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Annual European SPES conference 'Responsibility in Economics. The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher'
Schumacher integrated as one of the first economists the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSRS). The 100th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth is an ideal opportunity to launch the particular discussion on responsibility.
Center for Ethics, Antwerp
22-09-2011 - 23-09-2011
The present worldwide economic, social and ecological crises have created fertile ground for claiming the need for an internationally recognized text setting out human responsibilities. A Charter of Human Responsibilities was launched by the international Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation as a pre-text. It is a tool for dialogue and a text in evolution. Now professional networks like Europe SPES are involved in more than 25 countries around the world to produce reflection and action papers. The 100th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth is an ideal opportunity to launch this particular discussion on responsibility. It invites us to rediscover the author of Small is Beautiful (1973) and his philosophy of responsibility as elaborated in his Guide for the perplexed (1977). In his last publication Good Work (1979) Schumacher integrated as one of the first economists the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSRS).

On neweconomicsinstitute.org one finds a tribute to E.F. Schumacher.

On September 22 and 23, 2011 the European SPES Forum held its seventh international Annual Conference on Responsibility in Economics and the Legacy of E.F. Schumacher. The conference was hosted by the Center for Ethics, University of Antwerp in collaboration with the Business Ethics Center, Corvinus University Budapest. The conference was supported by the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer and Batiself.

=> Click here for Pictures of the conference.

The aims of the seventh European SPES Conference are:

(1) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth
(2) to confront what Schumacher calls “Economics as if people mattered” with the need of responsibility in current economics and business
(3) to contribute to a Universal declaration of human responsibilities

Scientific Committee
Luk Bouckaert (K.U.Leuven); Luigino Bruni (University of Milano); Henri-Claude de Bettignies (INSEAD, Fontainebleau); Gerrit De Vylder (Lessius College); Hendrik Opdebeeck (University of Antwerp); Diana Schumacher (co-founder Schumacher Society); Mike Thompson (CEIBS, Shanghai); Luc Van Liedekerke (University of Antwerp); Laszlo Zsolnai (Corvinus University, Budapest)

Thursday, September 22: The legacy of Schumacher
9.00 Opening of the Conference

Welcome by Hendrik Opdebeeck (Centre for Ethics Antwerp/European SPES Forum)

9.10 “Economics as if people mattered”
Chair: Diana Schumacher (co-founder Schumacher Society, UK)

- Walter Moss (Eastern Michigan University, Department of History and Philosophy, US)
- Laszlo Zsolnai (Business Ethics Center, Corvinus University Budapest, Hungary)
- Paul Jorion (Le Monde, author of Le Capitalism à l’agonie, 2011)

11.00 Coffee break

11.30 “Small is Beautiful”
Choice between 3 breakout sessions with 3 paper presentations

13.00 Lunch

14.00 “Good Work”
Chair: Henr-Claude de Bettignies (Insead/Ceibs)

- Philip Bruce (CEO Scott Bader Company, UK)
- Simon Trace (CEO Practical Action - Schumacher Center for Technology and Development, UK)
- Zubin Mulla (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India)

15.30 Coffee break

16h-17h On the Edge of the Forest/ Gandhi’s India (Films on E.F. Schumacher) with a testimony by the documentary film-maker Jonathan Stedall

17.30 Evening Celebration Schumacher as “a Guide for the Perplexed”
Chair: Werner Trio (VRT Klara - Flemish Public Broadcasting)

- Barbara Wood (Daughter and Biographer E.F.Schumacher, UK)
- Susan Witt (Director of the New Economics Institute, US)
- Riccardo Petrella (University for the Common Good, It/Be)

19.30 Conference Reception

20.30 Conference Dinner

Friday, September 23: Responsibility in Business & Economics
8.30 Moment of spirit: Barbara Wood

8.45 Responsibility in Economics redefined
Chair: Gerrit De Vylder (Lessius / SPES-forum)

- Stewart Wallis (executive director of the New Economics Foundation, London)
- Luk Bouckaert (President European SPES Forum)

10.15 Coffee break

10.45 Interactive workshop Towards a Charter of Human Responsibilities, Business & Economics
Chair and workshop host: Jochanan Eynikel (director SPES Academy)

- Edith Sizoo (Coordinator International Committee of The Charter of Human Responsibilities)

- Interactive Responsibility-café with all speakers and participants of the conference

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Responsible Practice
Choice between 3 break-out sessions with 3 paper presentations

15.30 Coffee break

16.00 Concluding Remarks on the Conference by Laszlo Zsolnai Annual European SPES Meeting

The conference will take place at University of Antwerp.

Address: Hof Van Liere, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp-Belgium.
Google Map

Conference Fee & Registration
  • Full Programme: 235 euro
    The fee includes conference participation, conference file, coffee/tea breaks, lunches, conference reception and dinner on Thursday September 22. Accomodation is not included, however a list of conference hotels will published shortly. Early bird rate eligible for registrations made until and including June 15

  • Sept 22 only: 150 euro (including lunch, reception and conference dinner)

  • Sept 23 only: 100 euro (including lunch)

  • Evening Celebration September 22nd: 25 euro (SPES members: 20 euro)
    The fee includes participation to films on Schumacher (16h) followed by the evening celebration and the conference reception (19.30).

  • Registration
    Please register by filling in the Registration Form. You can register for the conference or the evening celebration. Your registration is only complete after confirmation from European SPES Forum and as soon as the amount due is transferred to the account of European SPES Forum:

    European SPES Forum
    Waversebaan 220
    B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium)
    +32 (0)16 39 84 71
    IBAN BE21 7350 1021 5603

    - until September 8, 2011: 100%
    - after September 8, 2011: no refund

    Accomodation should be arranged and booked by the participants themselves. Special conference offers are made by the following hotels, selected within varying price classes. To profit from the conference rates please use the appropriate reservation code.

    Hotel PRINSE (****)
    - Single 108 euro / double 128 euro
    - walking distance to conference venue: 2'
    - Reservation code: SPES 2011
    www.hotelprinse.be / hotel_prinse@skynet.be

    DE KEYSER Hotel (****)
    - Single: 92 euro / double: 112 euro
    - walking distance to conference venue: 10' (and 1' from Antwerp Central Station)
    - Reservation Code: SPES 2011
    www.hoteldekeyser.be / reservations@dekeyserhotel.be

    IBIS Antwerpen Centrum (***)
    - Single: 87 euro / double: 95 euro
    - walking distance to conference venue: 15'
    - Reservation code: SPES 2011
    www.ibishotel.com / H1453-SB@accor.com

    Residentie ELZENVELD (***)
    - Single college room: 57 euro
    - walking distance to conference venue: 15'
    - Reservation code: SPES210911.
    www.elzenveld.be / info@elzenveld.be

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