The world is our house

Keynote Speakers


The International Congress of Jesuits Education Delegates aims to enrich the dialogues and debate about the current educational frontiers within the path of educational renewal that the Society of Jesus calls us through the contribution of three Keynote Speakers, who will stimulate daily discussions, referring to various topics. On this page you can find the content of the speeches, as well as the biography of each Keynote Speaker.

David Laughlin

Presidente, St. Louis University High School



David Laughlin began as President of St. Louis University High School in 2005. He has 25 years of experience in Jesuit secondary educational administrative experience. After teaching Theology for two years at Duchesne Academy in Omaha, Nebraska, he began a formal association with Jesuit secondary education as a theology teacher, pastoral d1462320236619irector, dean of students and assistant principal at Creighton Prep in Omaha, Nebraska. From 2000 to 2005, he served as the Principal of Rockhurst Jesuit High School in Kansas City, Missouri.

Laughlin has been recognized in his field by being selected for the Board of Directors of the Jesuit Schools Network (formerly known as the Jesuit Secondary Education Association), the Board of Trustees at DeSmet Jesuit High School, the Board of Advisors at Cor Jesu Academy, the Board of Regents at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, and the Board of Trustees of Brophy Prep, the Jesuit School of Phoenix. Additionally, his commitment to Catholic secondary education has also provided opportunities for service on the Boards of St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City and Villa Duchesne/Oak Hill in St. Louis. In 2013, he chaired the National Jesuit President’s Meeting. He has previously chaired the National Jesuit Principals Meeting.

Laughlin holds his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He was honored by the National Catholic Education Association in 2016 with the Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award for his outstanding efforts, contributions and achievements on behalf of Catholic school education.


Approach to the topic

Day 1: Tradition: A call for innovation

Pedagogical innovation is characteristic of the educational tradition of the Society of Jesus. Innovation makes Jesuit education a “living tradition” that constructs “new paths” discerning the past routes that have been taken. In this sense, what are the barriers to innovation that stop us from the necessary renewal? What commitments should we make as a global network so that the Jesuit education can be a true testimony to the ongoing Incarnation in our changing world?

Vincent Sekhar, SJ
Member of the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions at Loyola College, Chennai


Fr. Vincent Sekhar, S.J., is a member of the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions at Loyola College, Chennai. He previously served as the secretary for interreligious dialogue for the Jesuit Conference of South Asia and as a faculty member at Arul Anandar College in Madurai (Tamil Nadu), India. A Woodstock Theological Center visiting fellow in 1999, Sekhar had been director of Dhyana Ashram, the Institute for Spiritual Animation and Interreligious Relations in Madras. He has taught theology in various seminaries throughout Madras, been involved in youth ministry, and lectured on interreligious dialogue and politics in post-independence India. He is the author of, among others, Religions in Public Life: A Practical Guide to Religious Harmony (2004). Sekhar attended the University of Madras, one of the very few Christians to receive a doctorate in Jain religion and philosophy.

Approach to the topic

Day 2: Our experience of God: in dialogue with diverse points of view

A school that forms part of the current global context should aspire to form men and women as global citizens who, while proud of their local roots, are able to see themselves as members of a common world and proactively engage the common social, cultural and spiritual context. A mature global identity is able to open itself to other perspectives, be it spiritual, religious or secular without diluting one’s own beliefs or losing one’s identity, nor should one remain solely among those who share the same beliefs.  How can we converse with diverse religious perspectives? How can we celebrate and present our Catholic/Jesuit/Ignatian identity in our multicultural world?

Benedictus Hari Juliawan, SJ
Secretary for Social Ministries and Coordinator for the Migration Network, Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific



A graduate of Doctoral Education at the University of Oxford, UK, this Jesuit Father continues to teach at Sanata Dharma, which now serves migrant workers  in Asia Pacific.cge_4thday-6

Born in Ambarawa, 38 years ago, he is known in his family environment as Romo Benny EsJe. He has long been interested in labor issues since being educated at STF Driyarkara S1. He was chosen as a volunteer in the Jesuit Social Institute (ISJ). For two years (1996-1998), Father Benny began with helping homeless children. His interest arises because he saw the option to help there. Little by little these motivations have made him a more mature man.

“What’s interesting to me is to see the workforce as a category of workers being marginalized and in large communities. It was interesting to me and it served me to live again with a different motivation,” explained Father Benny.


Approach to the topic

Day 4: Caring for our common home: ecology and social justice

Unlike any other time in history, due to its own actions, humanity is confronted with the real possibility of destroying its natural environment and thus ending its own existence: pollution, the exploitation of natural resources and the destruction of ecosystems that generates consequences in the social fabric. We have rightly emphasized social justice in our education in the last decades; we still need to do more to be able to respond to the challenges coming from a true education for social justice However, we need to do this within the context of our new ecological crisis.  What commitments should we adopt as a global network in order to be collaborative members in the effort to cure our wounded societies and world? What type of men and women should we form so that they praise the creation and so ensure the survival of social justice and ecological peace within our communities and the world?