Democracy and Values
How Democratic Societies Foster Shared Values and Hold Leaders to Account
a Global Ethics Network Conference in Athens, Greece – April 25, 2015
Theodoros Karatzas Building of the National Bank of Greece, 82-84 Aeolou, Athens
|09.20 am||Opening Announcement|
|09.25 am||Welcome word – Elizabeth Filippouli – Founder & CEO Global Thinkers Forum|
|09.30-09.45am||Opening Keynote – Joel H. Rosenthal, President Carnegie Council|
|09.50-10.05 am||Main Keynote – Professor Dimitri Nanopoulos, Physicist/President Academy of Athens|
Panel: Leadership & Accountability
The Carnegie Council/GTF Conference in Athens is an intensive, multi-phased dialogue with 100+ Greek academics, public officials, business leaders, activists, students, and citizens. With their support, we will pursue ethical questions that lie at the heart of the Greek tradition of democracy and develop a new understanding of global citizenship that transcends national borders. The retreat of virtue has become the plague of our times. Greed is legitimate; to have riches however obtained, including outrageous bonuses or avoiding tax, is the only game in town. But across the west the consequences are becoming more obvious. Politics, business and finance have become blighted to the point that they are dysfunctional, with a now huge gap in trust between the elite and the people. How shall we hold leaders accountable?
Moderator: Iliana Schmatelka – Managing Director, International Leadership Institute, Austria/Bulgaria
Panel: Democracy and its Challengers
While democratic regimes struggle with grid-lock and stagnation, single-party governments (like those found in China, Singapore, and also Russia) are proving more amenable to swift and decisive decision-making and a capacity for managed economic growth and development. Their perceived success challenges the moral privilege often accorded to democratic regimes, according to which democracy is validated by its moral features: a shared commitment to equal deliberation, constitutional limitations on coercion, and the ethical premise that each should count for one, and no one should count for more than one. Is democracy’s moral privilege deserved?
Moderator: Shahira Amin, Award-winning Egyptian journalist
|12.45 – 1.45pm||Light buffet lunch|
Panel: Collective Liability
Governments sometimes undertake actions that impose liabilities on their populations – for example by undertaking loan agreements create an obligation to repay, or by undertaking immoral or illegal acts that create an obligation to make compensation or restitution. Under what conditions do these liabilities assumed by governments generate legal or moral liabilities for the population at large? What role does democratic accountability play in this collectivisation of financial and other liabilities?
Moderator: David Rodin, Carnegie-Uehiro Senior Fellow; Global Ethics Fellow; Member of “Ethics & International Affairs” Editorial Board
Panel: Corruption & Trust
In a democracy, the principle of accountability holds that government officials—whether elected or appointed by those who have been elected—are responsible to the citizenry for their decisions and actions. Transparency requires that the decisions and actions of those in government are open to public scrutiny and that the public has a right to access such information. Both concepts are central to the very idea of democratic governance. Without accountability and transparency, democracy is impossible. In their absence, elections and the notion of the will of the people have no meaning, and government has the potential to become arbitrary and self-serving.
Moderator: Devin T. Stewart, Senior Programme Director & Senior Fellow Carnegie Council
Panel: Business and Ethics
Ethics concern an individual’s moral judgements about right and wrong. Decisions taken within an organisation may be made by individuals or groups, but whoever makes them will be influenced by the culture of the company. The decision to behave ethically is a moral one; employees must decide what they think is the right course of action. Ethical behaviour and corporate social responsibility can bring significant benefits to a business and to society at the same time.
Moderator: Yannis Koutsomitis – TV Producer/Eurozone Expert
|7.30-10pm||Seated Dinner at Old Town Hall Athens (Invitation Only)|