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WBEF in 2008

The Second World Business Ethics Forum with the theme of 'Rethinking the Value of Business Ethics' was successfully held on 11 and 12 December 2008 at Hong Kong Baptist University. It was a timely event as the world faces an unprecedented global financial crisis, calling into question the ethics of some of the core values in business and finance.

A total of 185 academics and practitioners representing 21 different parts of the world including Australia, Canada, China, German, India, Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK and USA attended the conference. A total of 54 papers were presented in 20 concurrent sessions. It has indeed been an occasion for academics and practitioners to meet colleagues from around the world, share ideas and discuss issues and research findings related in business ethics. The ethical issues discussed were diverse and extensive, including those related to corporate governance, marketing, accounting and finance, information system etc. Local participants from different tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and Macau mingled with international counterparts.

Over the years, the School of Business has gained prominence in the areas of corporate governance and business ethics in the region. One of our more recent achievements has been our inclusion in the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), an international academic network within the United Nations Global Compact. In adopting these principles, we are committed to creating educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable active learning experiences for responsible leadership. In line with the objectives of PRME, the 2nd World Business Ethics Forum provided an excellent opportunity for academics and practitioners to meet colleagues from around the world, to share and to discuss ideas and issues related to new thinkings and research findings in business ethics. A total of 54 papers were presented in 20 concurrent sessions on 11 and 12 December 2008.

On 11 December 2008, Professor CHENG Siwei (成思危教授), Former Vice-Chairman, Standing Committee of the National Peoples' Congress, People's Republic of China, was invited to deliver a speech entitled “Three Levels of Business Ethics”.

The ceremony was followed by the keynote speech of Mr. Wilfred WONG Ying-wai, SBS, JP (王英偉先生), Council and Court Chairman of HKBU on “Re-building Business Ethics”. A panel session focused on “The Practical Value of Business Ethics” was also held in the morning with the panelists including Mr. HU Shao-ming Herman, JP (胡曉明先生), Chairman of Ryoden Development Limited; Ms. Winnie NG (伍穎梅小姐), Director of the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre and Ir. Peter K. K. WONG, SBS, JP (王國強先生), Group Chairman and CEO of Kum Shing Group. The panel moderator was Prof. Simon S. M. HO (何順文教授), Dean of School of Business of HKBU.

Prof. Alex MICHALOS, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Business Ethics, delivered his speech on “The Monster of Supercapitalism” in the afternoon on Day 1. In the evening, Dr. Anthony NEOH, QC, SC, JP (梁定邦博士), Former Chairman of Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, gave a speech on "Can A Corporation Be Ethical?" at the conference banquet at Kowloon Shang-ri La Hotel.

Highlights of the programme on Day 2, 12 December, included a speech on "Putting Business Ethics into Practice — The Hong Kong Experience" by the distinguished speaker, Mr. Raymond NG (伍國明先生), Executive Director of the Hong Kong Ethics Development Centre of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), HKSAR.

The feedbacks from the participants are very positive and they have found the Forum very stimulating, fruitful and well-organized. The Conference details are available at the website: ied-wbef.hkbu.edu.hk/2008.
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