Last week I was fortunate enough to speak with some special students at the University of Maryland. They belong to something they call “The Shell,” a student-run co-working space and incubator for start-up businesses and entrepreneurship.

Their adviser – after reading my piece in the Washington Post on the 2016 election cycle’s relationship with the academic bubble of our colleges and universities – brought me in to discuss how new technologies affect people with different world views and life experiences.

The students were very open to the idea that we need more people in business who understand philosophy and theology. They understood the importance of learning that there is no such thing as a view from nowhere and that, for those of us who lead lives of meaning, our lives are always grounded in first principles for which we do not have arguments.

If we lead an unexamined life – especially in an ideological bubble – it is easy to assume that the first principles which ground our practices are shared by nearly everyone. We don’t need to ask if it is good to make something “more efficient,” it is just obvious that this is a good thing. Same with having “more choices” and “economic growth.”

But if there is one good thing that came out of the 2016 election cycle, it is that the voices of people who have been hurt by uncritical acceptance of these values are starting to get the attention they deserve.

They have not seen a genuine pay increase in a generation. Their well-paying jobs have gone and likely aren’t coming back. If they are lucky enough to have a job, that job is almost certainly less fulfilling and at risk of being replaced by automation.

They are suffering from depression at increasingly high levels, and this has contributed to increasingly poor overall health. Indeed, the death rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education saw a dramatic increase between 1999 and 2013.

Before this time, death rates for that group dropped steadily. (Death rates for people of color in this age bracket remain higher, but continue to fall.)

The Top 3 reasons for death in that demographic are as follows: (1) alcohol/drugs, (2) cancer, and (3) suicide. And we just saw last week this swing toward sickness in middle America has been so dramatic that it is has now caused overall life expectancy in the United States to drop for the first time in decades.

I made the case to members of The Shell that they had a moral responsibility to challenge the first principles typically assumed in their current bubble. In doing so, I invoked my own normative tradition of Roman Catholicism and its insistence that we have a preference for the least among us.

It’s those on the margins of the culture, those who may not benefit from, say, being able to purchase new cars and international flights at cheaper prices–and indeed may be dramatically hurt by the development of technologies which make those lower prices possible.

The students were quite interested in these ideas, and had lots of questions about how such a moral shift might work. Through our discussions, they realized that – in creating the community of The Shell – they are already changing the culture of start-up entrepreneurship.

The Shell could challenge old assumptions, and intentionally morph into an other-centered guild with a focus on the most vulnerable.

On my drive back home to New Jersey after the exchange, I began to think about how Catholic institutions of higher education might join The Shell in helping form young entrepreneurs in community in similar ways.

It’s a natural fit. Catholic Social Teaching already demands that we replace idolatry of the market, efficiency, and profits for shareholders in favor of a preference for the vulnerable and the good of authentic, life-giving relationships.

My generation, and that of my parents, may begin by looking to government to solve the problems of a Middle America dominated by economic despair. And while government likely has a role to play (especially in offering seed grants to start-ups who want to serve people without many resources), today’s young people are disproportionately skeptical of big institutions and their ability to solve today’s problems.

But they do care deeply about making the world a better place through smaller, more nimble and creative organizations.

There’s talk of a trillion dollar infrastructure bill that will be pushed by the Trump administration. Here’s hoping that even a tiny fraction of that money finds its way into the hands of brilliant young entrepreneurs like the ones I met last week at The Shell. Even better if they had the values of the Catholic moral tradition guiding their projects.

What an opportunity this presents for the business schools at Notre Dame, Boston College, Fordham, Catholic University, and other schools to live out their Catholic mission.

The time is now for Catholic higher education to be intentional in unleashing the brilliant and creative compassion of young Catholic entrepreneurs on the problems facing the despair of Middle America.

Charles C. Camosy is Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University.