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The Inaugural ETHOS debate ...

ETHOS - the Centre for Responsible Enterprise at Cass
The debates have started ...

ETHOS is a leading centre for cutting edge thinking about responsible enterprise, based in the City of London at Cass Business School. The three key pillars for guiding exploration efforts at ETHOS are responsibility, sustainability, and governance.

Responsibility - How might organisations be made responsible for their social and environmental impacts, to whom are they accountable, and how can we ensure they play a more responsible role in society?

Sustainability - How can we ensure that organisations and their operations remain sustainable and take into account long-term environmental and social impacts?

Governance - How can we ensure that our organisations and institutions serve the public interest? How can we deal with prioritisation and marginalisation of interests in our systems of governance?

ETHOS engages in world-class research, teaching and engagement on responsibility, sustainability, and governance, and at ETHOS we have attracted some of the world's leading faculty on these areas. ETHOS has extensive links with researchers, NGOs, companies and policy makers around the world, and our work is extensively reported in international media. 

On 28th May, they held their first of a series of five debates that WCoMC, through our Charitable Fund, are supporting. This first debate centred on metrics - how to interpret the rash of new sustainability measures and rankings (the picture to the left was tweeted from the debate). As with all measures, in their early days there are inevitable 'health warnings' and consequently the first debate was quite an eye-opener for those of us who are relatively new to this area. Ultimately, the message to me was: "think carefully about the metrics and what they are trying to show". It was certainly interesting hearing two leading practitioners and two academics using their experiences and research to "open the black box" of sustainability metrics. Certainly there were figures a-plenty on the screen. We have all been warned!

Our Company's Trust Fund has a tradition of supporting Cass Business School, particularly the Centre for Charity Effectiveness. The ETHOS centre is a new venture for Cass and one which we believe will point the way to improved governance in the Third Sector as much as in any other. Consequently, we have supported their debates with a modest grant. Our expectation is that there will be follow up round-table discussions and papers will be published - all of which will help inform the whole Third Sector and our work in particular. We also expect this will raise our company's brand awareness across all sectors - especially as the ETHOS team have very broad contacts.

Also, if the first debate is indicative of the future - we have been approached by a number of potential new Freemen, people who are seeing our work and involvement in the Ethical Debate for the first time.

I am looking forward to the next debates with great interest.


Patrick Chapman
Chairman, The Company of Management Consultants Charitable Fund