Institute of the Weltethos Foundation
at the University of Tübingen

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History and Sponsors

In recent years, the economic and financial world has experienced numerous crises, scandals and challenges. In this context, it is becoming increasingly clear that the global economy urgently needs an ethical framework. Based on Hans Küng’s Global Ethic idea, the Global Ethic Institute is therefore committed to an economy that offers solutions to social challenges.

The Institute was founded in April 2012 by the Global Ethic Foundation in cooperation with the University of Tübingen and the Karl Schlecht Foundation. This was made possible by the generous support of the founder Karl Schlecht, inspired by his guiding principle of promoting a humanistic ethic in the profit-oriented economy.

“Real leadership success becomes genuine when built on trust, on good decision-making and on loving what you do. This requires an active and productive character orientation based on humanistic education.”
(Karl Schlecht)

In accordance with its statutes, the internationally active institute has set itself the goal of promoting ethical language and action in business as well as the dialogue between cultures. The central areas of activity of the Institute are therefore teaching, research and dialogue with executives and the scientific community.

The programmatic basis for research, teaching and practical transfer in the field of business is the manifesto “Global Business Ethic – Consequences for the Global Economy”, which was developed by the Global Ethic Foundation. One focus is on the development of applicable concepts for implementing a Global Business Ethic.

Prof. Dr. Claus Dierksmeier was Director of the Institute from its foundation until June 2018. The Professor of Globalization and Business Ethics, who has received great recognition in professional circles with his book “Qualitative Freedom – Self-Determination in Global Citizenship Responsibility” and his activities in the field of Humanistic Management, among other things, has succeeded in establishing the Global Ethic Institute as a constant in the dialogue with business, but also in the research landscape.

His successor in June 2018 is the theologian and entrepreneur Prof. Dr. Dr. Ulrich Hemel. With his predecessor, he shares not only membership in the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, but also agreement on the academic priorities: social and economic sciences, theology and philosophy. As editor of the anthology “Global Ethic for the 21st Century”, Hemel laid the foundation in October 2019 for a comprehensive learning programme for global and individual responsibility, which presents Global Ethic approaches in the fields of economics, peace and conflict research, communication science and justice, as well as digitalization and education.