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Nun wonders: Can different business scorecard change society?

Could redefining business success lead to a fairer society?

Sister Simone Campbell, who brought her “Nuns on the Bus” tour to Chicago Thursday, is starting to wonder if that just might work.

A man she met Thursday morning at a business round table said business owners are highly competitive and seek more money as a sign of their success.

“He said money becomes the measure of winning or losing. It is not so much the quest for money as it is for winning,” Campbell told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board at a meeting later that day. “So that got me thinking: Can we change the measure of winning and losing?”

When people at the top of the economic ladder chase more and more money, there’s less for those near the bottom, said Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby.

“The deal that we lost is a fair’s day’s pay for a fair day’s work. As a nation, we want to get the lowest possible price,” she said. “Our consciousness is that people don’t deserve to be paid.”

Trying to take money out of politics, or at least to counterbalance it, is one reason she’s leading this year’s “We the People, We the Voters” tour of Nuns on the Bus to encourage voter registration.

“If we don’t vote, we haven’t exercised our power,” she said. “This is about We the People – all the people – working out the problems of our society. The fact is in a democracy the way we solve problems is through government.”

Big money pouring into elections has discouraged people from going to the polls, she said. “They feel overwhelmed by the amount of advertising, the outside money and not being seen by politicians.”

Whereas Occupy Wall Street talked about the 99 percent and the 1 percent, Campbell encourages people to think of themselves as part of the 100 percent. She said she wants everyone’s voice in the room to discuss how to solve problems – “but leave your money bags at the door.”

As for the Catholic Church, she said under Pope Francis it is moving away from its conservative direction.

“In the Bay of Fundy, up in Nova Scotia, the tide goes way far out, but even there the tide eventually does turn. And so what we are seeing is the turning of the tide. … We are coming back to a sense of care for each other.”