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Work across Wits

Ethics in Public Life

The Wits Centre for Ethics is planning a five year program called Ethics in Public Life. Over the past two years WiCE has been producing high quality academic research published in prestigious international Philosophy journals. The Ethics in Public Life program will continue to do high quality research, but will take this out of the academic environment to engage with business, government and professionals.

Ethics training makes an important contribution to business: it is widely recognised that good corporate governance plays a crucial role in attracting portfolio investment and foreign direct investment, and ethics as a source of trust can be a competitive advantage for companies. All businesses can be affected by problems such as fraud, shrinkage, expense claims, a culture of entitlement, and relations to unions. In our country as a whole, crucial issues such as poverty eradication and crime have been seriously hindered by corruption. In addition the country faces many difficult decisions with respect to issues such as resource allocation, the conflicting interests of mining, development and the environment, patents, business responsibility to workers and consumers, and the brain drain. There are constant calls in the public for moral regeneration, but very little clear and specific content is given to such calls. These are the urgent issues this Centre will address in our Ethics in Public Life Program.

The program will involve public talks, conferences and workshops, as well as the development of short courses and workshops for business and professional people.

The core focuses of the Ethics in Public Life Program will be

  • Crime and Punishment
  • Accountability in public life
  • Poverty and Justice
  • Corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and the competition environment
  • Understanding Moral Regeneration
  • Media Ethics