Cardijn & the world of labour and technology

There is an opportunity to bring awareness of See-Judge-Act and the insights of Joseph Cardijn into our world of Labor and Technology. We are entering a new era—emerging Technology, particularly AI, will impact Labor regardless of your collar color or if you even wear a collar. As the old saying goes, “That ship has sailed” We are into the era of the autonomous revolution. The question today is how well-educated people become to understand & manage Technology as a society. We need to begin thinking about culture and societal phase change. The See-Judge-Act method gives us a framework to understand better the reality we are facing. It is now for us to innovate-educate-collaborate

Using the See-Judge-Act methods to innovate-educate-collaborate will focus on the core issues we face as a society, the constraints we encounter, and what actions we need to take to manage the constraints and collaborate for the greater good of humanity. Let’s consider where we are as a society and look at history. We see similarities between the early 1900s and the rise of labor unions in the US and European labor organizations during the life of Joseph Cardijn. What was at the heart of the matter was humanity. Think of Catholic Social Teachings and the historical development of the encyclicals to provide insights into our thinking.

Do we understand what it means to be human and the difference it makes? Today we are in the depths of the autonomous revolution; unlike its predecessor, the industrial revolution, this one won’t span 200 years. The World Economic Forum predicts AI will alter or eliminate 27% of what we consider a job over the next five years. IBM is replacing 7,800 jobs with AI and robots driven by AI.

What do Blackrock, the Business Roundtable, and the World Economic Forum share? Surprisingly they are coming in line with labor social teaching and ethics. Not 100%, but they see the cause/effect of emerging technologies on society. 

They’ve all endorsed stakeholder capitalism and corporate social responsibility. Look at the writings of Pope Francis to gain a perspective in our thinking about stakeholder responsibility. Remember that we now live in a time where only thinking about shareholders is insufficient. 

Using the See-Judge-Act methods, we can collectively focus on FOUR main areas: People, Planet, Purpose in Life, and the overall Prosperity of all human beings. 

Using the See-Judge-Act method, we start by looking at our current situation and asking “what is happening” in our local areas and our economic world. Ask ourselves how to identify the problems we see and where the GAPS are in our collective understanding of the greater good. We then collectively and collaboratively think and develop Enablers to fix the issues and close the gaps. But understanding the solution’s impact and benefits becomes essential in our modern times. The resolution and benefits must be for the greater good of all humanity and the planet.

Keep your eye on a guy named Ilya Sutskever from a technology company called Open AI. He is the collective brains behind the launching of AI and surrounds himself in his work at Open AI with philosophers, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, etc., besides engineers. The Valley, once again, is starting to look more like it did 50 years ago than what it looked like in the late 90s and early 2000s. The companies are only all expressing concerns about the cause/effect of societal phase change with proper guardrails in place.

More than ever, we will experience societal disruption like we have never seen in past revolutions. This is an excellent opportunity for Catholics and Labor to innovate, educate, and collaborate with society for the greater good. We have a chance to draw more and more people into the fold with an understanding of how Catholic social teachings with Labor can provide the leadership and oversight necessary to create the essential guardrails in society as we did in the early 1900s and through the “New Deal Era.” 

It is a time for Catholics & Labor to engage in public discussions about the digital capacities and infrastructures affecting our work and what it means to be human. To provide the critical analysis of dynamics such as digitization, automation, mobile computing, surveillance, the gig economy, pre-care, care work, crowdsourcing, outsourcing, etc., and what is necessary to manage the growth of Technology in society.

Catholics and Labor together can bring a deep and contextual analysis to society by asking: Whom are the workers being left out of the story? How is Labor fundamentally connected to systems of inequality based on, for example, race, class, gender, and sexuality? And does Technology enable disparities, and how Catholics and Labor can help correct the advances? 

We must let society know that we understand how Labor and technologies are rooted in political economies, legal systems, state regulations, and social ideologies—significantly beyond the US and Europe, particularly in the Global South. This will show the world and those traditionally viewed as “suburban independents” that the future is brighter with the Catholics and Labor working collaboratively.

How are different groups shaping Technology from the ground up with grassroots initiatives? And where do we need to involve Labor and the party in helping form the message? Catholics and Labor should aim to provide a space for a nuanced, multidimensional, and research-informed conversation. This will draw in younger, college-educated, and skilled trade voters. In doing so, we tie together discussions sprinkled across various disciplines, creating a cohesiveness platform for analyses of the meaning of work and an anchor for future debates.

We use the See-Judge-Act methods to bring about solutions that drive fairness across generations. Provide equality of opportunity for all and not just the few. In the age of autonomous Technology, the See-Judge-Act method, when used properly, provides fairness to those in society who are currently prevented from participating in the entire economy generated by the new technologies. Pope Francis has called us to understand better what inclusive capitalism means to everyone. Go and read

As we start to use the methods with the appropriate questions we ask, we also MAP the actual steps that characterize the negative experiences we are sensing and feeling as a group. I suggest learning more about Hassle Maps, which have been used in marketing programs that will have applicability to our efforts. To learn more, see

God is using us–He needs us to accomplish His work. This is cause for great joy. Without our help, God cannot bring about the miracle that He intends to effect in each one of us through us but not without us.” ~ Louis J Putz CSC


Richard Pütz


Field Engineer / Pexels