Despite the challenges of going virtual, the 10th Anniversary conference of Australasian Business Ethics Network (ABEN), chaired by Dr Heather Stewart from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation (BSI), successfully came together earlier this month, with the support of Dr Alessandro Bressan from the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA), Associate Professor Eva Tsahuridu and Dr Julia Benkert (Swinburne University). Taking advantage of the virtual environment allowed opportunities to engage with leaders in the field along with participants from across the globe. The conference ran from December 7th to 9th and was opened by Professor Francis Campbell (UNDA).

Professor Ed Freeman talked about the challenges business ethics academics have and how they can add value in the wider business community in the future. As one participant noted:

Not surprisingly, Ed Freeman’s keynote was a highlight”

Professor Ed Freeman presenting the keynote – ABEN2020

As part of the industry panel, Adjunct Professor Rod Welford participated in the conference, adding his insights to the discussion on “Business not as usual” and how business and academia can work together to navigate through crises such as COVID-19. Vigorous discussion followed with session topics covering business ethics education, decision making, leadership, accounting and entrepreneurship.

Another feature of the ABEN conference is the special interest groups in accounting, qualitative methods and education. This year the interaction and sense of community was reinforced despite the boundaries of being online. In the Business Ethics Education special interest group an adaption of ping pong reinforced what one participant noted:

“The ambience was just warm and welcoming.”

Virtual ping pong in the Business Ethics Education group where ethics, sustainability and innovation were put into practice.

The focus of ABEN is on the Australasian context, however the 60 participants included those from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Russia, USA, UK, China and Japan.

ABEN is a collegial group that works to support academics of all levels and connecting with industry by providing an arena to share ideas in a supportive environment. This is demonstrated through the annual conference, mid-year workshops, the Jan Schapper Scholarship and Ecstra grants.

For more information about ABEN please contact Dr Heather Stewart: [email protected]