Businesses to rethink values

Bertelsmann, dynamic, Economy & Finance, Mohn, Verheugen – By Richard Stahl on Monday, November 16, 2009 – 04:21
One year after the financial crisis swept through the global economy, business, political and religious leaders gathered at the European Parliament to discuss the pivotal role of ethics and human values in business.

The Conference on Ethics in Business – Corporate Culture & Spirituality, now in its sixth year and organised by the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, mixes meditation and laughing sessions with insightful analyses of issues on the global agenda. It is a conference which “combines head and heart,” as described by Asian business woman and philanthropist, Sung-Joo Kim.

Opening the conference, EU Commissioner Verheugen said, “Values are the glue that stick societies together. No economic system can be sustainable if it is seen to work against those values.”

The conference attracted top executives from the World Bank, Microsoft, Volkswagen and KPMG, as well as religious leaders from different faiths. Swami Pragyapad, representing IAHV’s founder, said:

These are difficult times, because people are losing faith. Nobody is even thinking about this – the human crisis. Spirituality is the only solution

Ethics in Business Awards were presented to Dr. Brigitte Mohn of the Bertelsmann Foundation, for being an important role model for ethical leadership, and to Korean retail giant, Sungjoo Group, for its exceptional commitment to social responsibility.

Conference participants called upon all stakeholders to implement concrete policies and programmes which elevate ethical principles and practices, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

To realise this, the World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB) was launched. The WFEB is a Brussels-based foundation which aims to facilitate global dialogue and support cooperation, with a view to promoting human values and building wider public trust in business.

The next conference will take place in 2010 for the first time in French-speaking Africa.