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 Inequality to be put under the spotlight in Stellenbosch

2014-07-02 14:00
Issued by MediaVision on behalf of USB-ED

The Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa), the African business ethics organisation with members in 25 African countries, is set to convene in Stellenbosch later this year with Stellenbosch University to play a major role in the conference programme.

This will be BEN-Africa’s 14th annual conference and the third time that it will be hosted in South Africa.  In line with BEN-Africa’s tradition to tackle issues of current importance, the theme of this conference will be “Equal in an Unequal Society.”

Prof Arnold Smit of the USB-ED Centre for Business in Society is the current president of BEN-Africa and will act as the conference chair.

BEN-Africa was formed on the equator in the heart of Africa in 1999 with the founding conviction to bring together Africans who share an interest in business ethics and to expand business ethics on the African continent. The organisation believe that through interaction, both theoretical knowledge and practical skill in managing, ethics will be enhanced.

The Centre for Business in Society form part of USB Executive Development (USB-ED), the public executive development and training company of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), with the mandate to make the sustainable development agenda of the 21st century relevant to leadership, organisational and societal learning.

Prof Smit said that the involvement from a business school perspective carries specific significance in a year that USB celebrates its 50th anniversary. “It offers an opportunity to reflect on the role of a business school in equipping leaders and managers to deal appropriately and responsibly with the complex societal challenges that businesses and organisations are constantly faced with”, Prof Smit said. 

The aim of the conference, to be held at the STIAS Wallenberg Centre in Stellenbosch from 1 to 3 October 2014, will be to pursue answers to the question on how to guide business in eliminating unjust inequalities, and promoting sustainable development and an economy based on fundamental ethical values.

The conference programme is planned around the following activities:
  • Keynote addresses that will focus on Quality Education in an Unequal Society; Bridging Inequality through Philanthropy and Global Responses to Inequality from a Business Ethics Perspective.
  • Panel discussions on Inequality Challenges in the African Context and Business and Business Education:  Stretching or Bridging inequality?
  • Learning journeys to sites where conference participants will engage with the manifestations of inequality in the South African society
  • Papers based on the conference theme presented by scholars from various countries
  • A gala dinner where thought and practice leaders in business ethics will be honoured.

Stellenbosch University role in the conference programme will be Prof Stan du Plessis, the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, delivering the welcome address. Prof Piet Naude, the new Director of USB, is a past president of BEN-Africa and will do the positioning keynote speech for the conference theme.

USB-ED CEO, Frik Landman, will participate in a panel discussion on the role of business and business education in addressing the inequality challenges in South Africa and on the African continent. 

Apart from the keynote speeches and panels, practitioners, academics, public and private sector individuals are invited to submit papers for consideration for presentation at the conference and inclusion in the African Journal of Business Ethics.

For more information about submitting papers visit The deadline for submission is 31 July 2014.
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Africa; Business in Society