Laszlo Zsolnai made a presentation on „Spirituality and Biodiversity Management” in the „Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century” conference at Concordia University in October 23-25, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. He argued that biodiversity is an intrinsic value and can be preserved if we go beyond the materialistic and instrumental mindset of economics by embracing spirituality and non-material values.
Laszlo Zsolnai was keynote speaker in the Creating Sustainable Organizations: Ethics, Economics and Well-Being conference at the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba in September 25-26, 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada. One of his lecture was about „Trajectories of Transition toward Ecological Sustainability” while his other lecture was about „Economic Rationality versus Socio-Ecological Reason”.
Laszlo Zsolnai presented his paper „Human Reason in the Age of Economic Unreason” at the International Workshop on “Teleology and Reason in Economic and Social Affairs” at the Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, June 30 – July 1, 2014.
The paper analyses the rationality assumptions of mainstream economics and shows that they are empirically misleading and normatively inadequate. It argues that the world ruled by self-interest based rationality of economic actors leads to ’unreason’ from a wider ecological and human perspective. The paper illuminates that human reason requires a different way of economic functioning which implies a redefinition of the final goal economizing.
Laszlo Zsolnai gave a faculty lecture on Trajectories of Transition toward Ecological Sustainability at ESC Rennes School of Business on April 24, 2014. He argued that competitiveness oriented business practices are incompatible with ecological sustainability and human well-being because they do not know ecological limits and ethical principles. Community-based economic activities aiming at sufficiency and frugality are more promising for creating a sustainable world.
Laszlo Zsolnai was lecturing at the “Should we get rid of CSR?” international seminar at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management on February 18, 2014. He argued that the opportunistic use of ethics is counter-productive for business because It is perceived as cheating by the stakeholders who will react accordingly. Ethics brings material benefits for companies if and only if it is not used to produce material gains. If we want to get closer to a sustainable and ethical world we need to generate virtuous circles where good dispositions, good behaviour and good expectations reinforce one another.
On November 27, 2013 Laszlo Zsolnai gave a faculty lecture at the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Corvinus University of Budapest on the perverse effects ofecessive executive compensation. He argued that one-dimensional economic incentives may destroy existential, social, and ecological values that influence the manager’s commitment to ensure responsible business conduct, and have negative spillover effects that may reduce the manager’s performance.
Initiated by Laszlo Zsolnai the Von Hügel Institute of the St. Edmund College, University of Cambridge organized an international workshop on „The Economic and Financial Crisis and the Human Person” on June 8-9, 2013 in Cambridge. Participants from Cambridge, Oxford, Leuven explored the current problematic from a humanistic spiritual point of view.
On April 23, 2013 Laszlo Zsolnai gave a faculty presentation on Responsible Leadership and Reasonable Action at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, Virginia, USA. In his presentation entitled "Responsible Leadership and Reasonable Action" he argued that business leadership should pass the test of ecology, future generations and society. It means that responsible leadership seeks holistic value creation, i.e. achieving the goals of organizations or communities in ecological, future respecting and pro-social ways.
Laszlo Zsolnai was lecturing on Ecological Sustainability and Collaborative Business at the Business Beyond Tomorrow conference organized by the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University in Montreal on Marh 15, 2013. A related video was produced with him on the importance of changing the self-interest doctrine of our time.
The Buddhist Economics Research Platform, the Loden Foundation, Bhutan and the Hungarian Bhutan Friendship Society in partnership with the European SPES Forum and the European Buddhist Union organized an international workshop 'Buddhist Values in Business and its Potential for Europe' on 24-25 November 2012, in Brussels (Belgium). Partly inspired by Bhutan's Gross National Happiness, the workshop was designed for people from the business or academic sectors interested or involved in Buddhist Business/Economics as well as for entrepreneurs, university students and leaders of Buddhist organizations. Laszlo Zsolnai served as a keynote speaker in the workshop. His presentation was about Western Economics versus Buddhist Economics.