You produce great resources!"

"The arguments you make are courageous but true. Thanks for making a stand. You're doing important work in an area ignored far too long."

Join the Fight Against Poverty

We are passionately committed to using our faith, knowledge, experience and skills in the fight against poverty in all its forms (social and spiritual included).

We need your help to realize this vision.

Would you like to support our work?