The Council’s origins go back to the late 1970s and a bitter international dispute. At the time the Columbus-based Ross Division of Abbott Laboratories became involved in the controversy triggered by the allegation that it and other multinational corporations (notably Nestlé) were unethically marketing their infant formula products to mothers in Third World areas. For several years, leaders from Abbott/Ross and central Ohio religious and educational institutions met to examine this issue in a non-confrontational way. The strategy of respectful but candid dialogue proved so fruitful that the participants decided to extend it to a broader range of issues and to a wider circle of persons. This evolution led to the establishment of the Council for Ethics in Economics.
Over the years, the Council’s basic strategy of creating careful discussion of controversial issues, informed by the best resources in applied ethics, has been used to advance ethical business practices at the local, national, and international levels. In times of widespread, erosive skepticism and cynicism about the standards of business life, the Council challenges businesspeople to study problems thoughtfully and to work with each other and with members of the public to find constructive courses of action. The members of the Council (individuals, church congregations, educational institutions, and corporations) form a strong leadership network for advancing good practices in business and economics. The close cooperation of people with various professions and backgrounds brings a valuable range of insights to specific issues. In order to better represent its focus, the Council former changed its name to the Council for Ethical Leadership.
In 2008, Capital University
and the Council for Ethical Leadership joined forces to advance and promote ethical leadership and ethics and accountability education in Central Ohio. This alliance, the Council for Ethical Leadership at Capital University,
creates a synergy that capitalizes on the Council’s 25-year history as a leading advocate for ethical leadership and applied ethics education, and Capital’s transformative education that cultivates moral reflection, civic engagement, leadership and service