Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Quakers & Business Conference

art by Nunera Amun and Isabel Liang

This is about the 2021 Quakers & Business Conference. For 2022 details, check back in winter, 2022.

Quakers at Work

All Quakers participate in business.  

The idea of “business” often engages Quakers in thought and conversation, sometimes igniting passion.

Some Quakers try to stay away from Business as much as possible, while others embrace it.  Some are so concerned with the unjust practices they have seen in the name of business, that they have retreated from it as much as possible.  As a result, some of us have fashioned independent work lives, while some of us do just enough work to get by. Some of us are still trying to figure it out.

Other Friends have been so excited about business that they have built organizations that number in the hundreds of people.  Some of the most famous businesses in the world were started by Quakers, and some of those continue to be run by Quakers today.  Our work is an opportunity for us to live our values.  Quakers work as musicians (Ahem Hozier), civil rights leaders (Bayard Rustin), politicians (Herbert Hoover), actors (We love you, Judy Dench), and so much more. 

Business is a part of our lives whether we like it or not.  We buy food from businesses.   We purchase clothes from businesses. When we work through our emotions around business, we are left with the very practical.  When we focus on the practical, we can make changes in the world.

Did you know that early British Quakers (a group of people much like us today) used Quaker values and established ways of doing business which have had a profound effect on the world?

During the conference we will explore Quaker business history and discuss the principles early Quakers developed to express their faith and values through their work.  How can we apply those ideas today?  The bible might have something to say here too.

Quakers are doing great things right now in the business world.  Let’s share our challenges and work to explore solutions.  Let’s examine topics about work and spirituality that we as Friends infrequently discuss in our monthly meetings for worship and in our professional lives.

Where and When

The Quakers & Business Conference takes place the weekend before the FGC Gathering, from June 18 - 20.  


All times are Eastern (EDT)

Friday - June 18, 2021

7:00pm - 8:30pm EDT


We will get to know each other, learn what we each do for work, and answer queries such as: “One way I bring Quaker practice to my work is …”

Saturday - June 19, 2021

10:30am - 12pm (noon)

Main Presentation

Karen Tibbals will speak to us about early Quaker business practices.  We will then open for Q&A.

12pm (noon) - 1:30pm

Lunch Discussion

Our Zoom link will be open for chat over lunch.  Please consider joining.  You can come any time!

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Exploration 1: Early Friend Practices

What early Friend practices can we use today? We will draft an outline collaboratively. Breakout rooms may be used - depending on size of attendance.

4:00pm - 5:30pm

Exploration 2: Anti-Business Biases

Anti-business bias in the Religious Society of Friends. What are your experiences? How are you changing minds? What can we, as a group, do to improve Friends’ understanding of business?

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Dinner (TBD)

This time is subject to input from the group. We may provide a Zoom link to chat over dinner.

7:00pm - on

Exploration 3: After All That Work!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Let’s have fun and enjoy ourselves!

Sunday - June 20, 2021

10:00am - 11:00am

Meeting for Worship

11:00am - 12:00pm (noon) on

Exploration 4: Moving Forward

How Quaker Aspen is helping Friends. An overview of our directory, videos, and Zoom events. Our ideas on next steps we could take. We will open for a Q&A on how we might serve in other areas. What comes to mind for you? Closing.



This year's virtual Gathering is Pay as Led. The suggested cost of the pre-Gathering retreat is $5-$50, or you can write-in your own price. Learn more about Pay as Led and Gathering fees.

How to Register

Early registration is April 15 - 29, and standard registration opens May 6. Learn more about registration for the 2021 Gathering.


Quakers and Business Conference is planned by volunteers. You can reach the organizers via the Gathering Contact form