Notre Dame Ethics Week: The power of ‘local’

by Carol Elliott

Ethics Week

Ethics Week

Going “local” has become a popular movement in shopping and agriculture, transforming entire industries and communities as people discover advantages in relying on the resources in their own backyards.

As it turns out, the movement also applies to leadership. “Lead Local, Lead Global” is the theme of University of Notre Dame Ethics Week 2018, which takes place Feb. 12-15 (Monday-Thursday) at Notre Dame’s Stayer Center for Executive Education. The event includes individuals and organizations from the Notre Dame and local community who exemplify business leadership focused on advancing the greater good through entrepreneurship, civic contributions, education and training, and other efforts.

The event is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership.

“In many ways, this year’s theme draws on the founding vision for the college of business, which states in part that the primary function of commerce is service to mankind,” said Ethics Week coordinator Brian Levey.  “We’d like to remind our students that there is important business being done right here in South Bend. They don’t have to go off to Chicago, New York or Los Angeles to make a difference. They can do it here.” All events are free and open to the public.

Levey added, “They can start a business (or nonprofit) or work for a local one. They can help create ‘something out of nothing’ by providing much-needed services, products, jobs, tax revenues and so on in the local community. And to the extent they don’t stay in South Bend, they can take the example of folks in our community and replicate it elsewhere. Thus the theme: 'Lead Local, Lead Global.'”

The full Ethics Week schedule is as follows:

Feb. 12 (Monday), 4-5 p.m.: Bob Burke, founder of LadderUp, a Chicago nonprofit that provides low-income families and individuals with tax assistance and financial planning tools; as well as students from the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s Tax Assistance Program, which provides help with tax preparation to local citizens.

Feb. 13 (Tuesday), 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Regina Emberton, president and CEO of the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership, a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 communities in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan; and Jeff Rea, president and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Feb. 14 (Wednesday), 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Alex Liggins and Alex Sejdinaj, co-founders of the South Bend Code School, an organization that provides training and coding experience to people from all walks of life; and Brian Kubicki, general counsel of Gibson Insurance and former president of the board of the South Bend Education Foundation.

Feb. 15 (Thursday), 4-5 p.m.: Karen Haun, co-founder of coffee-roasting company Bendix Coffee; and Michael Lindburg, founder of South Bend Woodworks, makers of heirloom-quality toys, games and other hardwood products.

Now in its 21st year, Notre Dame Ethics Week takes place annually in February and brings in experts from a diverse array of industries to explore current ethics issues. The series was established to encourage the discussion of ethical matters in undergraduate and graduate business classes at Notre Dame and to secure a foundation for future discussions inside and outside the classroom. 

Ethics Week honors the legacy of John Houck, a Notre Dame management professor who authored numerous works on business ethics, including “Is the Good Corporation Dead?” Houck died in 1996.

For more information about Notre Dame Ethics Week, contact Brian Levey at (574) 631-3560 or blevey@nd.edu.

Originally published by Carol Elliott at mendoza.nd.edu on January 25, 2018.