The following considerations are based on ISBEE’s mission and on the experiences of its Congresses in Tokyo (1996), Sao Paulo (2000), Melbourne (2004), Cape Town (2008), Warsaw (2012), and Shanghai (2016).


  1. General description of the Congress

The ISBEE World Congress is a free-standing Congress. It provides on the global level what the meetings of the SBE (North America), ALENE (Latin America), EBEN (Europe), BEN-Africa and other business ethics networks provide on the national and regional level, lasting from three to five days. It is affectionately known as the “The Olympics of Business Ethics” as it seeks to attract the best minds in the field of the Ethics of Business and Economics from all continents. At the same time is the only truly “global” business ethics congress attracting attendees from all parts of the world. The congress consists of a mix of people from business, academia, and government and other non-for-profit organizations. It may include representatives from major religious groups from around the world. It contains plenary sessions consisting of invited speakers of prominence, and sessions devoted to contributed papers. It is open to participants from around the world and deliberately seeks to include participants from a large number of countries and all continents representing a variety of views. The Congress provides a locus for those who are interested in ethics in business and economics to meet and discuss, both formally and informally, their common interests and problems.

  1. Host institution

The Congress is hosted by a local organizing committee that is in charge of the local arrangements. The host organization or country is expected to provide or to raise sufficient funds to cover the expenses of planning the Congress (including the cost of professional planners if appropriate), and to pay the expenses of invited speakers. Through its Developing Country Fund ISBEE will also attempt to raise funds for participants from less developed countries who are unable to secure travel funds on their own.

The papers presented at the Congress may be edited for publication, either as a special issue in a journal or as a book publication.

The Congress will provide for appropriate smaller interested groups to meet in conjunction with the Congress.

  1. Organizational Structures and Responsibilities

There should be an International Organizing Committee and a National Organizing Committee.

The International Organizing Committee should be composed of a core group from the host country and the members of the ISBEE Executive Committee. The work of this Committee would be done by mail, phone and electronic communication. If necessary, and there were funds, the Committee might meet once in the host country or elsewhere. The task of this Committee would be to decide on the overall theme of the congress and to help organize the program. This means suggesting invited speakers, providing help in disseminating information about the meeting, and assisting with the evaluation of the papers to be accepted from among those submitted.

The National Organizing Committee would be composed of people from the host country and region. The task of this Committee is to organize the meeting (other than the program). The first task is to choose a location, and reserve meeting rooms and accommodation. The next task is to obtain funds. Although some of the costs of the meeting can be covered by a registration fee, this should not be so high as to preclude people from transition economies and developing countries attending. Funds might be sought from governmental agencies, UNESCO, or individual corporations or foundations. The national or some other airline might give some free airline tickets that can be used for invited speakers, if the airline is designated as the official carrier of the Congress. The Congress accommodation venue might provide some free rooms that can be used for invited speakers. If necessary, the National Committee might hire the services of a professional convention organizer. The National Organizing Committee bears the financial risk of the congress, but also stands to benefit financially from the event.

The National Organizing Committee will look into details of local transportation, reception or banquet, and the like. The Committee will also prepare, print and distribute announcements and invitations, and the final program. The Committee will organize a Congress Secretariat (not the ISBEE Secretariat) to receive contributed papers (and send them to referees, if necessary), respond to inquiries, and handle local registration for the Conference.

Keynote speakers should be offered all their expenses (travel, hotel, food). Frequently those in business or government will be able to pay their own way, but the invitation should offer to pay their expenses. The cost of printing and mailing the announcements and the final program must be covered. The Congress Secretariat should be run by the host institution. Money will be necessary for secretarial help, perhaps a conference manager, telephone, stationery, perhaps people at the airport to greet guests and help direct them to the conference hotel, etc. Some sort of folder or a conference bag for the participants with appropriate papers will be necessary. The Congress might also be announced in ads that appear in scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Business Ethics, on the Internet and perhaps in local host country newspapers.

All papers that have been selected for the congress should be displayed on the congress website at least one month prior to the Congress. Abstracts of all the papers for should be made available upon registration at the Congress.

To make the material sent out by the Congress distinctive, there should probably be some kind of logo, design or emblem that designates the Seventh ISBEE World Congress and that is printed on the Congress program, announcements, and stationery.

A date should be decided upon as soon as possible and hotel rooms and rooms for the meeting reserved. Once the date is firm, the first announcement should be designed announcing the meeting and calling for papers. This should include the date by which papers must be submitted, and the general outline of the conference and the topics on which papers are solicited, the registration fee (which might be a sliding fee that increases as the meeting approaches, thus encouraging people to register early). As soon as possible, invited plenary session speakers should be contacted and invited. Such invitations may have to be delayed until some funds are secured to cover their expenses. A specific timetable might be developed working backwards from the conference date to determine what has to be done by what specific date.

The National Organizing Committee should ensure that the ISBEE Congress will be attended by a substantial number of participants from the host country and region. If, for instance, we expect 400 participants in all, approximately 150 of them should be from the host region.

  1. Bidding Process

Any individual, group, or institution that is interested in hosting the Congress should send a letter of intent to the ISBEE Secretariat, Howard Harris ( by December 1, 2016, indicating the proposed Congress location and the person(s) and host institution that would take responsibility of the local organization of the Congress.

The bid itself should be prepared according to these Guidelines  to the Secretariat by the end of February 2017.

The ISBEE Executive Committee will consider the bidding documents and announce the winning bid in later in May 2017 for the 2020 Congress.


Professor Thomas Maak
Head School of Management
Chair in Responsible Leadership
University of South Australia Business School
47-55 North Terrace | Adelaide SA 5000
P: +61 8 8302 0748 | M: (0)466 419670
PA: Danielle Richardson |+61 8 8302 0863

President ISBEE – The International Society for Business, Economics & Ethics