June 3 - 8, 2019
Who is responsible for stopping and preventing climate change? What can be done against global inequality and poverty? Can universal norms (e.g. human rights) be justified? How can global justice be linked with local traditions, cultural diversity and values based on religion and world views? Which chances and challenges arise for society from an ethical perspective as a result of the growing use of artificial intelligence and increasing digitization and robotization? Present and future generations are confronted with these and similar ethical challenges on a local, national, regional and global level. Ethics affects every facet of human being and activity. In science and research, all disciplines are confronted with ethical issues.
"Building a Global Network for Sustainable Responsibility – the Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context" is organized under the patronage of UNESCO and enables those active in the fields of science and research to examine moral questions and ethical topics of today and tomorrow in a global context – beyond the boundaries of academic fields, cultures, traditions, religions and world views – and to search together for solutions and the possibilities of implementing them. This involves critical analysis, constructive discussions and the consideration of different perspectives.
This practical and action-oriented dialog forms an ideal breeding ground for nurturing a constantly expanding, global network of committed decision makers of today and the future who exchange knowledge, advise, work together and carry out joint research. The guiding principle of this endeavor is "Know how, act now".
Photos: © Roberto Conciatori
Goals & Measures
“Building a Global Network for Sustainable Responsibility – the Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” aims to make a long-lasting impact by following the project goals consistently:
- Teaching specific methods and instruments used in ethics so that the participants learn how to deal with moral dilemmas and how to cope with ethical challenges in the respective fields of study.
- In dialog with the faculty and each other, enabling the participants to gain additional specific skills beyond their own subject in fields such as environmental ethics, technology ethics, business and finance ethics, intercultural ethics, human rights ethics, biomedical ethics etc.
- Establishing a global exchange network for a worldwide networking of skills.
- Enabling alumnae and alumni to address moral questions and ethical topics in their working environment and to advise others on these topics and questions. This allows them to contribute to societal, political, institutional or organizational opinion-making and decision-making processes from an ethical standpoint and thus play a key role in creating a better present and future.
- Developing specific ethical skills that open up new opportunities for alumnae and alumni as unique selling points for their careers (for example, in the field of corporate social responsibility).
- Developing the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” further – on one hand in relation to the phases of the academic career (BA, MA, PhD, postdoc) and on the other in terms of the topics discussed – in order to enable participants to explore topics in more detail and allow for interdisciplinary research possibilities.
Building a Global Network for Sustainable Responsibility
Globalization also demands a global, interdisciplinary discourse on ethics and networking of the committed decision makers of today and the future. The project focuses on promoting the development and sustainable expansion of a “Global Network for Sustainable Responsibility” with ten specific measures:
- Interactive teaching and learning methods towards a practical interdisciplinary discourse
- Specific program points used for targeted networking
- Joint networking activities with a specific follow-up in mind
- Active mentorship – participants act as mentors to each other and contribute their respective expertise and neutral perspectives in an advisory capacity to two final papers
- Implementation of joint projects with an ethical relevance based on the fundamental knowledge learned during the Summer University
- Annual conferences towards continuous thematic and project-related dialog
- Participation of alumnae and alumni at research at the ISE
- Regular online exchange events
- Online work and research platforms
- Continuous interaction with the faculty through consultation and regular discussions on possible joint research projects and study/research partnerships
Unique Value Propositions
"Building a Global Network for Sustainable Responsibility – the Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context" has the following unique value propositions – all of which are founded on the basic principle of "Know how, act now":
- To train the participants in critical analysis, respecting different perspectives and holding a constructive debate on moral questions and ethical topics of today and tomorrow in a global context.
- To bring those active in the fields of science and research together to discuss moral questions and ethical topics – beyond the boundaries of academic fields, cultures, tra¬ditions, religions and world views – and to promote this exchange on a long-term basis in order to also achieve globalization in the interdisciplinary discourse on ethics.
- To form a constantly expanding, global network of committed decision makers who have their finger on the pulse thanks to their active participation and, moreover, are able to anticipate new topics and developments of ethical relevance.
Skills and responsibilities
- Participants use specific methods and instruments of ethics to deal with moral dilemmas and to master ethical challenges in their respective fields of study.
- In dialog with the faculty and each other, participants gain specific skills in the field of ethics.
- Alumni address moral questions and ethical topics in their working environment and advise others in these topics and questions.
- Alumni become ambassadors for the professional and thorough handling of contemporary ethical challenges and moral questions in a global context and thus bring their newly acquired skills into the macrosocial discourse so that their respective occupational, geographical and cultural contexts can also benefit.
- The “Global Network for Sustainable Responsibility” promotes a continuous worldwide networking of skills, together with exchanges and advice between those active in the field of science and research.
- Mentorship requires commitment, involvement and responsibility towards third-party projects, and gives the mentor a sense of ownership with regard to the respective project.
- Alumni carry out projects of ethical relevance together based on the fundamental skills learned as part of the Summer University.
- Together with the faculty, alumni develop interdisciplinary research projects and outline international study and research partnerships.
- The entire content of the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” is made accessible to distance learning students in the form of online podcasts.
- Two evening events open to the public will take place as part of the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context”, and will also be broadcast to a wider audience via live stream.
- The commitment of the alumni in their respective occupational, geographical and cultural contexts results in the promotion of snowball effects.
- Accompanying communication and media work as part of the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” in the respective contexts of the alumni increase interest and awareness of ethical challenges and moral questions in a targeted manner.
- Thanks to the patronage of UNESCO, the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” takes up a promising international position that directly benefits Switzerland as a research hub.
- Relation between ethics and law
- Global inequality and poverty
- Climate change
- Global justice and human rights
- Escape and migration
- Finance and economy
- Digitalization and robotization
- Artificial intelligence
The faculty of the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” is both interdisciplinary and international. It follows a hands-on approach and brings together experts from international organizations, science and research, business, arts, and interfaith and intercultural dialog:
Prof. Dr. Christine Abbt, Chair for Political Philosophy, University of Lucerne
Prof. Dr. Boudewijn de Bruin, Professor of Financial Ethics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen
Dr. Susana Chacón, Vice-President of the Club of Rome
Thomas Coombes, Head of Brand & Deputy Director, Communications, Amnesty International
Prof. Dr. Bruno Staffelbach, President of the University of Lucerne
Prof. Dr. Stephan Rothlin, Director of the Macau Ricci Institute, Founder & CEO of Rothlin International CSR Management Consulting
Prof. Dr. Robert Vorholt, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, University of Lucerne
Ani Zonneveld, Founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values
PhD and Doctoral students as well as MA students from around the world and from a variety of disciplines can apply to take part in building a global network for sustainable responsibility by participating in the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context”. They do this by demonstrating their interest in present and future ethical issues in a global context and by having specific plans on how they can achieve a positive effect by implementing the skills learned at the Summer University in their individual situation and academic work, not to mention what they would bring to the global and interdisciplinary network of people involved in the fields of science and research.
The "Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context" offers a specific program for PhD and Doctoral students and a specific program for MA students.
Applicants should send us the following documents (written in English):
- signed application form (pdf)
- curriculum vitae (one page/500 words)
- recommendation letters from two professors (300 words each)
- letter of motivation (one page/500 words) that illustrates why you wish to participate in the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context”, what you hope to gain from your participation for your academic career, and how you will implement your new knowledge locally (e.g. on campus, in your community, …)
Please send the documents via email to: ise@ unilu.ch
Applicants who wish to participate in the “Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context” must apply by February 15, 2019. The decision on participation will be communicated within five weeks after the registration deadline.
The participants will achieve an internationally recognized certificate and 3 ECTS credits will be rewarded for
- preparation work (20 hours),
- active participation to the courses (30 hours) and
- the final paper (25 hours) on the action-based clarification of an ethical issue that is relevant for one’s own context and implementing the results accordingly – accompanied by two other participants as mentors.
Good command of English is required. The Summer University is conducted in English in its entirety and students are required to actively participate, both orally and in writing.
Thanks to its solid foundations in the Institute of Social Ethics ISE at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Lucerne and the patronage of UNESCO, «Building a lobal Network for Sustainable Responsibility – the Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context» benefits from international partnerships with a range of different universities, including:
- Yale University (USA)
- Asian Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies Chennai (India)
- Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies Nairobi (Kenya)
- University of Cape Town (South Africa)
- University of Sydney (Australia)
- University of Tokyo (Japan)
Without partners, the "Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context" would not be possible. Our project is made possible by, among other:
- Mercator Foundation Switzerland
- State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
The "Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context“ is realized in collaboration and under the patronage of UNESCO.
Prof. Dr. theol. lic. phil. Peter G. Kirchschlaeger
Director of the Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context; Professor of Theological Ethics; Director of the Institute of Social Ethics ISE
Coordinator Lucerne Summer University: Ethics in a Global Context
T +41 41 229 52 27 – juliette.wyler @ unilu.ch
University of Lucerne
Faculty of Theology
Institute of Social Ethics ISE
P.O. Box 4466
6002 Lucerne, Switzerland