Sixth Annual Ethics Conference

A delegate's perspective: The Ethics Institute held its  6th annual conference at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in May this year and it certainly provided, at least to this outside delegate, an intellectual spark to ignite the moral imagination.

To my mind, the conference theme ‘A time for courageous ethical leadership’, resonated deeply with the current South African mood and was epitomised by two of the conferences’ guest speakers – the Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela and the Auditor General Kimi Makwetu. An intimate panel discussion wherein both offered their personal reflections on ethical courage was the conference highlight, and served a timely reminder of the personal sacrifice underpinning the strength of our democ ratic institutions.The programme lineup was well-thought out and neatly balanced: Brand Pretorius on leadership, drawing on his own tenure in the business trenches, was followed by Prof. Stella Nkomo from the university of Pretoria whose talk on the impact of moral leadership on organizations provided the academic complement and corroboration to Brand’s practical experiences.  The afternoon programme attended to more-hands on matters with Dr Claudelle van Eck, head of the institute for internal auditors, referring delegates to the work of the anti-intimidation and ethical practices forum (, while Sabine Dall’Omo from Siemens spoke about organizational responses to whistleblowing. Ansie Ramalho from the IoDSA concluded the conference with a discussion on the upcoming King IV framework.

Enthusiastic participation on social media throughout the conference by delegates ensured that #EthicsConf2016 was a trending topic on Twitter on the day. A fine experience all round.