Successful “World Forum for Ethics in Business” conference concluded in the Netherlands

Prelude event to annual symposium at the European Parliament highlighted by a keynote address of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, co-founder of the World Forum for Ethics in Business

The world is changing rapidly. The global economy is still trying to recover from a tumultuous rollercoaster ride that changed the financial landscape. The United States has gone through a very difficult period and the Euro zone is in a crisis. There is evidence that a number of these serious financial problems are closely related to ethical issues. It is also clear that there is a need for change in the way business corporations operate.

To discuss this much needed change, more than 200 business leaders, CEOs, representatives from academia and other areas followed the invitation to the “Business Ethics in the 21st century: Time for a Paradigm Shift” conference.

The seminar, organized by the Netherlands-India Chamber of Commerce and Trade in cooperation with the World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB) took place on 15th June 2012 at the Headquarters of KPMG in Amstelveen. KPMG was also the host of this event.

We all here, we need to take responsibility of creating an awareness in people, not an awareness of no disaster, but an awareness of our own capabilities, of the dormant potential inside every human being, said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, co-founder of the World Forum for Ethics in Business, in his keynote address.

“Every crisis and every challenge is an opportunity. The paradigm shift is making these challenges to turn into an opportunity for a better world, and a global family. See the whole world as one human family and what is the best thing we can do” he added.

On the occasion of this event Sri Sri Ravi Shankar talked about the challenges and difficulties of behaving in an ethical responsible way. He also talked the need for connection to understand each other and to start a dialogue.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has for long been a strong advocate of ethics in business and good governance, and has in the past two decades spoken at numerous symposiums and conferences on the mechanisms of combating corruption. It was a rare opportunity for the audience to meet him and listen to his views on a subject of great importance.

The second part of the seminar consisted of a panel discussion. Three distinguished members of the Dutch business community and the president of the World Forum for Ethics in Business, Mrs. Rajita Kulkarni, were invited to share their thoughts and the practical challenges they face in their organizations to establish ethical guidelines at the core of their organizations. Mr. Kees Storm, board member of the VUmc Cancer Center, Ms. Anja van Bergen from Nutreco, Ms. Truus Valkering and Ms. Rajita Kulkarni of the World Forum for Ethics in Business all gave their insights on the topic. The main conclusion came down to “talk the talk, walk the walk”. To be able to operate (internationally) in an ethical responsible way, ethics has to be at the very core of your organization and at the front of everyone working with or for the organization.

The conference “”Business Ethics in the 21st Century: Time for a Paradigm Shift” was a prelude to the upcoming International Leadership Symposium on Ethics in Business – an annual conference of the World Forum for Ethics in Business held at the European Parliament, Brussels.

The 2012 edition of the International Leadership Symposium of the World Forum for Ethics in Business will be held from 30th November – 1st December and looks at the current global situation as a systemic crisis which can only be solved with a holistic view on all stakeholders. The Symposium therefore aims to allow major stakeholders from all sectors to have a fresh look at the current political and economic paradigms. It aims to challenge existing belief systems with the clear objective to identify a roadmap that allows for a sustainable future.