Marc Le Menestrel
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The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme: Brussels Nov. 2011

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by Marc Le Menestrel (10/11/2011)

On November 10, I was invited to teach a short session on Values, Ethics and Leadership to the Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme in Brussels.

Part of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, this programme appears to me as one of the most advanced and proactive programme in Sustainability and Leadership.

In fact, given the proactive positioning of the programme, I was expecting some reluctance from participants to see their “dark side”, which I believe is a pre-condition for any intellectually honest work on ethics.

In reality, I was surprised to observe that many of the participants were ripe for self-questioning and far from being self-serving in their thinking.

I believe this reflects the quality of the three days they had attended and I am glad to have experienced this particularly high-level and enlightened audience.

It was a priviledge to meet and discuss with executives at the highest level, for instance from the oil industry in Irak or Nigeria, thus gathering precious perspectives for my udergraduate teaching of these issues (see for instance my undergraduate seminar on Shell in Nigeria).

Even in a short session, it was possible to share concrete and effective ways to better think, act and communicate about ethical leadership.

In particular, I expressed the idea that a credible communication about sustainability requires to identify and share, in the appropriate manner, the extent to which we are not sustainable.

Ethics is one of the most difficult and fascinating dimension of business today, in particular because it links the very inner part in each of us with the destinity of our species. In this assignment, I felt how much walking this path requires us to be centred.

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