Mary C. Gentile, PhD – University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
How can you effectively stand up for your values when pressured by your boss, colleagues, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite?
Educator Mary Gentile empowers business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values and align their professional path with their principles. Her book, Giving Voice to Values, is inspired by a curriculum Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, with interim support from Babson College and now based at University of Virginia Darden School of Business and which has been piloted in over 1,020 schools and organizations on all seven continents.
Challenging the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools, she argues that often the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Drawing on actual business experiences as well as social science research, Gentile offers advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas.
Mary C. Gentile, Ph. D., is creator/director of Giving Voice to Values, the Richard M. Waitzer Bicentennial Professor of Ethics at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, senior adviser at the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program and consultant on management education and leadership development.
Christian U. Becker, PhD – Colorado State University, College of Business
Sustainability has become a crucial challenge of the 21stcentury and will significantly impact the future of the economy and business. Sustainability issues cause factual challenges for businesses and also result in new ethical challenges. Christian Becker will explore the ethical dimension of sustainability in detail and discuss normative underpinnings for a sustainable economy and the question of how to define and realize business as a positive force in the 21stcentury. He will argue that the ethical perspective is an important strategic perspective on how to position business for the challenges and economic transformations of the 21stcentury.
Humans have become the dominant force on earth and human activities substantially impact and overuse the resources and sinks of the planet. This geological age of human dominance has been labeled the Anthropocene. Increasing resource scarcity and environmental degradation are a major challenge for the economy of the 21stcentury and will significantly influence the future of business. Sustainable use of the earth’s resources matters for continuing a thriving economy and its ability to promote wellbeing of the current and future generations. Sustainability challenges are interlinked with new ethical challenges, such as moral responsibilities for environmental impacts and impacts on future people.
Against this backdrop, businesses face new strategic and ethical challenges. Businesses need to analyze and address risks and opportunities in the sustainability context and optimize their environmental and societal performance. For this, business ethics approaches, such as corporate responsibility strategies, have become crucial for addressing sustainability challenges and contribute to risk and strategic management. In this context, there is also an increasing need for advanced reporting of reliable, standardized, comparable, and verified environmental and societal performance data. This links to the expertise of the accounting profession and its potential for contributing to data-based sustainable business practices and the development of a sustainable economy.
Christian U. Becker is Senior Clinical Professor at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. His research areas include theoretical and applied ethics, sustainability studies, and philosophy of economics. He is the author of Sustainability Ethics and Sustainability Research (Springer, 2012) and Business Ethics. Methods and Application (Routledge, 2018)
Chris Ritsema, PhD – Colorado State University, College of Business
Chris Ritsema is a Clinical Professor in the College of Business at Colorado State University. She received her PhD in accounting from the University of Arkansas. She has won teaching awards including Accounting Professor of the Year, and MBA professor of the year. She teaches courses in intermediate accounting, advanced accounting, accounting ethics, and teaches in CSU’s MBA program.
Mike Bearup – Denver Office Managing Partner, KPMG LLP
Mike has more than 35 years of experience providing audit and business advisory services to the technology, biotech, software, manufacturing, medical device, and venture capital industries. He has significant experience with initial public offerings, ongoing periodic reporting for publicly traded companies, and mergers and acquisitions.
He also has significant experience in international operations of U.S.-based services, manufacturing and technology companies. In Mike’s role as Office Managing Partner, he serves as the Account Executive on several accounts. In this role, he is responsible for meeting with the Audit Committee and key members of management to get feedback on services and work with the engagement team to bring KPMG’s insights and relevant resources.
Mike works closely with Audit Committees on governance issues, as well as on other issues that are impacting the Audit Committee’s agenda. He leads KPMG’s Colorado and Wyoming Audit Committee Peer Exchanges, as well as bi-annual Denver Audit Committee Institute roundtables.
Mike also serves on the KPMP LLP Board of Directors as the Lead Director.