Newsletters

null Globethics.net Newsletter no3/2013

March 2013

  In this issue

 

  • The Globethics.net Libraries
    New journals in the Globethics.net Library
    Download Globethics.net books for free and buy hard copies through Amazon
  • Globethics.net Network
    Find a CSR job through Globethics.net
    Integrated Reporting Meeting in Washington
     
  • Research/Projects
    Globethics.net contributes to Global UNESCO Conference
    Global Ethics Forum 2013, Geneva
    Save the date: 3-5 January 2014, Global Ethics Forum, Bangalore/India, "Equal in an Unequal World"
  • News from the Head Office
    Globethics.net Geneva vacancy for a Network Assistant/Internship
     
  • News from the Regional Programmes
    New National Contacts announced
    Globethics.net East Africa on Kenyan elections
    Elections: "The majority makes not the truth"
    The Asian Dimension of Teaching International Business Ethics: 30 April deadline for call for papers
     
Editorial by Christoph Stückelberger 

Stand up!

Wake up! Stand up! This is not only the morning call of parents to their teenage children. It is what millions of people of all ages say to themselves when they start a courageous activity: to stand up for their own convictions and values, defending them when they are threatened, promoting them and finding allies. It happens as an intervention of a student or teacher in a classroom, as mass demonstrations against sexual abuse or corruption, as the silent intervention of a lawyer for his/her client, as a business decision of an employer or employee. There are three steps for a person to take when they stand up for something that they believe in.


The first is to find, to clarify and to allow their values to take root deep inside themselves. The Globethics.net online libraries and global networking of participants are tools to help individuals, and groups, find their own orientation and ethical values. Only with a strong personal foundation are we strong enough to stand up and not to be blown away by the first wind of criticism.


The second is to stand up for their values, convictions and rights. Passion and courage are the twins of ethics. Values are valueless if we do not defend and promote them. We cannot expect that the world is just and fair, but we can promote justice and fairness by starting with our own rights and obligations.


The third step is to stand up for the rights of others. Not only promote our own values, but defend the rights and values of others, even if they are different. This is the golden rule of reciprocity (to treat others as we expect to be treated). It is the rule of love (loving the other as oneself): the masses of young men in India who protest against sexual abuse and rape together with the women; the Muslims in Egypt who protect the rights of Christians; the Christian Churches in Switzerland who defend the right of Muslims to build minarets, etc.


I am again and again impressed by our Globethics.net network: many of the 75,000 registered participants have courage, passion and compassion to make an ethical difference in the world and to stand up for it. You are certainly one of them. Thanks!

Christoph Stückelberger
Executive Director and Founder of Globethics.net

The Globethics.net Libraries

New journals in Globethics.net Library

The Globethics.net Digital Library on Ethics has four interesting new journals:
1. The International Labour Review together with the French version: La revue internationale du travail.  
2. The International Review of Information Ethics,
3. BMC Medical Ethics,
4. Religion and Gender.

The ILO Review is a key instrument in developing social ethics, being a multidisciplinary journal of labour and social policies.

The IRIE has a very interesting theme, "secrecy" in vol. 17 (07/2012), inviting us to reflect on the social dynamics of secrecy and to rethink the concepts of information and privacy including an article by Ambrose, Meg Leta, (2012): "You Are What Google Says You Are: The Right to be Forgotten and Information Stewardship", IRIE, Vol. 17, 7, 2012, 21-30.

The BMC Medical Ethics has an important collection of studies on "informed consent", see for example the following title about consent in research: "Understanding of research: a Sri Lankan perspective" by Athula Sumathipala (and alii) (2010, 11:7). The findings show that a decision about taking part in research, which always implies the ethical notion of consent, can be an opportunity to ask how far consenting to participate is dependent on knowledge, education and also on social networks. Interestingly, a majority of participants support health research and believe that research is beneficial to the welfare of society.

Religion and Gender offers an innovative article on the rather understudied area of digital practices such as what online discussions tell us about identity and multiculturalism: "Digital Multiculturalism in the Netherlands: Religious, Ethnic, and Gender Positioning by Moroccan-Dutch Youth" by Koen Leurs, Eva Midden, Sandra Ponzanesi (Vol. 2, No 1, 2012, 150-175). The three forms of position acquisition: gender, religion and ethnic positioning show that "neither religion, ethnicity, nor gender cease to exist in the digital realm but are constantly negotiated, reimagined and relocated" (Abstract).

 

Download Globethics.net books for free and buy Globethics.net books through Amazon

As well as being able to download PDF versions of Globethics.net books for free at from the library and from www.globethics.net/publications, they are also being made available for sale on Amazon.com.
The books can also be found in Amazon's European online bookshops,  Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr and Amazon.de

To date four books have been published from the Globethics.net collection on Amazon and more will be made available over the next few months:

Global 3: Christoph Stückelberger / Reinhold Bernhardt (eds.): Calvin Global. How Faith Influences Societies, 2009
Global 4: Ariane Hentsch Cisneros / Shanta Premawardhana (eds.), Sharing Values. A Hermeneutics for Global Ethics, 2010
Global 5: Deon Rossouw / Christoph Stückelberger (eds.): Global Survey of Business Ethics in Training. Teaching and Research, 2012
Global 6: Carol Cosgrove Sacks / Paul H. Dembinski (eds.), Trust and Ethics in Finance. Innovative Ideas from the Robin Cosgrove Prize, 2012

After a careful study of various alternatives, Globethics.net is making its publications available through Amazon to increase the accessibility of print copies throughout the world.

Globethics.net publications will continue to be available for download free-of-charge in PDF format from the Globethics.net website at www.globethics.net/publications, and Globethics.net remains committed to maintaining free access to its publications.

Participants are encouraged to share the links to Globethics.net publications with their own networks.

Although it is not possible within Amazon to propose differential pricing between high-income countries and low/middle income countries, Globethics.net is exploring ways of making print copies available through other print-on-demand solutions, to facilitate access to print copies in low- and middle-income countries.
Special prices for bulk orders for ten or more copies of a Globethics.net publication from individuals or organisations in low- or middle-income countries are available for orders placed with the Globethics.net secretariat.
Please send an email to infoweb@globethics.net with details of the title you are interested in.
 

Globethics.net Network

Find a CSR job through Globethics.net

At Globethics.net we know how difficult it is to find a job, this is why we have gone one step further to offer participants a tool to make this task easier.

Very soon an online Jobs portal on Corporative Social Responsibility (CSR) will be available on the Globethics.net website. This Jobs portal will advertise different jobs related to CSR from CSR websites. It will also give users the option to subscribe to different fields in CSR and receive a weekly e-mail with all the jobs related to those topics. The Jobs portal was developed by Professor Jem Bendell on his portal Lifeworth and has now been transferred to Globethics.net. More information about this new service will be sent soon in a special email to all who receive this newsletter.

Integrated Reporting Meeting in Washington

Globethics.net, represented by its Executive Director, Christoph Stückelberger participated for the first time at the meeting of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), from 18 to 19 March 2013 in Washington, DC/USA. The IIRC (www.theiirc.com) develops a new, holistic system of reporting for companies, integrating financial, social, environmental, short, medium and long term perspectives. The draft framework will be launched globally on 16 April 2013 for consultation. Key global reporting and accounting organisations, companies and NGOs are represented in the Council.

 

Research/Projects

Globethics.net contributes to Global UNESCO Conference

A Globethics.net delegation was among the 800 delegates at a UNESCO meeting in Paris in February reviewing progress since the landmark World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in 2003. The UNESCO WSIS +10 review meeting urged further research and debate on the ethical challenges of information and communication technologies.

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 digital divide separating the northern hemisphere from the global South.

The recommendations of the Paris meeting will feed into further United Nations deliberations on WSIS and into follow-up plans for the Millennium Development Goals. The UNESCO meeting brought together participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs, intergovernmental organisations and other groups.

Globethics.net will be actively involved in contributing to this process, including the WSIS Forum 2013 in Geneva, 13 to 17 May 2013.

The idea for building Globethics.net emerged during WSIS in 2003. Representatives from the global South identified the need to strengthen ethical institutions, especially in developing and transition countries, using information and communication technologies.

Home page for the UNESCO WSIS +10 review meeting:
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/flagship-project-activities/wsis-10-review-event-25-27-february-2013/homepage/
 

Global Ethics Forum 2013, Geneva

The Global Ethics Forum 2013 event will take place on 27 and 28 June 2013 at the Ecumenical Centre (WCC), Geneva/Switzerland.

The two-day Global Ethics Forum 2013 will include a number of Working Sessions on 27 and 28 June, open for Workgroup members and selected invitees only, combined with a Public Forum.

The Public Forum will take place on the theme "Equal in an Unequal World" on Thursday 27 June 2013 from 13:00 – 18:00 in the Plenary Hall at the Ecumenical Centre (WCC), 150 route de Ferney, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Geneva/Switzerland.

•    The Working Sessions will provide an opportunity for the Workgroup moderators and available Workgroup members to meet face-to-face and to discuss their progress and deliverables (articles, guides, tools). They will work together with the Globethics.net regional programme directors and staff to plan the participation and roles of each respective Workgroup and Globethics.net regional programmes at the Global Ethics Forum 2014. Participants in the Working Sessions will:

•    explore synergies between Globethics.net regional programmes and the Workgroups
•    identify projects and initiatives linked to the Global Ethics Forum 2014 conference
•    plan participation of the regions in the 2014 conference
•   and agree on a coordinated and strategic business ethics approach in the represented regions leading up to the  2014 conference.

The regional programme directors will attend a Globethics.net regional meeting immediately after the Global Ethics Forum 2013 – on 29 and 30 June.

Save the date: 3-5 January 2014, Global Ethics Forum, Bangalore/India, "Equal in an Unequal World"  

The Global Ethics Forum 2014 conference is organised by Globethics.net in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), India, and with the Centre for International Business Ethics (CIBE), China. The Global Ethics Forum 2014 preparations are gaining speed under the leadership of the international Steering Committee and Co-chairs. The conference's main purpose will be to convene a dynamic cross-continental debate with strong involvement of Globethics.net networks and prominent experts and practitioners from Asia and Africa, focused on dealing with issues of inequality as part of the transformation of business and society towards sustainability. This is the first edition of the Global Ethics Forum taking place outside of Geneva, and the first conference that will use social media more fully as a platform for broader engagement with the Globethics.net membership globally as part of the 2014 event preparation and during the conference. More details concerning the Global Ethics Forum 2014 registration process and programme content will follow in the next months.

 

News from the Head Office
Globethics.net Geneva vacancy for a Network Assistant/Internship

We are looking for a network assistant who can assist in various tasks in the Globehtics.net network, with an interest in ethical questions and some knowledge of media and communication.

 Major Tasks
•    Communication tasks including website related work, translation, responding to requests from participants, etc.
•    Preparing and posting news articles for the website, support for monthly newsletter and supporting development of the social networks
•    Technical assistance with online workgroups and online databases
•    Assistance with related tasks including research, reports, meeting preparation, etc.
•    Technical assistance and animation of forums and blogs in the network
•    Assistance with routine office tasks
 
Qualifications
•    University degree (BA) (MA)
•    Interest in ethics
•    Fluent in English and at least one other language
•    Good knowledge of computers, office programmes and the internet
•    Interest and ease in electronic networking and website development
Interested candidates are invited to send applications with CV and letter of motivation explaining how they meet the requirements, by email to: howelopez@globethics.net. More information can be found at: http://www.globethics.net/web/ge/globethics.net-jobs

 

News from the Regional Programmes

New National Contacts announced

Networking A list of new Globethics.net National Contacts from 32 countries, including those already represented by existing regional programmes is now available at http://www.globethics.net/web/ge/globethics.net-national-contacts.National Contacts are available to answer questions about  Globethics.net in their countries and to promote Globethics.net. The National Contacts exist in addition to and complement the Globethics.net regional programmes in China, India, Indonesia, Eastern Africa and Francophone Africa.

How to become a National Contact?

Globethics.net looks for dynamic persons for this task of promotion and coordination of Globethics.net in a country. Required are persons who have ethically a good reputation, can offer 10-20% time for free and are linked to an institution in order to enable some stability for this task. The position gives the persons a national and international outreach and possibilities of additional networking on ethics.

Globethics.net East Africa on Kenyan Elections

Globethics.net East Africa Programme, in collaboration with the Centre for Social Justice and Ethics at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), organized interactive sessions between the politicians and youth in the Universities during the month of February. The first session took place at CUEA and the second took place at the Africa International University (AIU). The purpose of the sessions was to provide the young people with an arena in which to engage the politicians on the kind of leaders and leadership they wanted. It was also an opportunity to preach peace during and after the electioneering period.

The Presidential elections – held simultaneously with the election of a number of other officials – were held in Kenya on March 4th. This was the first election under the new constitution adopted in 2010 and the process was supervised by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. No-one wanted a re-run of the 2007 elections which descended into widespread violence. This time, media coverage was restrained, violence was largely avoided, and voting went ahead peacefully – albeit slowly as the need to vote for so many other officials in addition to the President slowed down the voting and meant that in constituencies where voter turnout was high, voters were still standing in queues waiting for their chance to vote while in other constituencies the vote had been concluded and results were being announced.

Some polling stations opened late due to biometric voter registration equipment arriving late, and the VPN network employed to transfer voting results from polling stations to the centre in Nairobi counting up the overall results crashed after a few hours too. The defective VPN was abandoned on the second day of the elections and manual procedures reinstated. After the polls closed, software glitches were discovered in the new electronic voting system (first time tried out in Kenya) which had the effect of multiplying rejected ballots by a factor of eight!

This was corrected and the final results show only around 1% of total ballots were rejected. Turnout was 86% -  the highest ever in Kenya – and the winner (declared on March 9th) was Uhuru Kenyatta with 6.2 million votes compared to 5.3 million votes cast for his rival Raila Odinga  (50.07% to 43.6%), who on March 16th challenged  the result in the Supreme Court – a ruling is expected within 14 days. Although the new constitution required candidates to run on a joint ticket, resulting in inter-ethnic groupings, voters largely ignored the other names and voted as if there were just the two men on the slate.

Under the new constitution, a simple plurality was no longer enough to win, but Kenyatta was always likelier to win as voter registration in his main strongholds was considerably higher than in Odinga's strongholds. His running mate William Ruto was in 2007 on the other side in the ensuing violence, and the prospect of previously warring factions coming together for this election will also have boosted their chances with pragmatic voters deciding to back them in the hope of ensuring a peaceful outcome.

Questions remain, such as whether the high number of rejected votes might have had an impact on the total number of votes cast. The constant calls for peace and the avoidance of unrest tended to lead to self-censorship by the media, and the media did not independently verify the final results. This is not to say that the final IEBC numbers are wrong – just that the media has not verified them independently.

Kenyatta, like Ruto, faces charges of crimes against humanity deriving from the post-elections violence in 2007, but the actions of the ICC and the stance of the international community seems to have been viewed by Kenyan voters as interference in Kenya's internal affairs and probably boosted the Kenyatta ticket's overall vote. Both men deny the charges, and charges have already been dropped against co-accused Francis Muthaura, which has led to calls for the dropping of charges against the other accused men too.

The charges against the remaining accused men may yet be dropped, but if the ICC does persist with them, while in the meantime Kenyatta is confirmed as President by judgement of the Supreme Court but refuses to submit to the authority of the ICC, Kenya would be entering into uncharted territory. It would be the first time in history that persons accused by the ICC – again it must be emphasised that the accused men have vigorously denied the accusations made against them – were elected to high office while facing serious criminal charges. Potentially – although given Kenya's strategic importance this is perhaps unlikely – sanctions could be imposed, leading to adverse effects on inward investment, exports, Kenya's booming IT applications sector, international tourism, and business travel to Kenya. Even Kenya's commitment to the rule of law could be called into question. However it is to be hoped that, whichever way the Supreme Court makes its decision, a satisfactory and peaceful resolution of the issues can nevertheless be reached which avoids such an undesirable outcome. Kenya now awaits the results of the Supreme Court's deliberations …

 

Elections: "The majority makes not the truth". A Comment by Christoph Stückelberger

I have to confess: I suffer from democracy. Democracy as an equal right of every citizen to elect and decide and as people power it is wonderful. It is a concretisation of the ethical value of equality and participation. I am privileged to live in Switzerland with its very extended democratic rights. But democratic elections and decisions in Switzerland, Kenya, Italy, Zimbabwe and many other parts of the world show the limits and dangers of democracy. Especially periods of economic crises and leadership crisis with destroyed trust in political, economic and religious leaders opens doors for populism and even fascism. Dictators such as Hitler have been elected democratically. Masses can be manipulated with empty populist promises. Also urgent environmental threats like global warming can obviously not be handled with slow democratic decisions.

The great British politician Churchill said, democracy is the best of the bad forms of government. He also suffered from democracy. Democracy is far from being a perfect form of government, but still better than others. Huldrych Zwingli, the famous protestant Reformer in Zurich/Switzerland in the early 16th century and early promoter of what later became modern democracy, said: "The majority makes not the truth". What is right and wrong, ethical and unethical cannot be decided by democratic majority vote.

What to do? First education: democracy needs a lot of efforts for information, formation of consciousness and resistance against all forms of populism. Globethics.net East Africa with its campaign and panel discussions for fair elections in Kenya is an example of this.

Second constitutional/legal developments: the preambles of constitutions show the limits of democracy. There are fundamental values such as human rights and human dignity which are inalienable and cannot be denied by a democratic vote. The Swiss Parliament is regularly confronted with referendum proposals against international law and is now becoming stronger in limiting them. National democratic decisions have to respect international conventions. The online African Law Library which is under construction by Globethics.net as a mandate of the African Innovation Foundation will also be a contribution to strengthening constitutional state and democracy – in its rights and limits.

 

The Asian Dimension of Teaching International Business Ethics: 30 April deadline for call for papers

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) 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 Dr. Stephan Rothlin, Secretary General of the Centre for International Business Ethics as well as the full Call for Papers with instructions and contact details. Note that the deadline for the call for the papers is 30 April 2013.

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter