Business ethics and sustainable development – for tree huggers only!

An event called Global Responsibility takes place here at our campus on Friday 21.3.2014 at 12am. What it is all about and should you consider participating? I would say you should and here´s why!

We are students of School of business and information management and obviously we are all interested of doing business in the future. We know quite well that world is really interconnected today. People, products and money can easily travel around the world and thanks to the internet and jet planes most of that happens hundreds of times faster than couple of decades ago.

But how well we know the supply chains of the daily products we use? What kinds of phases are involved before some product is on your hands? Has worker got a salary that enables decent level of living? What kind of resources manufacturing has required? What consequences have the cotton cultivation or cobalt mining in Africa for instance?

Today we can see many threats and tensions growing on a global scale. We are talking about global financial crisis, debt crisis, growing unemployment and inequity, resource scarcity and climate change; even violent uprisings are taking place in many places in the world at the moment. All that has been growing hand in hand with huge economic growth that world has experienced in past history.

Global trade has been said to be good for enabling peace and easing tensions because parties trading with each other rarely go to war with each other. That is true but I would like to point out that it should be fair trade that is benefiting both parties, besides that it should also be sustainable trade. That means it should be certain that our trading also leaves something for the future generations to trade with. So is our global trade fair and sustainable? Official recordings reveal that the level of inequality is at its worst condition ever, and the activities we maintain globally are seriously unsustainable.

The biggest pollution comes from producing all the consumer goods that we all desire to have more and more. What makes us want to buy all that stuff that we do not actually need and what ends up to garbage soon after buying? Could it be that we are all under some sort of suggestion and influencing? Marketing is the subject that so many of us are interested to study here in Oulu UAS. What role does marketing, one of the biggest businesses in the world have in all of this? Is marketing always fair and honest, does it contribute to sustainability? Intelligent business student should be able to criticize the messages he receives from daily media and advertisements. Media literacy is very fashionable word, but do we actually know what it means?

Come to the Global Responsibility event and hear what development expert Eva Nilsson from Kepa ry and editor Jari Tamminen have to say about these topics. This event is originated from the students and it is organized by the students. Come there to listen what we think would be beneficial for you to hear and then do your own thinking! You might find it to be nothing but propaganda, but then again some one of you might find it to give fresh viewpoints to challenges we are facing in today´s globalized world.

Teemu Kalliojärvi

Veera-Maria Ahola

Students, Degree Programme in International Business

 

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