‘Ethics, Trust, Transparency’ examined at Nov. 2 conference at SMU

News and Information, SMU.edu, October 27 2011

DALLAS (SMU) – As demonstrators gather in cities across America to protest a range of woes, from economic inequity and corporate greed to the power of lobbyists, SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility — in conjunction with the Cox School of Business — will explore the ethical practices of big business and government in a Nov. 2 conference.

Leading business analysts, financial journalists and government watchdogs will be featured during the event, “At Issue: Ethics, Trust and Transparency: Business, Government and the Case for Voter Concern.”
The conference is set for 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the James M. Collins Executive Center’s Crum Auditorium on the SMU campus.

With the 2012 presidential election a year away, Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk says that voter dissatisfaction already is evident. “It’s time to take a serious look at what we can do to address the problems that confront us,” she says. “This call for ethical leadership advances the case that voters must demand the government they want, build the communities they desire and build businesses that reflect our yearning for a better life for our families.”

Kirk has extended an invitation to the conference to North Texas business leaders and elected officials, including the Dallas City Council, noting, “Your presence at this conference would help us make a bold statement about our community's commitment to ethics.”

Conference highlights include:

“The Trust Barometer: Why Should We Care?” 8:30 a.m.

Edelman Corporation President and CEO Matthew J. Harrington will discuss his company’s annual “Edelman Trust Barometer,” a widely anticipated survey of opinion leaders across the globe. “Trust is more than a virtue. It’s an imperative,” Harrington says. “It’s a tangible asset that must be created, sustained and built upon. Companies must build deep trust within their organizations, in the way they address the financial marketplace and treat employees, the environment and other key stakeholders.” Just as trust benefits companies, he says, “mistrust or lost trust has costs.”

“Tell It Like It Is: The Ethics of Financial Transparency,” 9:05 a.m.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Mark Vamos, the William J. O’Neil Chair of Business Journalism and Journalist-in-Residence at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Vamos, former editor-in-chief of the national business magazine Fast Company and former senior editor at both Newsweek and BusinessWeek, will join Allan Sloan, senior editor-at-large with Fortune, and Terry Smith, president and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.

Sloan was recently interviewed by KERA public radio's "Think" about the state of the economy. Listen to the interview.

“Responsible Business Leadership,” 9:55 a.m.

Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News, will moderate a panel with featured speakers Mike Boone, attorney and founding partner of Haynes and Boone LLP of Dallas; Kathleen Edmond, chief ethics officer of Best Buy, and Doug Levy, CEO of Dallas-based advertising agency imc², whose clients include many of the world’s leading corporations.

“Ethical Leadership in Government,” 11 a.m.

Mike Davis, senior lecturer at the SMU Cox School of Business, will moderate a discussion featuring Arthur Athens, director for the U.S. Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership; Don W. Fox, acting director and general counsel for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics; and Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

“Earning Trust: A Demand for Ethical Leadership,” 12:15 p.m.

The lunchtime address will be given by John Allison, philanthropist, former banking executive and Distinguished Chair of Practice at Wake Forest University.

For more details, visit http://smu.edu/ethicscenter or call 214-768-4255. A live web stream will be available at the ethics center website.

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