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September 22-23, 2011

Responsibility in Economics: The Legacy of E.F.Schumacher (1911-1977)


Center for Ethics, University of Antwerp, Belgium

The present worldwide economic, social and ecological crises have created fertile ground for claiming the need for an internationally recognized text setting out human responsibilities: a conference will be looking at this issue ...










International Annual Conference of the European SPES Forum, organized by the Center for Ethics, University of Antwerp, in collaboration with the Business Ethics Center, Université Corvinus, Budapest and the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation



Keynote speakers: Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation and director of the New Economics Institute (the E.F. Schumacher Society), Luigino Bruni, Department of Economics, University of Milano-Bicocca

The present worldwide economic, social and ecological crises have created fertile ground for claiming the need for an internationally recognized text setting out human responsibilities. A Charter of Human Responsibilities was launched by the international Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation as a pre-text. It is a tool for dialogue and a text in evolution. The European SPES network takes up this challenge and produces reflection and papers. The 100th anniversary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth is an ideal opportunity to launch this particular discussion on responsibility. It invites us to rediscover the author of Small is Beautiful (1973) and his philosophy of responsibility as elaborated in his Guide for the perplexed (1977). In his last publication, Good Work (1979), Schumacher integrated as one of the first economists the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSRS).

Topics of interest:

  1. A confrontation between Economics as if people mattered as introduced in Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful with the present state of the economy and business, integrating responsibility.
  2. Exploring the relationship between CSRS and its present developments with Schumacher’s publication Good work.
  3. Rediscovering the ethical and spiritual focus behind responsibility as Schumacher outlined it in his Guide for the perplexed.

We look forward to contributions from a wide range of academic and professional perspectives. Possible topics of interest are not limited to the description above but must be brought in relation with the Charter of Human Responsibilities. Papers with reference to one of Schumacher’s publications are particularly welcome.

Scientific Committee: Luk Bouckaert (K.U.Leuven); Luigino Bruni (University of Milano); Henri-Claude de Bettignies (INSEAD, Fontainebleau) Hendrik Opdebeeck (University of Antwerp); Diana Schumacher (co-founder Schumacher Society), Mike Thompson (CEIBS, Shanghai); Luc Van Liedekerke (University of Antwerp); Laszlo Zsolnai (Corvinus University, Budapest)

Abstracts of papers: These should be sent no later than January 15, 2011 to the Scientific Committee (Hendrik Opdebeeck and zsolnail at mail.interware.hu). Participants are asked to provide a detailed abstract of their planned paper (about 500 words) accompanied by a short biographical note (200 words) including e-mail address(es) of the author(s).

Notification of acceptance for presentation: will be given by February 28, 2011. Acceptance of presentation will not be final until the full paper is submitted by May 15, 2011 and at least one author has registered for the conference. A selection of papers will be published by Peter Lang.

Published on: 12 January 2011
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