Ethics and Sustainability Award 2011

The Dr. Jürgen Meyer Foundation, in cooperation with CBS International Business School, awarded the Ethics and Sustainability Award, worth 4,000 €, for the first time. A total of four prizes were awarded by the Foundation and the Business School in the categories of “social project and “academic research”. A great number of applications were received from students and graduates from CBS and other universities. The jury, which comprised representatives of the Dr. Jürgen Meyer Foundation, CBS and the worlds of business and politics, selected the most promising projects and theses.

The winner of the first prize in the “social project” category was the University2Business (U2B) initiative. The project was organised by a group of socially active CBS students who initiated this networking and recruiting series of events. U2B enables students at CBS and its partner universities to make early contact with companies. The annual event is particularly focused on sustainable networks and the productive exchange of knowledge between the business world and university. The second prize in this category went to a group of CBS students who granted the special wishes of seriously ill children. The students worked in cooperation with wünschdirwas e.V., a charity in Cologne that has been granting special wishes and ensuring special experiences for sick children for 22 years, bringing the children new enthusiasm and energy. The award winners wanted to grant more children’s wishes and so got regional companies involved in the project who then provided financial support. On the evening of the awards, Dr. Wolfgang Link, CEO of Toys”R”Us, who presented the awards, represented the first company that pledged its support.

There were two “academic research” award winners. A student at Universität Köln was given a prize for his final thesis, which investigated ethical investment to find out what conditions are necessary for high profits and ethical principles to co-exist. The winner of the second prize was a CBS student who wrote an excellent empirical work on sustainable staff management and corporate strategies leading to the fair treatment of staff. The jury requested that he continue his work on this subject. The donors of the awards thereby selected a new direction for the year ahead: current research work will be supported and comprehensive research will be made possible by a scholarship.

CBS Vice President Dr. Klaus Götze welcomed the guests on behalf of the Management Board

“We are proud to include some very prestigious universities in this venture, thanks to the creation of a new award, which also aims to support students’ commitment to business ethics,” said Dr. Klaus Götze, Vice-President and CEO of CBS. “I hope that the Ethics and Sustainability Award will act as a role model for other universities and institutes of learning in our region.”

The Chairperson Rüdiger Winkler spoke on behalf of the Dr. Jürgen Meyer Foundation

On the occasion of the award ceremony, Rüdiger Winkler, Executive Director of the Dr. Jürgen Meyer Foundation, provided a brief summary of the Endowed Chair for Business Ethics and Sustainability, which was initiated the year before by CBS and applies to teaching in all degree programmes at the CBS and thus underlines the importance of business ethics issues in university teaching and research. “CBS was the right university to fulfil the aims of the Foundation, which puts ethics at the centre of business life. We are on the right path to making this Chair a model for other universities.

Prof. Dr. habil. Matthias Fifka during the ceremonial address

The ceremonial address was given by Prof. Dr. Matthias Fifka, former Holder of the Endowed Chair at CBS, which is funded by the Dr. Jürgen Meyer Foundation. Before he warmly congratulated the award winners, he spoke about the causes of the financial crisis and made it very clear to the guests just how important business ethics issues are if we are to prevent further crises.

The award winners of the first Ethics and Sustainability Award were: Clemens Wergen (Universität Köln), Thorsten Maus, Sabine Grimm, Katharina Günther, Andreas Müller (all CBS) and the CBS team University2Business.

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