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Globethics.net Newsletter n°1 - December 2005

The first Globethics.net Newsletter is out!

Dear Globethics.net participants, this is the first Globethics.net newsletter to be sent to all registered users! I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your interest and your participation in this initiative and to send you our best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. 

The Globethics.net newsletter that will be sent to you on a regular basis serves as our primary means of information. It will provide news and background information on current, forthcoming and past activities and events, organised either by Globethics.net or by other institutions, on Calls for Papers you may be interested in and on recent publications. 

One aim of the newsletter is also to draw your attention to particular contents of our internet platform, e.g. the working groups’ activities, the fora, or publications and resources that have been added.

 

We are keen to create a tool that gives as comprehensive information as possible. We would be grateful if you would send us anything you wish to communicate in this newsletter, especially inputs about conferences, workshops or other events you are organising or you are aware of, calls for papers, publications, or news related to recent developments in your area. Please use the following address for all communications: secretariat@globethics.net. 

However, this newsletter will not replace the News section on the Globethics.net main site (www.globethics.net/news), where News are posted on a regular basis. 

1. What’s going on at Globethics.net?

2. Our internet platform is evolving

4. Research

5. Please don’t forget to…

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What’s going on at Globethics.net?

Website upgrade

Our upgraded website is now operational. Modifications will continue to be introduced, but the main revisions have now been completed. In the first place, the user categories have been adapted: the category Participating Individual is added to the existing category Participating Institution. Individual researchers and interested persons who wish to get fully involved in the Globethics.net activities no longer need to register as members of an institution, but may join Globethics.net with the same status as Participating Institutions. They can therefore create their personal page and specify in detail their areas of interest. However, Globethics.net remains interested in having as many users as possible to register with their institution. The third category of users, Registered Visitors, still subscribe as individuals in order to receive the newsletter and to have access to most parts of the site, but they will not necessarily be contacted for active participation.

Globethics.net International Conferences

From September 22 to 26, 2005, the Globethics.net 2nd International Conference was held at Bangkok, Thailand. The conference brought together 35 ethicists and scholars from related fields, who came from 22 different countries. With participants from five continents represented, the conference explored global and contextual aspects of the general theme Responsible Leadership. During the conference, particular aspects of this topic were discussed in five different sections, focusing respectively on the issues of Political Leadership, Business Leadership, Religious Leadership, Family Leadership, and Media/Educational Leadership. Along the lines of 6 invited keynote addresses and 20 workshop papers submitted by the participants, elements of a global set of ethical principles for Responsible Leadership were debated as an outcome of the different sessions. See the full report on the conference.

From August 27 to 31, 2006, the Globethics.net 3rd International Conference will take place at Huissen, near Arnhem, in the Netherlands. This conference, that will focus on the topic of “Fundamentalism and Ethics”, will be co-organized with our Dutch partner Stichting Oikos

Full staff equipment and secretariat 

From August 1st, 2005, the Globethics.net international secretariat operates with its full capacity. The secretariat is composed of two newly assigned staff members. Evelyn Appiah, who joined Globethics.net as a programme assistant at the very beginning of its existence after having coordinated the Oikosnet (a global network of laity centres) for many years, is an executive assistant. Jean-Daniel Strub, who started working with Globethics.net after a 3 years assignment as a research assistant at the Research Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich (Switzerland), will officiate as an executive coordinator. Located in the heart of Geneva’s international organizations’ district, the Globethics.net secretariat will be in charge of all operational concerns of the network.

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Our internet platform is evolving

User categories

Henceforth, “Participating Individuals” have very much the same status as “Participating Institutions” already had. This means that they dispose of their personal page, can manage the content of this site and create a personal profile accessible for other participants in Globethics.net. They can also specify their research interests. Furthermore, they have the same access rights as Participating Institutions, especially in the Working Group section.

Participating Individuals will have to fill in a more detailed form providing information about their interests in ethics. Once this form is filled in, it will be transferred as an “application” to us and we will grant the status of Participating Individuals unless there are strong reasons preventing us from doing so. The third category, the “Registered Visitors”, receive their access in an automatically generated way without having to proceed an application. However, their access rights are restricted. This filter, that we apply both for the categories of Participating Institutions and Participating Individuals, is the only mechanism on the entire page that allows us to guarantee that a certain standard in terms of ethical profiles is maintained. Globethics.net seeks to be as open a network as possible – but we are convinced that it is for the good of the whole endeavour if this single measure of control is maintained. Until now, no application has been refused!

As a further modification, registered institutions and individuals are no longer referred to as “members”, but exclusively as “participants”. The term member often led to the interpretation that membership fees or the adoption of far-reaching rules and regulations were required for participation in Globethics.net. Neither of these, of course, is the case.

How to change the status?

Individual users currently participating as Registered Visitors (i.e. all those not having signed up as responsible for an institution) and willing to change their status into Participating Individual, are automatically informed about the possibility of the status change in their Back-office after login. In order to change your status, just click on the link in your Back-office.

Working Groups

The second major modification refers to the introduction, on the website, of a new working space tool for the Globethics.net web-based research and dialogue activities. This tool, with which each current and forthcoming working group will have their particular work space, is accessible in the left-side navigation bar on the website by clicking on www.globethics.net/globethics/manage-memberships. The working group section provides, for each thematic research group, space for the upload of documents, for the discussion of issues in a forum, and for further exchange related specifically to the issue they are dealing with. According to the wish of the working groups, and depending on whether sensitive work-in-progress documents are uploaded, access to these particular spaces can be either entirely open or partly open. In the latter case, new participants committed to the research interests of the group will have to request access from the working group administrator. This, again, is to protect sensitive research work, i.e. unpublished texts or concepts, and to enhance the quality and depth of the online dialogue.

Please refer to the Working Groups section on the website for further information about the use of this tool.

Initially, three thematic working groups were created within Globethics.net. At the Bangkok conference, end of September 2005, this number was enlarged to eight working groups. In the corresponding (new) section on the Globethics.net website, you will find a description of the questions to be addressed by the respective groups, as well as the methods they will engage in.

NB: Only participants registered as Participating Individuals or as representatives of Participating Institutions can subscribe to a Working Group. If you are registered as a visitor only, please change your status first.

This list of working groups, of course, is not limited. Upon request, and if sufficient interest and commitment can be established among participants, additional working groups may be created at any moment. The Geneva secretariat administers this tool and will be happy to assist you. Results of the research undertaken by the working group will be announced and made accessible on the Globethics.net website.

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Research

Publications

In the summer of 2005, the first volume of the Globethics.net series, our publication series edited on different continents, was published: Stückelberger, Christoph/Mugambi, Jesse N.K. (eds.): Responsible Leadership. Global Perspectives, Globethics.net Series No.1, Nairobi: Acton Press, 2005 and Geneva: WCC Publications (forthcoming). Apart from texts by the editors, the volume includes essays by: Jeffrey D. Sachs, Rachel Xiaohong Zhu, Samuel Kobia, Peter Walker/Ben Wisner, Jephthah K. Gathaka, Heidi Hadsell, Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar, Richard Ondji’i Toung, Pavel Shashkin, Paulo Carneiro de Andrade, Yahya Wijaya, and Arpad Ferencz. The book can be ordered for $20 (shipping not included) at the Globethics.net secretariat. Selected chapters are available on the publications section of our website.

Call for paper

The International Development Ethics Association (IDEA) has launched a Call for Papers for their 2006 conference on "Accountability, Responsibility, and Integrity in Development: The Ethical Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond" to be held from July 19 to 22, 2006, at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Plenary speakers will include:

Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
Thomas Pogge, Columbia University
Edward Wamala, Makerere University
Thandika Mkandawire, UN Research Institute for Social Development (to be confirmed) 

For a further elaboration of conference themes, choose "Conference Themes" at: www.development-ethics.org/default.asp?cid=5012&sid=5022 

Proposals should include an abstract of 500 words with the application form, which is accessible at: www.development-ethics.org/default.asp?cid=5012&sid=5022 

Funding for travel and per diem is available for up to 15 paper presenters from African countries outside Uganda. Deadline for receiving proposals: January 31, 2006. Complete papers are due by March 15, 2006. 

Please find the Call for Papers and additional information on the conference by using the following link: www.development-ethics.org

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Please don’t forget to…

… provide us with for information you wish to be added to the Globethics.net newsletter

… update your institutional and thematic profile on a regular basis (see explanations)

… introduce a link pointing to the Globethics.net website from your institutional homepage!

I hope that the modified Globethics.net website will provide a useful and easy-to-handle tool meeting your needs and requirements. I look forward to further developing intense and fruitful dialogue and scientific exchange on our internet platform.

With all best wishes for the Christmas period and for a good beginning of 2006,

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Daniel Strub

Globethics.net Executive Coordinator

Geneva, December 22, 2005