On Thursday 20th October, the Gozo Business Chamber in collaboration with the Diocese of Gozo, the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, and Bank of Valletta organised the second conference on Ethics in Business which this year tackled ‘Development and Self-Interest’.  The Conference was held at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary, in Victoria. The main speaker form the event was Daniel Darmanin from the Centesimus Annus Foundation, who is also the current President of the Justice and Peace Commission. The other panelists on the event were Gordon Cordina, Chairman from Bank of Valletta, Anthony Zammit from the Interdiocesan Environment Commission, and Professor Simone Borg (Malta’ambassador for Climate Action).  Joseph Borg and Daniel Borg, President and CEO of the Gozo Business Chamber  also addressed the audience.  Bishop Anton Teuma delivered the concluding remarks.

In his opening of the conference Daniel Borg remarked that the environmental situation is such, that we need to act now at all levels.  In his introductory remarks Joseph Borg commented that the Chamber has always been vociferous on the subject of development, and that Business should be caring, ethical, and should strive to achieve the common good.  Daniel Darmanin reflected on the effect of development on our quality of life; the need for reflection about what is happening around us as a community and a society; and the need to engender values in our business and political environment.  He also questioned the type of values we are searching for, indicating that we are all connected and therefore all our actions are ethical.  In his reaction Dr Gordon Cordina emphasised that through collaboration and cooperation we can actually develop sustainably as we will not be seeking to take advantage over one another.  From a Bank’s point of view he remarked that similar to the way Banks had an insrumental role in the past ten years to combat financial crime, they will now have an important role in engendering environmental responsibility in businesses.  He also indicated that sustainability in itself will open up a significant number of economic opportunities.  Anthony Zammit  commented how not all development is wrong and negative, and not all construction is harmful.  However, he remarked how there is agreement that not all that is going on is good.  In this case the onus does not lie solely on construction, but on the whole economic set-up of the country.  He also commented how recovery starts with self awareness.  Professor Simone Borg noted that we are living beyond our own means when it comes to the exploitation of our natural resources.  She highlighted that appreciation of the unique product we have, not only from a heritage or environmental point of view, but also from an economic point of view, can actually change the present economic drive.  She also pinpointed the lack of investment opportunities which actually drive many people to turn to construction.  In his concluding remarks the Bishop of Gozo, Anton Teuma highlighted that we must stop and think, as everyone is part of the problem.  This should drive us to reflect on our own responsibility.  He remarked how without formation and without awareness, we cannot change.  Change comes from formation and education.  He said that we need to take action, quoting Pope Francis that the house is burning now, and therefore there is no chance of procrastinating further.

Francesco Pio Attard was the moderator for the event.

The Conference booklet which includes the programme, the abstract, and the speaker profiles can be accessed here.

The interventions/presentations can be downloaded through the following links:

One can follow the conference again here.

*This initiative was supported by the Ministry for Gozo NGO Assistance Scheme, a funding programme for Voluntary Organisations on the Island of Gozo.