November 29 Webinar on Civil Conversations about Ethics

When: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. EDT
Cost: Free to EPAC members, $40 to others ($15 to students)

A 2017 PEW Research Center U.S. survey shows that “the overall trust in government remains near historic lows”. Surveys conducted in Canada show that Canadians report a decrease of trust in government. The erosion of trust is clearly evident in other arenas as well and where trust is lost, civility and ethical conduct are similarly diminished as recent examples of organizational fraud and scandal show (Wells Fargo, The Weinstein Company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, Volkswagen, etc.).

Ethics, trust and civility are interrelated and the way in which we conduct ourselves and communicate with one another in an ongoing way is important to developing and maintaining the mutual respect and regard upon which support of and fidelity to ethics depends. It is presumptuous to believe that having an ethics code motivates good conduct. All the aforementioned organizations had established ethics systems and processes. As John Tait remarked in the 1996 publication A Strong Foundation: Report of the Task Force on Public Service Values and Ethics: “[Codes and rules]…have their place. They are even essential at certain times and for certain purposes. But they are not enough. They work when they capture what is already the strong conviction and broad practice of a community.”

It is important to encourage and preserve respect and civility in dealing with difficult conversations. In many ways before we can talk responsibly about ethics we need to talk about how we talk.

Our presenter is EPAC director Craig Ervine. Craig holds degrees from Waterloo (BA and Ph.D) and Queen’s Universities (MA). His early studies focused on applied philosophy in legal, business and negotiation topics. He also has a Master’s of Laws degree from Osgoode Law School where he focused on alternative dispute resolution (negotiation and mediation in the context of labour relations and organizational systems). His work experience includes credit union governance and training; workplace health and safety; and mediation.

Please join Craig Ervine for an interesting and informative exploration of some ideas and strategies for preserving civility and respect in managing difficult ethics conversations.


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