Globethics.net through its events and partnerships in 2018 has shown how important it is to take a holitstic approach by making ethics present and relevant in all areas of life, across disciplines, sectors and themes.
Aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 4, to 'ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities', Globethics.net has brought ethics into the picture and has organised several conferences in Switzerland, Africa and India to raise awareness on the integration of ethics on the curricula and in institutions. Educational institutions are being encouraged to promote and foster ethics within their institutions' processes, in their statutes and codes as well as in their institutional life and practice through the professional and personal behaviour of their staff and students.
In June 2018 more than 100 vice-chancellors, teachers, policy makers, ethicists and other stakeholders from all around the world attended the Globethics.net International Conference in Bossey, Switzerland. They were invited to sit around the same table, to share experiences and together answer the question 'How to translate and make ethics practically present and relevant in the classroom and lives of students, teachers and professionals who emerge from higher education institutions?'
During the conference, the keynote speakers, panellists and presenters of academic papers and workshops, representing a broad base of stakeholders in the field of higher education, enriched the dialogue by bringing to the table different perspectives on the benefits of embedding ethics in higher education.
In the second half of the year, thanks to the strength of Globethics.net partnerships and of their regional programmes, conferences and training workshops were organised in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) and in India. These conferences were carefully prepared and implemented to address the specific needs of each occasion and institution in the their particular country context. Through these national and local events, local partnerships flourish.
Ethical issues that impact higher education and society
Globethics.net has not only organised events but has also been advocating and speaking out on critical topics that affect the higher education sector and society as a whole. Globethics.net's Executive Director and President and Founder have been invited to attend and contribute to the discourses with contributions on the place of ethics in education, in the economy and investments, in the environment and in cyberlaw, among other topics.
Together with over 80 ministers of education and other stakeholders Globethics.net participated in the Second ForumBIE (Balanced and Inclusive Education forum) of their partner the Education Relief Foundation (ERF) in Mexico City in November 2018.
Globethics.net contributed to the ERF's Global Guide of Ethics, Principles, Policies and Practices in Balanced and Inclusive Education, which was launched at the Forum. For this occasion Globethics.net staff prepared a paper on ethics, linguistics and inclusive education, presented the Globethics.net Declaration of Inclusive Education and signed the International Call on Balanced and Inclusive Education. The participation of Globethics.net in this Forum and the signing of the International Call is part of the commitment of Globethics.net to promote impartial access to information and education and to overcome exclusion of the marginalised by providing free resources on its online platform and enabling inclusion through its projects and programmes.
In September 2018 Globethics.net Executive Director, Obiora Ike, was invited to give a speech on the importance of ethical investments and responsible leadership at the Seminar of experts on financial inclusion held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in preparation for the G-20 Summit. At this event Dr Ike emphasised the need for sustainable and responsible investors and leaders. These are leaders who are committed to raising awareness about and to addressing serious situations of injustice, instances of profound social inequality and unacceptable conditions of poverty affecting communities and entire peoples.
Aware of the rapid evolution of cyberspace development and its consequences for users and content and source providers and surveillance authorities, Globethics.net attended the International Cyber-Conference in India in November and made a contribution to include the critical area of cyber ethics in the Outcome Document. This document provides clear recommendations on 'key thrust areas' and informs the various stakeholders on the decision-making processes and procedures as they move forward to deal with the complicated challenges concerning cyberspace.
Strengtheningand sustaining ethics through partnership
Globethics.net is fortunate in being able to count on a broad base of partners who cooperate in different ways to ensure that ethics is kept high on the agenda and that resources on ethics are made available. These partners have shared the journey this year, taking forward the vision and mission to serve and advance ethics in higher education, for the good of institutions, teachers, students, professions and society as a whole.
Looking back on 2018 immense gratitude is due to Globethics.net funding and project partners, including the U.W. Linsi-Stiftung, Bread for the World, Misereor, the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Renovabis and the Geneva Agape Foundation. They walk together with Globethics.net giving not only financial but also moral support and practical guidance and accompaniment.
The members of the Globethics.net Consortium on Ethics in Higher Education, both institutional and individual members, and the current members of the Consortium of the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib) have demonstrated their ongoing engagement in so many ways.
Similarly the Globethics.net regional programme teams and directors and antional contacts around the world have given unstintingly of their time, creativity, knowledge and networks to grow and develop the vision and mission where they are in their own countries.
Partners in the non-profit and academic sector have and continute to support and contribute to Globethics.net's work, including the International Council for Open and Distance Learning, Arigatou International, Jesuit Worldwide Learning, Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, national ethics centres and institutes and academic library partners to mention just a few. Novalogix provides invaluable support for the Globethics.net website and the World Council of Churches has continued as host, service provider and project partner.
Last but not least thanks are given to the members of the international Board of Foundation of Globethics.net, the Head Office team in Geneva, to the volunteers and mandate holders and most of all to all Globethics.net participants in the network, thank you.