Covid and Philosophy

The recent pandemic concerning Covid-19 has taught us many lessons, on a global scale.

What has provoked my thinking most has to do with the “digital revolution”. New technologies are transforming so much of our lives every day. One technology, in particular, continues to capture headlines constantly, i.e., artificial intelligence.

Two realities emerge from the pandemic in terms of digital technology: one positive and one negative.

The positive aspect stemming from the pandemic has to do with the drastic increase in digital communication. Not being to meet personally or congregate as groups, we have been forced to communicate through digital means. The year 2020 will be known as the year of Zoom, Webex, Meets and so on. It will be remembered as the year in which Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, became the richest person on the planet. The digital giants grew even more because of the various lockdowns around the globe. Covid has taught us that “smart working” can (and will) replace so many dimensions of the normal work force: so much, that we will probably never return to how things were before. Software companies are selling their physical buildings because they no longer will use them. Twitter has announced that all of their employees can work from home even after the state of emergency has been lifted.

The negative aspect coming from the experience of the pandemic has shown us the limits of digital technology. New technologies are not our present-day Messiahs. Just how a tiny, invisible clump of molecules wreaked havoc on the world boggles the mind. For all of our know-how and technological progress, an infinitely small virus taught us that we are still in the infant stage when it comes to biological organisms. Our finest minds and greatest scientists have not come up with an instant and effective cure. Conquering this virus will take time, just like all things which are truly human. There are simply no quick remedies and effortless solutions. Our bodies are not biological machines: they are so much more and so much more complex. So many promises and predictions have not panned out, and we are forced to recognize our fragile, yet supremely unique, biological make-up.

Philip Larrey, Ph.D.

At the Pontifical Lateran University a degree in Philosophy also valid in Italy

Grazie ad un accordo tra “l’Università del Papa” e l’Università degli Studi di Perugia

Uno dei grandi paradossi italiani accademici si sta superando: paesi asiatici, europei o americani, riconoscono i titoli delle facoltà e delle università ecclesiastiche, ma fino a poco tempo fa non lo faceva l’Italia.

Un decreto del presidente della Repubblica del 2019 ha risolto in parte questa situazione, stabilendo che siano riconosciuti dallo Stato italiano i titoli accademici di baccalaureato e di licenza delle facoltà pontificie per materie come la Teologia, Sacra Scrittura, Diritto Canonico, Liturgia, Spiritualità, Missiologia e Scienze Religiose.

Manca ancora oggi il riconoscimento degli studi delle facoltà ecclesiastiche di Filosofia.

Ma anche su questo ambito ci sono grandi cambiamenti all’orizzonte: un accordo firmato recentemente tra l’Università degli Studi di Perugia e l’Università Pontificia Lateranense.

Secondo l’accordo, le due università hanno istituito un programma di studi, congiunto e integrato, finalizzato al conseguimento del doppio titolo di Laurea Magistrale/Licenza.

Il doppio titolo è previsto dalle norme del “Processo di Bologna”, un impegno internazionale che regola la vita delle Università di 47 Paesi.

Nello specifico, si tratta della Laurea magistrale in “Filosofia ed Etica delle Relazioni”, rilasciata dall’Università degli Studi di Perugia, e della Licenza in “Filosofia” rilasciata dalla Pontificia Università Lateranense.

Le due università “si impegnano ad accogliere, iscrivere e formare gli studenti dell’altra istituzione e a seguirne gli studi, al fine di consentire loro il completamento del percorso formativo, e a rilasciare il rispettivo titolo di studio in conformità al proprio ordinamento universitario”.

Accordo Storico

“Si tratta di un traguardo storico, perché con questo accordo si riconoscono finalmente in Italia gli studi in Filosofia di una facoltà pontificia”, spiega don Philip Larrey, appena nominato decano della Facoltà di Filosofia della Pontificia Università Lateranense.Giovanni Paolo II aveva battezzato la Lateranense come “l’Università del Papa” durante il trascorso di una visita alla sua sede, non solo perché è sita in territorio extraterritoriale, ma soprattutto perché giuridicamente dipende della Santa Sede.Papa Francesco nel corso della sua visita il 31 ottobre 2019 ha invitato l’Università ad essere strumento di dialogo con la cultura contemporanea e le altre istituzioni accademiche. Su questo presupposto è nato l’accordo con Perugia.“Il doppio titolo è anche una buona notizia per l’Italia, la cui vita accademica potrà arricchirsi con il contributo di laureati in Filosofia che hanno potuto beneficiare di un percorso formativo molto ricco, ispirato alla tradizione filosofica cristiana, che molti paesi nel mondo già riconoscono e invidiano”, aggiunge il decano.


Gli interessati all’iscrizione alla facoltà di Filosofia alla Pontificia Università Lateranense possono prenotare un colloquio virtuale in questa pagina web o contattare direttamente il Decano di Filosofia:

As Vatican Reopens, Delos Aligns with Humanity 2.0 Well Being to Implement the Vatican’s First Wellness Installation

Delos Aligns with Humanity 2.0 Well Being to Implement the Vatican’s First Wellness Installation into its Real Estate Portfolio at the Renowned Pontifical Orientale Institute

Historic implementation of Delos’ health and wellness interventions at the Vatican’s Orientale residences to support the well-being of residents and educate the Vatican network as it prepares to define guidelines for safeguarding health

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Delos, a wellness real estate and technology company, has formed a collaboration with Humanity 2.0 Well Being and the Pontifical Orientale Institute to upgrade the Vatican’s Orientale’s residences with its evidence-based health and wellness technologies and solutions.

“Father Nazar and the Orientale have a heritage as pioneers, and this initial partnership is both a template and a catalyst for greater strategic collaboration with the Vatican at this defining time."

Rome and the Vatican are slowly emerging from lockdown, providing a critical window to help build health resilience, prevent disease and reduce viral transmission in houses, offices, parishes and school facilities through scientifically-supported technologies and solutions.

Delos, the trusted scientific authority on healthy buildings, has customized a program for the Pontifical Orientale Institute, which includes air purification and surface cleaning technology, circadian lighting and other evidence-based interventions designed to help support immune health, reduce stress, improve sleep quality and promote overall well-being.

In partnership with Humanity 2.0 Well Being, the wellness platform created in collaboration with the Vatican (Holy See), the Pontifical Orientale Institute was identified due to its rich history and innovative leadership, as well as vital role in convening global interfaith groups at the Vatican. Led by Rev. David Nazar, S.J, the Pontifical Oriental Institute was created by Pope Benedict XV in 1917, and is currently a school of higher studies that has as its particular mission the service of the Oriental Churches.

“The Catholic Church runs the largest governmental school system in the world, serving in over 100 countries - some over 1,000 years old - and runs one-quarter of the world's health care institutions,” said Father David Nazar, Rector of the Orientale. “Its preoccupation has always been the care of the entire person and of society. Recent information technology and wellness sciences have brought to the fore much-needed insights into humanizing the educational environment. Our students come from over 40 countries, many without deep resources, and student depression is an increasing phenomenon in a world that is struggling to find a common purpose. COVID-19 has shown us how fragile we are. With Delos and Humanity 2.0 Well Being, we will be implementing health and wellness tools that address these contemporary educational challenges, helping us continue our focus on strengthening the whole person- body, mind, and spirit. Pope Francis, with his focus on human ecology, has asked church institutions to show leadership. With Delos and Humanity 2.0 Well Being, the Orientale is doing just that.”

“We are honored to have been asked to customize our suite of research and technology solutions accrued over years into a first-of-its-kind program for the Pontifical Orientale Institute residences at this pivotal time,” said Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO of Delos. “We know that buildings have a profound impact on human health, but the current pandemic has magnified the essential need for evidence-based health interventions in the indoor environment, which are being shared with the Vatican and its global network.”

Given the Catholic Church’s global footprint, comprising 200,000 colleges, universities and other schools, 220,000 parishes, 117,000 nursing home and senior living facilities, and 10,000 orphanages in 196 countries, Delos’ Vatican program at the Orientale will be made available more widely to the Catholic Church to educate and shape institutional best practices.

“Through upgrading our educational buildings with health innovations, we are actually building human capacity at one of its most formative periods,” said Morad Fareed, CEO of Humanity 2.0 Well Being and a co-founder of Delos. “Father Nazar and the Orientale have a heritage as pioneers, and this initial partnership is both a template and a catalyst for greater strategic collaboration with the Vatican at this defining time.”

With the support of Pope Francis, and in conjunction with Fr. William Watson, S.J., vice president for advancement for the Orientale, the Orientale’s residences, offices, classrooms, and library/conference facilities were significantly upgraded in 2017- the 100th anniversary of the Institute. These same residences will now become the first residences in the Vatican to implement Delos’ technologies and solutions.

The collaboration with Delos and Humanity 2.0 Well Being is advanced by the Orientale’s initiative to upgrade the technology infrastructure for all Orientale classrooms to enable the most comprehensive distance learning capabilities of any papal university, made possible through a partnership with UBS partners James Mallahan and Mark Russo.

Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which created the WELL Building Standard™, currently being implemented in over 4,000 projects, surpassing 500 million square feet of wellness real estate in 61 countries. IWBI recently established a Task Force on Covid-19 and other respiratory infections - Co-Chaired by 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, Former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and Harvard School of Public Health’s Joseph Allen – to advance the role of buildings in protecting and enhancing health.

About Delos
Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company with a mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for the built environment. Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The International WELL Building Institute administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create the Well Living Lab, a scientific research center that uses exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. The company’s advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, healthcare, government policy and sustainability, including the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra, and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit

About Humanity 2.0 Well-Being
Humanity 2.0 was created to facilitate collaborative ventures between the historically siloed public, private, and faith-based sectors. Founded in 2018 in collaboration with the Dicastery for Integral Human Development at the Holy See (Vatican) led by His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Humanity 2.0 Foundation has become a unique global force in its novel ability to identify important global initiatives, forge partnerships, and introduce scientific solutions for global impact. After two years of convenings in Vatican City with global luminaries from Ethics, Science, Health, and Technology, Humanity 2.0 Well Being was developed to focus more concretely on installing the world’s leading environmental and maternal wellness solutions throughout the Faith Sector and beyond.

About the Pontifical Orientale Institute
The Mission of the Orientale is to pursue research, teaching, and publishing relating to the traditions of the Eastern Churches – a geography spanning from Russia to Ethiopia and from Italy to India - in their theology, liturgies, patristics, history, canon law, literature and languages, spirituality, archeology, and questions of ecumenical and geopolitical importance. The areas of primary concern today to the Orientale are the Middle East and the post-Soviet world. For more information about the Orientale, please visit


Jamie Matos

Humanity 2.0 Appoints Maurice Lévy to Advisory Board

Non-Profit assembling the world’s greatest strategic minds in collaboration with Holy See (Vatican) based impact initiatives

VATICAN CITY, May 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Humanity 2.0 a Non-Profit (Non-Government Organization) focused on identifying and removing the most significant impediments to human flourishing in collaboration with the Holy See (Vatican), is proud to announce it has appointed Maurice Lévy to its advisory board which oversees the strategic and ethical direction of Humanity 2.0’s impact initiatives.

Matthew Sanders, CEO of Humanity 2.0 commented; “Maurice Lévy has led Publicis, the 3rd largest advertising and communications company in the world, with courage and integrity for decades and so we are honored he accepted a position on our board. His experience across so many sectors will be instrumental in ensuring we focus our resources in the most strategically impactful way.”

Humanity 2.0 Advisory Committee consists of 10 members: 
Maurice Lévy; Chairman of the Supervisory Board; Publicis Groupe
Bill Hilf; Chief Executive Officer; Vulcan
Tae Yoo; Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility; Cisco
Carlo D'Asaro Biondo; Former President - EMEA Partnerships; Google
Jean Oelwang; President & Trustee Virgin Unite & B Team; Senior Partner; Virgin
Jim Pitofsky; Managing Director, Strategic Alliances; John Templeton Foundation
Hilary Pennington; Executive Vice President for Program; Ford Foundation
Dinah McLeod; Director and Cause Lead, Equality in the Workplace; The B Team
Matt Bird; President, Equities News & Chairman, 1800PR/CommPro Worldwide
Fr. Philip Larrey; Chairman; Humanity 2.0

About Maurice Lévy
Maurice Lévy is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe, the leader in business, marketing and communications transformation. He joined Publicis in 1971 as IT Director, and was appointed CEO of Publicis Conseil, the Groupe's flagship agency, in 1981. He was named CEO of Publicis Groupe in 1987, a role that he fulfilled for 30 years until being named Chairman of the Supervisory Board as of June 1, 2017. He was responsible for transforming Publicis from a great, French creative agency into a global leader, covering all segments of the advertising industry. With spectacular acquisitions such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Bcom3 (Leo Burnett, Starcom, Mediavest) Zenith or in the digital space with Digitas, Performics, Razorfish, Rosetta and Sapient, today Publicis represents more than 80,000 talents, $10 billion in revenue and is present in more than 104 countries. In 2016, to celebrate Publicis Groupe’s 90th anniversary, Maurice Lévy was determined to look to the future rather than the past, keeping in line with Publicis’ pioneering spirit. The result was two initiatives – Publicis90, through which Publicis Groupe invested in 90 promising startups and Viva Technology Paris, a global event dedicated to the collaboration between large companies and startups. Widely recognized as a leading figure in the communications industry, Mr. Lévy also co-founded the French Brain Institute (ICM) in 2005 and serves as the Chairman of the board for several entities, including the International Board of Governors for the Peres Center for Peace. In 2015, he was appointed Chairman of the Pasteur-Weizmann Institute. Mr. Lévy has been honored with numerous distinctions and accolades for his contributions to media, business leadership, tolerance and peace. Mr. Lévy holds the distinctions of Commandeur of the French Légion d’Honneur and Grand Officier of the Ordre National du Mérite.

About Humanity 2.0

Humanity 2.0 a Non-Profit (Non-Government Organization) focused on identifying and removing the most significant impediments to human flourishing in collaboration with the Holy See (Vatican). A vehicle for facilitating collaborative ventures between the traditionally siloed public, private and faith-based sectors. Its mission is to identify impediments to human flourishing and then work collaboratively across sectors to remove them by sourcing and scaling bold and innovative solutions. Developed in collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Holy See and a consortium of leaders and luminaries, Humanity 2.0 seeks to unite humanity in the common cause of realizing a better world for our children.

For more information visit: | Facebook Twitter LinkedIn


Humanity 2.0 Communications:
Matt Bird
Advisory Board Member
P: +1 646.401.4499

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Book Launch in Malta of “Artificial Humanity"- October 4th 2019

About this Event

What is meant by AI? What is the nature of intelligence? What is transhumanism and common sense reasoning? These are some of the questions which the book covers.

The relationship between man and machine has fascinated people ever since the writing of  Frankenstein, where we are warned about the unintended consequences of the use and development of technology. While scrutinizing AI, one profound question emerges as a natural result: what makes us truly human?

During the book launch at the Chamber of Commerce on October 4th, the author proposes to open a philosophical discussion precisely about human nature itself in light of existing and future technologies, with particular emphasis on AI.

"Artificial Humanity" analyses several aspects of AI from a philosophical point of view.

Many theorists working in the field of AI have identified a very relevant distinction: a sufficiently complex AI system can only choose among options; it cannot decide, because essential to making a decision is having a will – a capacity for willfulness. Will technology help humanity to grow in virtue and flourish, or will it hamper and constrain that which makes us human? Is the transhumanist movement favoring true human flourishing or does it lessen that which constitutes human nature? Can humanity integrate technological advancements while placing people at the center? Will powerful market forces drive how we use technology and AI?

Event Photos

To view images from the book presentation Click Here.

Event Details 

Date: Friday, 4 Oct 2019

Time: From 18:30 to 20:45 pm

Location: Chamber of Commerce (64, Republic Street - Valletta, Malta)

Cost: Free of charge

To Register: Click Here