Business ethics are to hit the big screen in Nottingham during November in a season of films that explore issues around corporate social responsibility in global industry.
The Doing the Business season, which starts at the Broadway cinema on Tuesday November 6, has been organised in conjunction with the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR) in the Nottingham University Business School.
Screening on consecutive Tuesdays at 6pm throughout November, each film has been chosen by a guest speaker who will also provide the introduction and an associated blog post that will offer the opportunity to continue the debate following the screenings.
Maggie Royston, Business Development and Centre Manager for the ICCSR said: “This is the 10th season of Doing the Business, which aims to inform and to inspire debate and discussion. We hope that the local community — members of the public, special interest groups and local business people — will join students for the screenings and also visit our blog to join the online debate that will follow.”
Former Nottingham MP and environmental campaigner Alan Simpson will kick off the season when he introduces The Revenge of the Electric Car. An uplifting sequel to Chris Paine’s earlier documentary Who Killed the Electric Car, it follows four people’s battle to change one of the world’s biggest industries.
In his related blog, Alan — who describes himself as a ‘recovering politician’ who never tried to ‘toe the party line’ — argues that business is by its very nature ‘unethical’.
He says: “At one extreme, in the biggest economic crisis of my lifetime, the financial sector has demonstrated that, stripped of personal liabilities and corporate constraints, markets have no ethics whatsoever. Feral capitalism became only a distant relative of markets supposed to be open, accountable and ethical. Mission statements will not change that, but creativity, inventiveness and (sustainable) self interest just might.”
He concludes that it is society itself, rather than legislation, which should act as the most dominant force in influencing the actions of business and that companies must be encouraged to harness human inventiveness, determination and imagination to genuinely transform society. He adds: “Business has a right to demand that government must ‘raise the bar’ of social ethics. If businesses are to compete against standards set by the best, rather than by loopholes exploited by the worst, this is what the market rules must require. If business has a lever to offer government (and society) in making such changes, it is in the creative ability to deliver radical, workable and sustainable transformations.”
Also coming up during the month-long season will be:
• The Flaw, the latest film to explore the credit bubble that led to the banking crisis, takes its title from Alan Greenspan's airy remark that there was a ‘flaw’ in world capitalism. This film will be introduced by Philip Augur, a British author and a former Group Managing Director at Schroders plc. He is best known for his books on finance and writes regularly for the Financial Times and other publications. He was a member of the cross-party Future of Banking Commission chaired by David Davies MP in 2010 and the same year advised the Scottish Parliament’s inquiry into the banking crisis.
• Shadows of Liberty, a documentary by Jean-Philippe Tremblay, examines how corporate control shapes the news agenda in the USA. This film will be introduced by Jeremy Moon, Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility and the founding Director of the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR) at Nottingham University Business School.
• Canned Dreams, directed by Katja Gauriloff, takes the viewer on a journey through the supply chain of a tin of ravioli from Brazil to Denmark, Portugal, Poland, France, Ukraine, Italy, and Romania and France — where component parts are assembled into a tin can of pasta, sauce and meat. This film will be introduced by Alison Ward who works as sustainability advisor to businesses and NGOs and was formerly Associate Director Global Public Policy (Sustainability) at Kraft Foods and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Cadbury.
Further details about the screenings for the Doing the Business film season are available online at www.broadway.org or by contacting the Broadway on Broad Street, Nottingham, on 0115 952 6611. Normal ticket prices apply.
People are encouraged to join in the debate via the Doing the Business blog posts that will be appearing during the course of the season on the Better Business blog via The University of Nottingham’s website at http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/betterbusiness/
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