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null Newsletter n°11 / 10

November 2010

In this issue

  • Editorial
    by Christoph Stueckelberger
  • The Library
    Launch of new climate ethics collection
  • New open access journals available in your library
  • Check out the library search video tutorial
  • The Network
    HARC Network newsletter launched
  • Gender, Justice and Power workgroup opens
  • Over 12'000 registered participants!
  • features on more social networks
  • News from the International Secretariat
    Newsfeeds: different articles in six languages
  • Visit to Myanmar
  • Global Ethics Forum 2011
  • News from the Regional Programmes
  • Reports from China
  • India to recruit Programme Executive 50% 
  • East Africa
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: growing interest
Editorial by Christoph Stueckelberger

Communications challenges and solutions


Dear participants

Wednesday morning, 1 December; snow chaos in Geneva/Switzerland means communication chaos. After a heavy snow fall last night Geneva airport is closed and public and private transport is blocked. My last resort to get to the office this morning were my good old feet. It took me an hour to walk through the snow. It reminds of Bukawu, Goma and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from where I have just returned after three weeks lecturing on ethics at three universities and promoting Thousands of students walk in endless queues along the roads every day to the university and back home again in the evening. On average they take two hours each way every day! Communication through physical meetings for educational and professional reasons still remains a major challenge for billions of people.

Communication by electronic means is a very positive alternative. We continue our communication by email, skype, mobile phones despite snow or dust or volcanic eruptions. We can download documents for our research from the library no matter where we are in the world, as long as we have access to the Internet. Excellent.

I met so many students and teaching staff in the DRC who are so impressed with what they can download for free, compared to the physical libraries in their universities, which have almost no funds for new books and almost no chance to subscribe to scientific journals. In addition, in Bukawu, in east Congo on the border between Rwanda and Burundi, the library of the protestant university was destroyed by rebel forces during the war a few years ago. Online, electronic libraries are a solution, although communication remains a challenge there. Internet access is slow and costly, both for students and teachers. Students in Goma in east DRC went on strike last week because the university asked for 50 USD per year per student in order to enable internet access for the year instead of paying each time them went online. This is an excellent solution but 50 USD is a heavy charge for people in very poor conditions. The fee was finally reduced to 25 USD.

Let us take up such challenges in the community around the world and solve them together so that our communication, both in person and by electronic means can be strengthened in order to provide ethical solutions through our dialogues, reflections and actions.

Christoph Stueckelberger, Director and Founder of

The Library

Launch of new climate ethics collection is very pleased to announce the launch of the special collection on Climate Ethics!

The idea behind special collections is to facilitate navigation in the growing library, and to offer a selection of reference works in specific fields of ethics. The special collections are a resource for students and for advanced researchers and professionals who are entering a new field of research.

In this critical debate on the impacts of climate change and in the context of the current negotiations, it is important to create a discussion and information sharing platform. Such a platform will enable and improve research on climate ethics, invite dialogue and also bring in critical voices through the collaboration of specialists and researchers from all over the world. This collection has deliberately been made available ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico taking place from 29 November to 10 December 2010. 

The collection covers a range of topics, including climate justice principles, climate and development, climate and energy and politics. It explores and tries to answer questions such as: Who is responsible? Who will pay reparations? What is a fair, binding, yet ambitious treaty? Will it be achieved in Cancun and what failed in Copenhagen? with a view to providing information to be able to take decisions. Climate change is more and more seen as a matter of justice. The collection contains more than 400 documents from journal articles to institutional policy papers. As a dynamic and ongoing process, we have tried as much as possible to have a collection that is geographically and linguistically diverse that also represents a diversity of perspectives and opinions. You can find documents in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and more to come, from various parts of the world. 

We will continue to monitor and improve the collection and welcome your comments, suggestions and documents.

The Climate Ethics Special Collection is a project and is coordinated by Nadia Gianoli. It was developed with the support of an international advisory board, as all thematic collections of the library. The advisory board, for which we thank for its contributions, was composed of the following experts:

- Nikolaos Dimitriadis, Greece

- Guillermo Kerber, Uruguay

- James Martin-Schramm, United-States

- Jesse Mugambi, Kenya

- Dominic Roser, Switzerland

- Nancy Tuana, United-States

- Donald Brown, United-States 

New open access journals available in your library

We are glad to announce that thanks to our team of submitters and reviewers in South Africa (Helene Coetzee and Helena Coetzee) in India (Joseph Devaraj) and in Indonesia (Hasan Basri and Ninik Wafiroh - staff of Indonesia) we can offer you the following new titles:

  • Al-Jami'ah: Journal of Islamic Studies
  • Critical Currents
  • Journal of Ethics in Mental Health
  • Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
  • The Open Ethics Journal
  • Public Reason: Journal of Political and Moral Philosophy
  • Ecology Law Currents
  • Ecology Law Quarterly
We invite you to consult these journals in the list of journals titles. If you want to be alerted per email when a new article of one of these journals is published in your library, simply click on the button "join" in the journal's description page.


Check out the library search video tutorial

We sometimes get requests from new users about how to find the documents that they want in the library. In response to this we have prepared a step-by-step video tutuorial that takes you through a simple and more advanced search to be able to find exactly what you are looking for. Do send any questions or comments that you may have to us at

The Network

HARC Network newsletter launched

HARC, the HIV, AIDS and Religion Collaborative has issued their first newsletter this month for HARC participants.

The newsletter has been prepared by Julie Clague from the University of Glasgow, Dr. Gillian Paterson from Heythrop College at the University of London and Dr. Beverley Haddad from the University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa). HARC aims at connecting those working at the interface of religion and HIV & AIDS. 

Gender, Justice and Power workgroup opens

Gender, Justice and Power is the first workgroup of the World Council of Churches to be opened on Gender Ethics. This workgroup launches a platform for analyzing, theologizing and communicating as well as taking stock of expressions of power relations in the ecumenical movement and in society at large. During one year, this workgroup aims to produce a statement to mark International Women's Day on 8 March 2011, a publication on gender justice and power and host an event in conjunction with other movements protesting against violence against women.

This platform is being launched during the United Nations 16 Days of Activism in solidarity with women who suffer violence. The workgroup organizers want to bring together participants from diverse locations, beliefs and disciplines to address questions such as 'Is there gender inequality in our time?' and 'What are the issues being faced by women in the different regions of the world?' 

All are invited to participate in this workgroup but space is limited. The deadline for those interested in taking part in the workgroup is 31 December 2010. To make your request, login and go to the workgroup page and click on join.  

Over 12'000 registered participants!

This month has been, again, a very busy one for Network. In fact, we are delighted to report that we reached 10'000 participants on 5 November. The participant is from Mexico and works in the medical field. It's a very special event for a global community that has grown from 600 to 10,000 participants in the last two and a half years. As we are writing this newsletter we have reached 12'100 participants which represents a 50 percent increase within the last two months (the 8'000th participant was announced on 4 October). November also saw its 1'000th Indonesian participant. Who is going to be the next country to reach 1'000 participants? The United-States, Iran, Malaysia or Nigeria?

The statistics of registered participants show interesting results with regard to gender: 65 percent of the registered participants are male and 35 percent are female. There are also interesting differences depending on which country you look at. Countries like India, China, Iran, Kenya, Germany and Switzerland and many others show this gender imbalance whereas others like the USA, Greece, France and Indonesia have an equal participation of men and women. Then there are some Asian countries with a high growth in the number of participants where the majority of registrations are women. This is the case in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

A warm welcome to all the new participants; we hope that you enjoy the service and being part of the network.

If you are interested in finding out more about other participants you can search by country, subject of interest and activity and get an idea of this truly global and amazing ethics network. Just make sure that you are registered and logged in to have access to other participants’ profiles. We would also like to encourage you to add to your profile information about your work, your interests in ethics, research topics, etc. Do please keep your profile up to date, adding changes in contact details, especially email addresses.

You can access your profile from the dashboard My (first page you come to after logging in) and then click on profile in the horizontal navigation bar or you can click on My Profile at the very top of the page next to the language symbols.

Stay connected to and follow us on various social networks. features on more social networks

The presence of in the social networking arena is growing, with more followers and fans coming to our facebook, Twitter and Koprol pages. To find us more easily on the Koprol network, search for once you have signed into the network. also has a profile now on the under the name of Director, Dr. Christoph Stueckelberger for student entrepreneurs. As already has forums, blogs, workgroups and case studies that can be used for brainstorming and research, the Projects, Groups and Case Study features on have not been enabled on the pages. 

News from the International Secretariat

Newsfeeds: different articles in six languages is expanding the newsfeed feature on the home page to include different articles in six languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian and Spanish). There is currently one newsfeed with a variety of articles that include different languages though they are mostly in English. From 10 December you will be able to choose the language that you want to read your news in from the six options and each language specific newsfeed will carry different content. So the more languages you know the more news you will have access to!

Another important new feature is that from 10 December you will be able to consult the newsfeed archives, by date and by topic. Please tell us what you think of this new service when it comes online.

Visit to Myanmar

Amelie Vallotton Preisig,'s E-librarian in Geneva, shares her ethical reflections on a recent journey, as a tourist, to Myanmar:

Back from a trip in magnificent Myanmar, I wish to share some thoughts with the participants. Indeed the fact of choosing Myanmar as a touristic destination is in itself a dramatic ethical issue. Myanmar is also right now a hot topic in the news: the recent elections have been criticized all over the world. I am not a journalist and even less a politics specialist and therefore I do not claim to be able to give you the latest information or to provide an expert analysis of the situation of Myanmar. Besides sharing some thoughts about ethical issues linked to tourism in Myanmar my contribution mainly intends to report on the discussions that we had there with the people that we met, about the economic boycott; Aung Sen Suu Kyi’s position against tourism; governmental taxes on tourists’ expenses; reporting people's testimonies about their daily life. I promised them that I would share their testimonies with you because talking to tourists is one of the only means people have of informing the rest of the world about their situation. I invite you to read my text on my blog and to contribute with your reactions.

Global Ethics Forum 2011

The Global Ethics Forum 2011 is set to take place over two days in Geneva, Switzerland in the last week of June 2011. The Forum is being organized by and coordinated by Paris-based conference specialists EIE Global. This will be the second Global Ethics Forum; the first Forum took place at the United Nations in Geneva in 2009. More information about the dates, the programme and how to register for the Forum will be put up on the site in the coming weeks.

News from the Regional Programmes China

Programme Executive in Globethics Regional office in Beijing, Stella Yang has sent reports of two recent events in China that they attended to promote 

The International Conference on Information Ethics in China took place at Renmin University of China on 28 October 2010. Well known scholars from Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and from universities in China took part alongside IT specialists, government regulators and civil society organizations. Topics included the philosophical foundation of information ethics, IT applications and ethics policy, the impact of the Internet and games, information ethics and intellectual property and comparative studies of information ethics. The conference was the first large scale cross-border, cross-sectoral international conference on the subject.

The other event was the 30th Anniversary Celebration of China's National Association for Ethical Studies, which was accompanied by the first General Conference of Academic Achievement Award Presentation on 19 November at the Yi Fu Conference Centre. Nearly two hundred ethics experts from different research institutions both at home and abroad attended the meeting. Guojie Luo, Weicheng Xu and 12 other senior academic ethics experts received the lifetime achievement award and Junnren Wan, Xiaoxi Wang and a number of other scholars were presented with the academic achievement award. Keynote addresses were made on the topics of ethical principles, traditional ethics, Western ethics, applied ethics and other areas followed by animated discussions. India

The India regional programme launched in September 2010 will soon begin their search for a Programme Executive at 50%. More details about the post with the deadline for applications will be made available on the jobs page of the site from 10 December 2010. East Africa Founder and Director, Dr. Christoph Stueckelberger spent a large part of November conducting a series of lectures in East Africa. At the start of his trip he co-moderated a workshop together with Dr. Jesse Mugambi, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Nairobi to start the process of forming the East Africa Regional Programme.  The workshop took place at the All African Council of Churches guesthouse in Nairobi, Kenya on 29 October 2010. The workshop brought together some 15 participants from East Africa to look together at how can be made available to the region. Participants were invited to submit applications to host the programme. It is expected that the selection process will take place during December and that an agreement be signed early in 2011.

Democratic Republic of Congo: growing interest

The Director of, Dr. Christoph Stueckelberger was invited to give lectures on ethics (business ethics, media ethics, responsible leadership and overcoming corruption) and for leadership training sessions in three universities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): in Bukawu and Goma in east DRC on the border between Rwanda and Burundi and in the capital Kinshasa. The visit showed the great need for the online library, since there are almost no funds for books and journals for the physical libraries, even in those of the protestant universities which are listed among the best in the country. Therefore's efforts are very welcome in DRC. However, two main challenges for internet access remain. The first challenge are the frequent power cuts that often hinder internet access. One university with support from Europe has now installed solar panels to bridge power cuts and to enable more constant online work. Hardware support for an Uninterrupted Power Supply - UPS - (batteries) and other solutions are needed. The second challenge is that universities need to dedicate part of their funds, including funds from the library budget to decrease the costs of internet access and to increase the speed for downloads. Such hardware and software challenges exceed the core mandate and possibilities of, but we are willing to propose partners to help provide solutions.