Current Refugee Crisis Plunges Existing Paradigms: How Rich Are We Really?

Brussels, Belgium
13th November 2015

The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and the world reveals how the public and private sector have failed to pass timely strategies that ensure the creation of shared value. The scenario Europe is facing and the political clashes between and even within countries should not come as a surprise to many. The annual symposium of the World Forum for Ethics in Business on 20th November at the European Parliament will put the crisis into perspective.

More than ever we must ask ourselves how our wealth and successes are measured. Can we consider the European countries wealthy and successful if hundreds and hundreds of innocent people are losing their lives in front of our doors almost every day?

The upcoming World Forum for Ethics in Business’ annual Symposium on 20th November 2015 at the European Parliament will call on the global community to put ethics and human values at the forefront of their entire decision-making and to shift from an obsolescent mindset to a much-needed inclusive, value-based leadership.

‘Now is the time for us to come together and plan how we can build a sustainable future, and bring peace and prosperity to mankind. Business beyond borders went hand in hand with service beyond borders. Today, to sustain this we need to have values beyond borders that can prevent wars, man-made disasters. The scope of business has expanded beyond just the creation of wealth to creating an ethical and moral society everywhere’, urges Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB) prior to the symposium.

‘Economic parameters alone have rendered themselves insufficient of accurately depicting national progress and wealth. Business is not separate from the world it operates in. The bottom line needs to evolve to represent the multiple facets of business performance including adherence to ethics, good governance, contribution to creating shared value and ability to care for the planet’, adds Rajita Kulkarni, President of WFEB.

‘Society is in dire need of reclaiming humanity, of re-evaluating and resetting its goals for development. But values in themselves are not enough. And wrong and immoral ends are deadly. We need a wise and ethical vision that will bring all of humanity together guide societal change’ says Hon. Mr. Jigmi Yoser Thinley, Former Prime Minister of Bhutan, who will be one of the symposiums’ keynote speakers.

The 11th edition of WFEB’s annual symposium will see a line-up of leading decision-makers from the public and private sector, development agencies, government, sports and media to challenge old paradigms of business and institutional goals and to emphasize on the importance of the double bottom line approach for a positive social impact.

This multi-stakeholder summit will reflect on ways of cooperating towards initiatives that foster long-term sustainable growth with individual wellbeing as the ultimate success for both public and private sector. The symposium will also raise the question of how do we define and measure wealth and wellbeing and will look into different aspects of mental health.

Recent business ethics scandals like seen with Volkswagen are expected to dominate the agenda as well.

Amongst the confirmed speakers are Roland Koch, Chairman, Supervisory Board, UBS, Former Minister-President of Hesse; Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee; MEPs Alojz Peterle Jo Leinen and Nirj Deva; Dr. Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President Leadership, Learning and Innovation, World Bank, Jörg Himmelmann; Director, Global Training, Daimler AG and Bernhard Schwager, Head of Sustainability, Robert Bosch GmbH.

The recipients of the 2015 WFEB Ethics in Business Award, which honors individuals and companies that have demonstrated the importance of ethics in life and in business, will be announced during the conference.

The Symposium is organized by WFEB together with its strategic partners The World Bank, International Association for Human Values and Eurochambres.

Over the past twelve years, Nobel Laureates, political leaders and top executives from global companies have participated in this event and innumerable stories of transformation at a personal as well as at a corporate level have taken place.

The upcoming symposium will be completely paper-free, making all conference materials available via a mobile phone application.


The International Leadership Symposium on Ethics in Business starts on 20th November 2015 at 9.00am. Prior registration is required on Participation is free of charge. The full program and speakers list is available on

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