wall mural of cattail art

Institute on the Common Good

Since 1998, the Institute on the Common Good at Regis University has dedicated itself to programs aimed at changing the world one dialogue at a time. We operate under the simple theory that through dialogue and trust building, major social change can occur. For almost 15 years, ICG has been serving communities and organizations dedicated to the common good by providing a safe and effective space for dialogue, communal discernment and public deliberation.

woman speaking in small group

Facilitated Dialogues

The Institute on the Common Good has helped facilitated dialogues that resulted in understanding and change on homelessness in the Capitol Hills Neighborhood of Denver, health care, immigration issues in the city and peer mediation programs in the Denver Public Schools. One of our first successes came in 1999, when the Institute facilitated a private forum on criminal justice for the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Domestic Policy, the results of which were included in the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Statement on Criminal Justice.

speaker addressing crowd

Distinguished Speakers

Perhaps our most visible work comes from the internationally known speakers we invite to the Regis University campus, most notably Nobel Peace Prize recipients. One of the first guests of the Institute was Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in November 1998, following in the footsteps of Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, who became the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak on the Regis University campus, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Our Framework

St. Ignatius wrote that the work of the members of the Society should not be for their own benefit, but always be done for the greater good of the community of God and for the greater glory of the Creator. This framework allows ICG facilitators and staff to place themselves in a mindset that enables them to see the group and issues before them with greater openness and awareness. The hallmarks of this philosophy can be summarized in three key points: finding God in all things; right intentions, or the assumption that each person operates from a place of good purpose; and holy indifference, that we are willing to change or be transformed by others.

The Institute also is heavily influenced by following the tradition of Catholic social teaching. Within Catholic social teaching are four key concepts that mark this particular approach. These provide the core rationale for why we do the work that we do.

Human Dignity

The inherent belief in the dignity of the human person. Each person is recognized as being made in the image of God.

Rights and Responsibilities

Society can only function if the fullest level of human rights are recognized and members recognize their rights and well as their responsibilities to their own welfare and the welfare of others.

Subsidiarity and Participation

Individuals have a right to fully participate in decisions made on issues relevant to them, and giving a voice to the most vulnerable members of society is a key moral duty.

Common Good and Community

The human person is both sacred and social, growing and achieving fulfillment only in community.

Through it all, we promote the concept of the common good. We serve as a public resource on community dialogue, promote academic discourse on topics related to dialogue and encourage communal discernment in the traditions of Quaker and Ignatian Spirituality. Unlike institutes that focus solely on research and analysis, the Institute is unique in that it actively partners with groups engaged in community life. We assert the dignity and social nature of the human person. Therefore, every voice is welcome around.

Contact the Institute

If you or your organization have questions and would like to contact the Institute, please get in touch!