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Conference Oct. 19 focuses on business ethics in the 21st century

BOONE—Entrepreneurship and emerging technologies, as well as the science and ethics of accelerating inequality and climate change are the focus of the “Business Ethics in the 21st Century” conference Friday, Oct. 19, at Appalachian State University.

Welcoming remarks begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Broyhill Events Center’s Helen Powers Grand Hall.

Panelists are faculty members from Appalachian’s Walker College of Business, Research Institute for Environment and Energy, Sustainable Development program, Sustainability Council, as well as the Department of History and the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

The conference is sponsored by Appalachian’s Walker College of Business. The event is free and open to the public; however, because space is limited, online registration is required at http://business.appstate.edu/ethicsconference.

Information about the conference as well as video clips from previous ethics conferences are online at http://business.appstate.edu/ethics.

Shuttle service will be available from Raley Hall to the Broyhill Events Center on AppalCart’s blue and gold routes and on a university shuttle bus.

The conference is coordinated by Dr. Alan E. Singer, the James Holshouser Distinguished Professor of Ethics at Appalachian. He will lead the discussions following the formal welcome. For more information, email Singer at singerae@appstate.edu.

Panelists and conference attendees will be invited to consider a range of views about what is most likely to happen in the areas of technology, environment and global inequality in next few decades and what influential businesses and entrepreneurs ought to do about it.

The conference will open with a short video clip in which a past president of The Royal Society remarks that the “biggest concern about the 21st century is that we should survive to see the end of it.” The Royal Society, a fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists, is the United Kingdom’s independent national academy, representing the British scientific community within Britain and in relations with individuals and groups of scientist throughout the world.

Following the clip, a 9:15 a.m. panel discussion will provide historical and managerial perspectives on business ethics in the 21st century. The panelists are professors Hugh Hindman and Heather Dixon-Fowler from the Department of Management, with two economic and social historians, professors Jari Elarontaj and Lucinda McCray from the Department of History.

At 10 a.m., professors Jerry Fox, Ben Powell and Alan Singer from the Walker College of Business and distinguished professor Jonathon Kotch from UNC Chapel Hill will lead a discussion of 21st-century technologies, including advances in healthcare.

After a short break at 10:45 a.m., a panel discussion on sustainability will begin at 11:15 a.m.

Among the panelists who will respond to concerns about the world’s “survival” are Professor John Pine, director of Appalachian’s Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics; Ged Moody, chair of Appalachian’s Sustainability Council, with Professors Robin Byerly from the Walker College of Business and Cynthia Wood from the Sustainable Development Program.

At noon, philosophical issues surrounding 21st-century business ethics will be discussed by philosophy professors Jesse Taylor, Monique Lanoix and Kim Hall, with Professor Bud Gerber from University College.

Closing remarks will begin at 12:45 p.m. and the conference will adjourn at 1 p.m.

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