Laszlo Zsolnai was Director of the “Ecological and Human Values in Business” CEMS Blocked Seminar from August 29 – September 4, 2004, in Monoszlo, near Lake Balaton, Hungary. Faculty included Knut J. Ims (Norwegian School of Economics & Business Administration, Bergen), Ove Jakobsen (Bodø University), Nel Hofstra and Aloy Soppe (Erasmus University Rotterdam), and Laszlo Zsolnai and Zsolt Boda (Corvinus University of Budapest).
The seminar explored the ecological and human values perspective for transforming business into a more ecological and human form. Business is considered an existential enterprise because its decisions and policies greatly influence the fate and survival of nature, society and future generations. Ecological and human values provide limits for business within which it is legitimate and productive. However, by transgressing ecological and human values, business activities become destructive and self-defeating.
The following topics were covered in the seminar: Business as Existential Enterprise; Buddhist Economics, Ecology and Economics; The Governance of Global Commons; Sustainable Entrepreneurship; Banking as if Nature Mattered; and Personal Responsibility and Ethical Business. In addition to the faculty presentations, invited speakers Matthew Hayes (Community Supported Agriculture Project), S-P. Mahoney (Enterprise Ireland Ltd.), and Géza Varga (Galgafarm) presented their experiences about alternative business practices. Judit Vásárhelyi (Independent Ecology Center) organized a visit to sustainability projects in the region.
Twenty-five students participated in the seminar and represented such CEMS member universities as the Helsinki School of Economics, Economics University Prague, Université catholique de Louvain, Bocconi University Milan, Albertus Magnus Universitat zu Köln, Erasmus University Rotterdam, HEC Paris, and the Budapest University of Economic Sciences.