Putting into action Globethics’ plan for global engagement and launching the bases of the new Europe and Central Asia Centre, on 25-26 April 2023, Executive Director Fadi Daou met with government officials, academic institutions, and civil society representatives in Sofia, Bulgaria.
During a packed schedule, Daou took part in discussions around the need for new approaches and ethical leadership in policymaking, as well as in higher and executive education, in the face of current international and domestic challenges.
The visit was an opportunity to introduce the new Globethics Strategy 2023-2027 and shape connections for future partnerships and collaborations with governmental agencies, universities, and international cooperation offices, among others, from South-East European countries. It also allowed space to hear more about the need for ethics education and ethical policymaking in the region.
Developing ethical leadership within governmental institutions was the key topic that Globethics’ director discussed with the Vice-President of the Republic Ms Ilyiana Yotova and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ivan Demerdjiev. Yotova shared that current education systems lack in preparing students for leadership, even less for ethical leadership, and highlighted the urgent need to restore trust and accountability between leaders and their base. Minister Demerdjiev asked Globethics to collaborate in the formation of public servants on ethics. In this framework, Daou met Prof. Ivan Vidolov, the Director of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior, which provides initial training and continuous education for the Ministry’s 7,000 employees, including border police.
Developing ethics in higher education, especially in the framework of digital and AI technologies, was the topic Daou discussed with Bulgaria’s Minister of Education, and the head of the Teachers Union in the country, Prof. Sasho Penov, exploring ways of collaboration, especially with regard to teachers’ capacity development and institutional policy enhancement.
At the International Conference on Intellectual Property and Academic Ethics at Universities, convened by the University of Library Studies and Information Technology (ULSIT), which also co-organised Daou’s visit to Sofia, Daou delivered a keynote speech on ‘Ethical leadership and intellectual property at the data age: the role of the university’. Globethics and ULSIT also signed a partnership agreement with Globethics on 26 April, paving the way for future work together towards ethical leadership.
The issue of plagiarism was also addressed with Prof. Stefan Hadjitodorov, Vice-President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, one of the largest and oldest research institutions in the Balkans.
Daou also met with representatives of the Universities of Nis (Serbia), Skopje (North Macedonia), and Trakyia (Edirne, Turkyie), some of the largest universities in the Balkans, discussing future collaboration with Globethics.
Developing inclusive citizenship and responsible governance was the third key topic of the visit of Daou to Bulgaria. He discussed this issue with the head of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, Prof. Ana Dzhumalieva, and the Commission’s members. A memorandum of cooperation between Globethics and the Commission is in the process of being signed. The same topic was also raised during the visit to the office of the Prosecutor-General of the country.
Bulgaria plays a strategic role in its region and Globethics looks forward to collaborating with academic, civil society, and government institutions on future educational and policymaking programmes to develop ethical leadership.
More photos on Flickr.