I was active in fighting agains the Bős-Nagymaros Dam project in the 1980s and 1990s. The project aimed at constructing a huge, artificial system consisting of a canal and two dams for electricity production. It was not only highly destructive in environmental and cultural sense but also economically irrational because it required about USD 3 billion for the completion, but this investment would never recovered through the benefit of electricity production.
As a student (and later as a professor) of economics and business I was not ready to accept the centrality of self-interest in motivating business actions and evaluating the performance of companies. I have never shared the belief of mainstream economists and businessmen about the benefitial effects of the "invisible hand" of the market. I always felt that something fundamentally wrong with the self-interest doctrine.
The painting "Pilgrimage to the Cedars of Lebanon" by Tivadar Kosztka Csontvary is a celebration of the magficence of nature and the dignity of human spirit. Let us hope in the renewal of humanity in the years to come.
Tivadar Kosztka Csontvary: Pilgrimage to the Cedars of Lebanon, 1907
Since the late 1980s mankind has been operating in overshoot. Our ecological footprint has exceeded the world’s biocapacity by about 30 percent. This means that the planet’s resources are being used faster than they can be renewed. The problem is especially acute for the Western countries which use 600 – 300 percent of their fair earth share.
On 19 January 2010, Henk van Luijk passed away at the age of 80. Professor van Luijk was one of the pioneers of business ethics and is considered as the patriarch of business ethics in Europe. He was the inspirational chairman of the European Business Ethics Network (EBEN), an organization that was set up on his initiative, and which he co-founded, in 1986. (See In Memoriam)
"Taormina" by the Hungarian painter Tivadar Csontvary represents the state of the world and the state of the soul. What we have today is a partly destroyed world and a much disturbed soul but fantastic cultural heritage and still magnificent nature. Much to preserve and renew.
In July 1797 Nelson led a doomed assault on the Spanish island of Tenerife in which he was hit in the right arm by a musket ball shortly after stepping ashore. Bleeding heavily, he was taken back and his injured limb was amputated. Within 30 minutes Nelson was again issuing orders to his men. (See the full article.)
Imagine a today's CEO who suffers a similar job-related accident. What would he or she do? Almost certainly, he or she would claim a huge compensation for the injury and give up the job forever Admiral Nelson returned to work in half an hour and did his duty. "That was a man."
In his major books Edward Goldsmith ("The Blueprint for Survival", "The Way") he relentlessly argued that for achieving real sustainability greening of business is not enough. People and communities should radically reduce their ecological impacts and try to live within the bounderies of their environment. (See full article.) This approach is reflected in our book "Business within Limits" and my paper "Green Business or Community Economy?".
The Financial Times ranking presents the Masters in International Management program of CEMS the best in the world in 2009. As CEMS Business Ethics Faculty we contributed significantly to raising the ethics profile of the program in the last 12 years. Our various contributions are reported under the heading "CEMS Projects".