null Newsletter no2/2013

February 2013

  In this issue


  • Network
    Progress and perspectives at the Forum of Ethics and Responsibilities website successfully migrated
    Follow in social media
  • Research/Projects
    Save the date for the Global Ethics Forum (GEF) 2013
    Mark your calendar for the Global Ethics Forum 2014 in India
    New workgroup: "Global Ecumenical Network of Young Theologians"
    New workgroup: "Innovation Ethics" at World CSR Day in India
  • News from the Head Office
    Austrian Institute for Social Ethics becomes partner joins the International Integrated Reporting Council
    Agata Filiana, new intern from Indonesia
  • News from the Regional Programmes
    The Asian Dimension of Teaching International Business Ethics
    Kenya pre-election debates organised by East Africa
Editorial by Stephen Brown 

by Stephen Brown

Ten years after more than 11,000 participants gathered in Geneva for the opening session of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a UNESCO meeting in Paris at the end of February 2013 will take stock of what has been achieved since then and set out challenges for the future.

The recommendations from the WSIS +10 review meeting will feed into further United Nations deliberations and into the review of the Millennium Development Goals.

WSIS – which met in two sessions in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005) – aimed to promote access to information and knowledge through new communications technologies and to tackle the global digital divide separating the northern hemisphere from the global South. At the same time it highlighted the ethical dimensions of the Information Society, and underlined the need for measures to safeguard cultural and linguistic diversity and identity, to avoid local content being overshadowed by vested global interests.

The idea for was born during WSIS in 2003. Representatives from the global South identified the need to strengthen ethical institutions, especially in developing and transition countries, through strengthening the production and dissemination of, and access to, information and knowledge using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This led to the creation of the Global Digital Library on Ethics, as well as the networking and workgroup facilities of

A decade later, as UNESCO notes, there is intense public debate over the future development of the Internet, shaped by the defence of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information online, the growth of multilingualism on the net and the ever-increasing influence and impact of communications technologies on all aspects of people's lives. 

Such issues are too important to be left to governments alone. Civil society is an indispensable part of the "ethical space" within which a global communication ethic needs to be elaborated, alongside the institutional political system of government and the institutionally orientated political society.

For this, civil society itself needs to become active, claiming and reclaiming spaces of debate and dialogue. At the same time, research commissioned for the UNESCO meeting in Paris underlines that "infoethics" must address the challenges and implications of the information society in developing regions, particularly in terms of inter-cultural information ethics.

This is a task to which the whole of the Globethics network can make a contribution, as in the coming months seeks to promote a truly global conversation on the Information Society.

Dr. Stephen Brown, Programme Executive GlobeTheoLib

The discussions at the UNESCO WSIS +10 review meeting can be followed online using remote participation (more details here); details of the research commission by UNESCO in advance of the meeting can be found here.


The Libraries

Introduction to the ‘My Journals' function

After login, each participant can find on ‘My profile' in ‘My Journals' the Journals that he/she has subscribed to. Due to the subscriptions he/she will receive e-alerts when new articles are published in the library. This feature is a very user friendly tool. Even if not many journals are selected in 'My Journals', quality and zero cost access to scientific literature will lead users to use the libraries more by taking these three simple steps:
1. Go to the journals' list here
2. Select a journal,
3. On the right side click on 'add to my journals'.
Done smiley Network

Progress and perspectives at the Forum of Ethics and Responsibilities

ça bouge au Forum éthique et responsabilités: avancées et perspectives: version française disponible ici. Vous devrez être connecté.

The Forum of Ethics and Responsibilities (FER) is made up of individuals, professional and thematic networks, and organisations aiming to introduce the concept of Responsibility into international debate in order to face the many current crises (environmental, economic, finance, and social). The FER partners' actions aim to promote cultures of responsibility in every field of human activity.

The year 2012 brought good progress and lots of events for the Forum and its partners. The first reports are already published on the website, such as "Strengthening Rights and Responsibilities in Nepal", "Impacts of the Ethics and Responsibility Network – Migration" or "Activities of the Rights and Responsibilities Collective in India".

In the forthcoming weeks all of the professional and thematic networks will present their reports and their perspectives on the website on how to promote and ensure a culture of responsibility in view of a Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities.
In this context, a call on governments was launched during the conference Rio+20 in June 2012. It is now available in an updated form and is more relevant than ever: Sign and pass it on! website successfully migrated

As announced in the last newsletter, the team has been working on updating the software for its platform. We are happy to announce that that the migration was carried out successfully to the new software at the end of January. Nevertheless, some problems may still occur and details still have to be adjusted. If you face some problems, please try again with another browser (Firefox, Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.) or come back to the site a bit later as we will be fixing the issues. You can also send us an email at Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Follow in social media is present in the social media sphere on various social networks. Join online now on:



Save the date for the Global Ethics Forum (GEF) 2013

The Global Ethics Forum 2013 Working Session and Public Forum on the theme "Equal in an Unequal World" will take place on 27-28 June 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland

The two-day long Forum event will include two Working Sessions combined with a Public Forum "Equal in an Unequal World". The 2013 events build upon the success of the first (2009), second (2011) and third (2012) Global Ethics Forum conferences and will play a key role in the preparation for the 2014 Forum, planned to take place in January 2014 in Bangalore/India.

Participants in past Global Ethics Forum conferences and members of the community friends and partners of are welcome to come to the Public Forum "Equal in an Unequal World" on the afternoon of Thursday 27 June 2013. A number of prominent experts and speakers invited by the will hold a public debate around the issues of inequality and their role as accelerators of the global crises and as key challenges in the transition to a sustainable economy. Participation in the Public Forum is free of charge although attendees need to cover their own expenses associated with the Public Forum attendance. Please spread the word.

The 2013 Global Ethics Forum events will provide an opportunity for the Forum Work Group (WG) moderators and key members to meet face-to-face and discuss their progress, present the results of their work (articles, guides, tools) and plan the participation and roles of each respective Work Group at the Global Ethics Forum 2014. extends a special invitation to the Regional Programme Directors to participate in the 2013 Forum events to explore synergies with the Work Groups, identify projects and initiatives linked to the 2014 Forum, plan participation of the regions, and agree on a coordinated and strategic business ethics approach in the represented regions. The regional programme directors will also attend a regional meeting immediately after the Global Ethics Forum 2013 – on 29-30 June.


Mark your calendar for the Global Ethics Forum 2014 in India

The 2014 Global Ethics Forum Conference (GEF) Equal on ‘An Unequal World: The Value of Values in Responsible Business' will be held on 3/4 or 10/11 January 2014 in Bangalore/India . The 2014 GEF Conference is organized by in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), India and the Centre for International Business Ethics (CIBE), China. The main focus of the Conference will be on showcasing best practices in ethical business and corporate responsibility demonstrating the value of values in business with a renewed accent on the humanistic multicultural ethical values of responsible leadership and their role in addressing inequality as part of the transformation of business and society towards sustainability. This first edition of the GEF taking place outside of Geneva will attract international participants and speakers from companies, government and the academic sector in India, Europe, USA, Africa and Asia. As the preparation for the 2014 Forum picks up speed, more details will follow.

New workgroup: "Global Ecumenical Network of Young Theologians"

A new workgroup has been established that is open to all younger participants interested in ecumenism and World Christianity. The "Global Ecumenical Network of Young Theologians" is an international network of young theologians interested in the field of ecumenism and World Christianity. The workgroup  is a platform for discussion and exchange and for creating synergies between participants all around the world. The idea came through the application process for the "Global Ecumenical Theological Institute" ( (GETI), taking place alongside the World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly in October/ November 2013 in Busan/Korea. The WCC office received a lot of applications from young ecumenical leaders and theologians and therefore wanted to provide a space to connect and work with these young theologians – even if they are not selected to participate in GETI. This workgroup is not only a network, but shall give access to resource materials of the GETI course as well - with special regard to those who are not part of the GETI students group. All young (25 to 45 years of age) theologians or church leader working in the ecumenical field are invited to join this workgroup!

New workgroup: "Innovation Ethics"

A new workgroup has been created on the platform to increase awareness of ethical impacts and issues related to innovation and to further research and contributions to this field of interdisciplinary research. Innovation can take place in many dimensions; for example, technological, ecological, social and political. Although innovations lead to solving some problems, it can also create ethical concerns and dilemmas; on the other hand innovation can also solve ethical concerns and issues. The workgroup is moderated by Prof. Dr. Ganesh Nathan, of the Business School Lausanne (BSL), who lectures on business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, and innovation management. He is also a member of the Institute of Management at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). The workgroup is open to all registered participants, at World CSR Day in India

India will be the one of the few / the first country in the world to introduce legislation on corporate social responsibility (CSR) effective as of April 2013. The new CSR legislation was announced at the World CSR Day 2013 Conference ( on 17-18 February in Mumbai/India where the Executive Director of was the keynote speaker.

All companies in India should spend 2% of their net benefit for activities in the field of corporate social responsibility such as provision of clean water, health care, education, community building, etc. They have to report publicly on their CSR activities and in the cases in which goals are not reached they have to give reasons, open for public debate. With this section 135 of the new Company Bill of India, India becomes a champion in CSR worldwide, as Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General of the governmental Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs IICA in New Delhi and driver of this development, declared.

This new bill will bring up to 5 billion USD per year for social development for the hundreds of millions of needy people in India. Access to health, water and education are the key topics. It will also be a chance and a challenge to the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India to scale up, manage in a transparent way the new inflow of money and partner with the private sector.

The World CSR Day, initiated by Raju Bhatia, brought together companies and NGOs , mainly from India. Executive Director Christoph Stückelberger delivered the keynote speech "From AAA to EEE: the Triple E-Strategy Ethics-Ecology-Economy". He called for a new integrated, holistic approach that adds ethics not as a "nice to have", but as the core element in en ethical economy. Financial standards such as AAA should be replaced by integrated standards like EEE.


News from the Head Office


Austrian Institute for Social Ethics becomes partner

The Institute for Social Ethics at the University of Vienna, Austria (ISEV) is the latest organisation to partner with The Institute, headed by Ingeborg Gabriel  is engaged in a number of fields of research including basic research on ethics and social ethics, international ethics with a focus on human rights, economic ethics and ecology, gender ethics, ethics of care and justice, Christian social ethics in interreligious and intercultural dialogue and social ethics in ecumenical discourse. The cooperation between ISEV and started on 1 February 2013 for a period of four years. It is based on the shared goal to contribute solutions to ethical challenges in Europe and worldwide and will focus on joint activities and synergies. joins the International Integrated Reporting Council has been appointed as a Council member of the high level International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), a global body charged with development of the new standard for corporate reporting.

The IIRC brings together leading institutions from the corporate, investment, accounting, securities, regulatory, academic, civil society and standard-setting sectors to develop a new, Integrated Reporting approach and framework that addresses the requirements of the 21st century. It builds on the foundations of financial reporting, management commentary, governance and remuneration, and sustainability reporting in a way that reflects their interdependence.

The IIRC governance structure comprises a Council, a working group and a secretariat, together with sub-committees and task forces. The Council is a forum for senior representatives of the IIRC's member organisations charged with the responsibility to:

i) Advise on the IIRC's mission, role and governance practices;
ii) Provide thought leadership, intellectual contribution and strategic insights relating to IIRC initiatives and activities;
iii) Lend weight and credibility to the IIRC's profile.

The IIRC's mission is to create the globally accepted Integrated Reporting framework and to secure its adoption by report preparers and gain the support of regulators and investors. The IIRC's vision is for Integrated Reporting to be accepted globally as the corporate reporting norm, benefiting organizations, investors and society by encouraging sound and well-informed decision-making that leads to efficient capital allocation, sustainable growth and prosperity.

Agata Filiana, new intern from Indonesia

Agata Filiana from Indonesia, a master student in data mining with an Erasmus scholarship, started a five month internship combined with the Master thesis on 18 February, with and its software partner company Point Software in Zurich/Switzerland. She will develop a "recommender system" for the library users so that recommendations from peers in the community and from their own interests enhance the search features of the libraries. As a bachelor student, Agata translated as a volunteer the website into Indonesian! Thanks and welcome to the team, Agata!


News from the Regional Programmes

The Asian Dimension of Teaching International Business Ethics

4th Educational Seminar: the Asian Dimension of Teaching International Business Ethics
Focus: Environmental Responsibility
30-31 August 2013 Dumaguete City/The Philippines

The Center for International Business Ethics (CIBE, hosting China) at the University of International Business & Economics (UIBE), together with the College of Business Administration of the Silliman University, the Gov Jose B Fernandez Jr. Ethics Center at the Ateneo de Manila University, and the Association of Asian Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the Asia-Pacific Region (AJCU-AP), are pleased to announce the 4th Educational Seminar: the Asian Dimension of Teaching International Business Ethics for educators and practitioners of business ethics in the East Asian and Southeast Asian regions. With the increasing concerns from the public on environmental protection and sustainable development within Asian economies, this year's educational seminar will focus on "Environmental Responsibility" and will take place at the Silliman University in Dumaguete City, the Philippines, on 30-31 August 2013.

Please read here the presentation letter from Stephan Rothlin, Secretary General of the Centre for International Business Ethics as well as the full Call for Papers with instructions and contact details.

Kenya pre-election debates organised by East Africa

A debate between political candidates from Nairobi County taking part in the forthcoming national elections in Kenya  (4 March 2013) took place on 15 February 2013. East Africa and the Centre for Social Justice organised the debate with candidates and the general public at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa Lang'ata Campus. Kenyans are going to the polls to elect leaders in a general election for the first time under the new constitution promulgated in August 2010. In Nairobi County candidates are campaigning for the six positions of President, County Governor, Senator, County Women Representative, Member of Parliament and Ward Representative.


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