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null Globethics.net Newsletter No 3/2011

March/April 2011

In this issue

Editorial by Christoph Stueckelberger 

Enhancing life

My senses are my first and closest "technological instruments": hands for caring or beating, feet for carrying or kicking, ears for not listening or listening, eyes for orientation or threats, mouths for expressing blessings or curses. All technologies are extended or minimized  "arms and feet": trucks and tanks, nuclear technologies and nanotechnologies, medical instruments and mobile phones. As all of them - including robots - are made by human beings, which are by definition imperfect; technologies remain imperfect and ambivalent and can be used for both ethical and unethical actions.
 
"Enhancing life. The Ethics of Science and Technology" is the theme of a conference being organized by Globethics.net and the Costa Rica Academies of Science and Technology on 2 May 2011. It is an initiative of Clotilde Fonseca, member of the Board of the Globethics.net Foundation and, until March 2011 Minister of Science and Technology of the Government of Costa Rica. Technologies as a fruit of science are of high importance for human beings to be able to live their lives in dignity. The ethical challenge is to develop technologies that enhance life and do not threaten or destroy life. The use of technologies is always linked with risks, but "Ethics after Fukushima" reminds us that technologies are only ethical if they take into account the risks of nature and the limitations, defectiveness and criminal energy of human beings. 
 
I am impressed that many scientists and students of technology register as participants of Globethics.net. There is a great hunger for an ethical orientation in the development and use of science and technologies. Let us strengthen in our network these ethical efforts for technologies that enhance human life. The online library, the online workgroups (you can also initiate one), the network of 22'000 registered participants and research partnerships are tools offered by Globethics.net. Use them!

 

Christoph Stueckelberger, Founder and Executive Director, Globethics.net

The Globethics.net Libraries

New voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South: Pambazuka Press / Fahamu Books publications available in the library

We are pleased to announce that Globethics.net and Pambazuka Press / Fahamu Books have signed an agreement that allows Globethics.net to acquire and offer new books to Globethics.net registered participants!

The mission of Pambazuka Press makes it an important partner for Globethics.net: “Through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South, Pambazuka Press and Pambazuka News disseminate analysis and debate on the struggle for freedom and justice. With offices in Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa), Dakar (Senegal) and Oxford (United Kingdom), Pambazuka Press publishes a growing list of book titles on human rights, social justice, politics and advocacy in Africa, written by well-known African academics, public intellectuals and activists.” For more information, see http://fahamubooks.org

You can now access the following titles in the new collection DG Pambazuka Press Fahamu Books:

·         My Dream is to be Bold. Our Work to End Patriarchy

·         Reclaiming African History

·         Women and Security Governance in Africa

·         La vérité aux puissants. Une sélection de cartes postales panafricaines

·         Africa's Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere

·         Global History. A View from the South

·         Ending the Crisis of Capitalism or Ending Capitalism?

·         Chinese and African Perspectives on China in Africa

·         SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa

·         Speaking Truth to Power: Selected Pan-African Postcards

·         Development and Globalisation: Daring to Think Differently

·         The Crash of International Finance-Capital and its Implications for the Third World

·         Aid to Africa: Redeemer or Coloniser?

·         Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice

·         Where is Uhuru? Reflections on the Struggle for Democracy in Africa

·         Ending Aid Dependence

·         China's New Role in Africa and the South. A search for a new perspective

·         Africa's Long Road to Rights/Long Trajet de l'Afrique vers les Droits. Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

·         Silences in NGO Discourse. The role and future of NGOs in Africa

·         From the Slave Trade to 'Free' Trade. How trade undermines democracy and justice in Africa

·         Grace, Tenacity and Eloquence. The struggle for women's rights in Africa

·         African Perspectives on China in Africa

·         Breathing Life into the African Union Protocol on Women's Rights in Africa

·         African Voices on Development and Social Justice. Editorials from Pambazuka News

·         Experiments with Peace: a Book Celebrating Peace on Johan Galtung's 80th Birthday

 

Available soon :

·         Vulgarisation du Protocole de l'Union Africaine sur les droits des femmes en Afrique (soon)

·         African Sexualities. A Reader (foreseen for July 2011)

·         Africa and the New Imperialism (foreseen for November 2011)

·         India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power (foreseen for September 2011)

·         Maldevelopment. Anatomy of a Global Failure (foreseen for September 2011)

·         From Citizen to Refugee, Uganda Asians come to Britain (foreseen for June 2011) 

GlobeTheoLib Consortium members

The Consortium for the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism, otherwise known as GlobeTheoLib or GTL came into being on 1 January 2011 with the plan to bring the library online later in 2011. The GlobeTheoLib project is being hosted by Globethics.net in partnership with the World Council of Churches and its Ecumenical Theological Education programme. Eighteen institutions and networks around the world, including the two founding institutions, have signed an agreement to form the Consortium to support, guide and use GlobeTheoLib in the coming months and years.

The current Consortium members are the: Anglican Communion, Association of Theological Education in South East Asia, Bibiliothèques Européennes de Théologie/Institut Catholique de Paris, Christian Conference of Asia, Conference of Orthodox Theological Schools, Forum of Asian Theological Education in South East Asia, Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia, Lutheran World Federation, Mission 21, Red Latinoamericana de Información Teológica, University Institute ISEDET, University Library of Tübingen, Volos Academy for Theological Studies, World Communion of Reformed Churches, World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions and World Methodist Council. 

As mentioned in the last newsletter, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Stephen Brown as the GlobeTheoLib Programme Executive. He is working on the content of the new library and is responsible for liaison with the partners and institutions. He can be contacted at brown@globethics.net.

The Globethics.net Network

22'000 registered participants!

At the beginning of April we have more than 22'000 registered participants. A warm welcome to the new participants who have joined us in March 2011! It is encouraging to see the growing interest in ethics across a variety of sectors, countries and backgrounds. As mentioned in the editoral above, do feel free to initiate and join the different workgroups and discussions. Keep your profile up to date and use your own blog space to share information and views.

We are also active in different social networks for which we invite to visit our pages: Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, and Koprol.

New workgroup on religions and work

The World Council of Churches, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace are organizing a series of interreligious seminars on the theme "Decent Work" which will take place from 27 to 29 April 2011. The seminars aim to discuss the meaning of work in each religious tradition, a rights based approach to work, current work-related issues such as child labour and social protection, among other topics.

As part of the process a Religions and Work workgroup has been set up to serve as a platform for both seminar attendees and Globethics.net participants to exchange their reflections and findings, documents and other relevant materials on the topic. This workgroup provides a unique opportunity for Globethics.net participants to follow the Interreligious Seminar on Decent Work. All are invited to participate in this workgroup. For further information or to request to join this workgroup, visit this page: http://www.globethics.net/web/1.6-religion-and-work-open-workgroup/mission.  

Research

Call to the network: business experts directory survey

As a gentle reminder to all of those who received an invitation to take part in the new Business Ethics Directory Survey, please do not forget to fill it in! The survey is fairly short and takes around 10 minutes to complete. Our thanks to those who have already responded and our apologies that, at present, the surveys are only available in English.

The Business Ethics Global Directory includes specialists in the areas of business ethics, economic ethics and corporate social responsibility and ethics, among others. It covers experts in business ethics in the field of teaching, training and research. It is a valuable and unique tool that can be used in two ways. First, it enables interested parties to search for and find experts in particular fields of business ethics around the world. Secondly, it allows participating individuals and institutional experts to gain wider outreach and publicity in their specific fields and geographical areas related to teaching, training and research.

Taking part in this survey will give you the opportunity to be included in the Business Ethics Global Directory.

Do note that participants taking this survey are expected to have some expertise/background in business or economics.

The deadline for submission of the survey is 10 May 2011 as the Business Ethics Directory is planned to be launched during the Global Ethics Forum, taking place on 30 June and 1 July 2011 in Geneva (see below).

Please do not hesitate to contact us at infoweb@globethics.net should you need any additional information.

News from the International Secretariat

Registration open for Global Ethics Forum 2011

Registration opened in April for the Global Ethics Forum 2011, taking place at the United Nations Office at Geneva and at the International Conference Centre Geneva, Switzerland from Thursday 30 June to Friday 1 July 2011.

Note that early birds can save EUR 100 or more off the registration rates when they register before 13 May. 

The theme of the Forum is The Value of Values in Business: Global Perspectives, Practical Solutions with a programme that features over 50 moderators and panelists in three sets of four parallel workshops and two plenaries over the two days. The workshops will provide opportunities to explore case studies, standards and meet key actors from around the world.

The 2011 Geneva conference is part of the Global Ethics Forum 2011-2013 project that includes events, research, exchange and documentation across numerous sectors, public, non-governmental, academic as well as the private sector. 

More information about the Global Ethics Forum can be found here.

News from the Regional Programmes

Welcome to research assistant in Indonesia

Following the invitation for applications made at the end of 2010, the Globethics.net Indonesia team is being joined by a research assistant, Ferry Siregar in Yogyakarta. He is especially interested in ethics in relation to interreligious dialogue, comparative religions and spirituality and will work specifically on the Islamic ethics collection.  

Anti-corruption campaign in India

Our colleagues in Globethics.net India have drawn attention to recent developments in India around a series of corruption charges being leveled at government ministers and the passing of a bill that could help bring corrupt politicians to book in the future, if it is passed. A popular movement has been building momentum during March and April 2011 in support of what is known as the Jan Lokpal Bill, a revised version of a bill that is still pending since it was first introduced into the Indian parliament in 1969. Support was spurred on by a march from Mumbai to New Delhi on 7 April led by Gandhian activist, Anna Hazare to stage a hunger strike as a means of lobbying for the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The concept of Lokpal (ombudsman), from the Hindi words 'lok' (people) and 'pal' (protector/caretaker) is to provide a means for citizens to file complaints against government ministers who are suspected of corrupt practices. The campaign is being supported by members of the Indian government, eminent personalities and activists of India Against Corruption. Of note has been the use of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter to gather support for the movement with 30'000 invidiuals pledging their support of the Jan Lokpal Bill on the first day of action and over 200'000 followers of India Against Corruption on Facebook. 

More information about the campaign can be found here.

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