Ethical Leadership in Business

Innovation for Human Progress

25-26 June 2020

Please note: Due to the risks related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), registrations for this year's Caux Forum are currently on hold. The Caux Forum dates are therefore subject to change. Please stay tuned as more information will be made available soon.


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

                    Nelson Mandela

Business opportunities and sustainable success in the 21st century depend on an educated and values-driven workforce. All around the world there is a growing talent shortage, linked to digital transformation and demographic changes. At the same time, there is an urgent need to find innovative ways of ensuring access to basic education in poorer countries.

Education is a human right. United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDGs) aims to ensure that everybody has access to high quality education and to lifelong learning opportunities.

If we are to achieve these goals, and to reduce the skills gap in the digital age, business people and entrepreneurs will need to be innovative. New developments in Education Technology (EdTech) offer personalized learning and training opportunities, such as online courses driven by artificial intelligence and the use of virtual and augmented reality. These innovations can accelerate progress in education on a global level.

To get the best out of such technology, users also need to be trained in basic competencies of data security and privacy. However, true digital literacy in the 21st century will require life-skills based on values and ethical considerations.

The Ethical Leadership in Business event at the 2020 Caux Forum will bring together business people, entrepreneurs, investors, academics and representatives from the public sector to explore innovations in the field of education and life-long learning. It will offer both structured activities, such as panels and workshops, and time and space for ‘recharging’.   

Join us in Caux Switzerland from 25 to 26 June 2020!



What ELB 2020 offers

  • Story-sharing sessions on closing the skills-gap in the digital age will inspire you
  • Expert-led workshops will equip you with hands-on solutions
  • Connect to people from around the world, build new business relations and friendships


Key topics

  • Business leadership in building learning cultures
  • Youth-driven innovation in educational technology (EdTech)
  • Overcoming gender and age barriers in education and learning
  • Investment in education and life-long learning innovations
  • The role of EdTech in refugee camps and conflict zones
  • Values-based leadership and life-skills in the 21st century
  • The role of values and ethical leadership in digital literacy


ELB 2019


Why should you come to Ethical Leadership in Business?

Meet experts, speakers and influencers face to face: yes, face-to-face conversations are still the best way to get the latest information and to learn from other people’s personal and professional experiences.

Network at all hours: the event is designed to facilitate the constant exchange of ideas. This not only brings fresh insights but also helps you build new business relations and deepen existing friendships.

New tools: you will not only get a hands-on demonstration of how new technologies enhance human progress but also be inspired by personal story telling and small group discussions.

Challenge yourself: get out of your comfort zone and return home with fresh ideas for your personal and professional life. Expose yourself to new business methods, ideas and insights from people with different cultural and professional backgrounds.

Invest in your growth: your stay in Caux is time well spent! You will go home inspired by stories, equipped with new tools and connected to a variety of people. This experience will spark your creativity.

Visibility: this event is all about sharing best practices of values-based business methods. You will have the opportunity to present your business’s ‘innovation for human progress’.

Enjoy: you will stay in the amazing Caux Palace with a breath-taking view of Lake Geneva and the surrounding Alps. Your time away from your daily routine will make you feel relaxed, serene and creative.


Who is going to be at Ethical Leadership in Business 2020?

The SDGs reflect the interconnectedness and interdependence of our global society’s challenges and opportunities.

To paint a complete picture of how new technologies can enhance human progress, the Ethical Leadership in Business Event 2020 will harness the power of people from around the world working in various industries, the public sector, academia, start-ups, entrepreneurship and international organizations.


Young Leaders – Learning for Change

During the Ethical Leadership in Business conference you will have the opportunity to meet young innovators in education and learning from all over the world. With the Young Leaders - Learning for Change programme, IofC Switzerland aims to contribute to the achievement of the fourth UN Sustainability Goal.



Download the 2020 programme here. Please note that this programme is subject to change.

ELB 2020 short programme 4 Feb 2020


The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is about access to quality education and life-long learning – both essential to bringing positive change into the world.

We are living in times of constant, rapid and profound change, triggered by climate change and digital transformation. To find the right answers to new questions we need to learn more, and maybe differently. Curiosity, creativity and critical thinking are as important as maths, IT, languages skills, etc... We need to be innovative and ingenious to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world for us and our children.

Learning needs well-run education systems, but it comes from inside the human being. It’s fun, but sometimes it’s painful. In preparation for the upcoming Ethical Leadership in Business event in June 2020, we have invited diverse people from around the world to share stories of their learning journeys. These stories offer inspiring insights and invite us to reflect on our education and life-long learning.

‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a brighter future.

Learning every day!


Christine Beerlie square big


Christine, you chose the sentence: I am learning every day! What have you learnt so far from the current corona virus epidemic?

I am learning what a lot of us are being forced to learn: how to live with an empty agenda and to relate with my family, friends and professional contacts without meeting them. This has shown me what I always knew: that I like (most) people. I am looking forward to the time when we can meet again face to face. 


We are very honoured to have you as the President of the Council of the Initiatives of Change Foundation. What unexpected things have you learnt in this role?

I did not expect the international network to be as big and strong as it seems to be. It is impressive to see that so many people around the world are building on the same values and are promoting ethical leadership in business, for instance.

What was the one key thing that you learnt during  your time as a member of a law firm?

 That the rule of law and an independent judiciary is as important for the wellbeing and development of a country as democracy is.

Politics is said to be a ‘hard school’: what was the hardest lesson you learnt when you were in Parliament in Switzerland?

This may not be the most difficult lesson, but it was an interesting one: the politicians whom you hear and see most in the media are not the ones who work hardest for the wellbeing of the country.


What was your best learning experience as a Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross?

People in very difficult, even seemingly hopeless, war situations are not mere ‘victims’. They are extremely strong personalities who just want the space and the opportunity to look after their families.

You were also a teacher; in what ways should the Swiss educational system be changed to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century?

The present crisis and the shutdown of schools is pushing the Swiss school system towards much more digitalization. This will have a lasting positive effect.

Because of demographic changes and technological innovation, 33 per cent of Swiss employers are finding it difficult to recruit. How can we speed-up life-long learning and reskilling in Switzerland?

I think people’s attitudes have changed very much in recent years. Everybody knows that he or she will have to invest in learning throughout their life if they want to keep up with new developments and safeguard their employability. 


How do you keep up with digital transformation?

I don’t know if I do keep up. I use my computer and my tablet because it is not possible to work without them. I do not really know how they work: but then the same is true for my car!

You are officially retired, but in reality, but you are very active. How do you share your life lessons?

I have no lessons to share: I am very happy if I can be of help here and there.


Who is your best teacher?

Life and my dog.

What has life taught you?

That if you try to give your best in ever situation, it keeps you rooted and calm. But the most important things in life can barely be influenced.

What do you want to learn which you haven’t yet dared to?

The tango.

Let's make learning fun again!


Bram Jonker long


What have you learned today?

That the people in my team are extraordinary individuals with a great heart.


How do you learn? What is your unique learning style ?

I have never been a good learner at school where the primary source of information was thought through text books. The best way for me to learn is by hearing and seeing someone talking about a topic they are truly passionate about. With the online Ted Talks I found a new way of learning for myself that has made learning fun again. I can watch Ted talks for hours at the airport or while relaxing when I am in a hot bath.


Does your prior learning experience influence today’s learning?

During my time in school or at University it was not possible for me to absorb knowledge by listening to a teacher reading out PowerPoint slides or pages from a text book. Although I am sometimes tempted to buy books at airports, the must reads, I never really finish reading them. So, knowing that content in text form does not work I have changed my way of learning by watching video content with speakers who show their enthusiasm and passion for their field of expertise.


Did you need to “unlearn” from previous learning experiences or habits?

Yes, I needed to accept that I am just not a good reader. I can be jealous of people being able to concentrate while reading books. To me it looks more intelligent reading a book than watching a video. But I have accepted that I will just never be a good reader and I need a different way of learning.


Did you teach recently?

Yes, I teach every day. I have two young children and I believe as a parent you are some sort of teacher. Not by telling what they should do or think but by giving them the space and safety to become who they want to be. Prepare them for the future by focusing on and supporting them in developing the skills of the future (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication) in a fun and playful way.


What passion drives you when you are learning?

To learn new things and being able to share what I have learned with my friends and my team members. The best thing is that I can just simply send them a link to get the same experience/knowledge as I have obtained.


Who is your best teacher?

The person I learn the most from is the partner I report to within Deloitte. He is an inspirational leader with exceptional knowledge and people skills. He has a lot of responsibilities as our CTO and the way he creates an environment where everyone is able to contribute, can learn and grow is something that inspires. I learn a lot from the way he interacts with people and how he leads the team.


What did life teach you?

 That I am me. With all my imperfections which is ok and makes me who I am.


What kind of learning recommendations would you give to your younger self ?

You will learn along the way so do not be too hard on yourself and allow yourself time to grow.


What did you learn from failure?

That it can hurt but in a later stage in life it has thaught you more than anything.


What did you learn during your last stay at the Caux Forum, Ethical Leadership in Business, Switzerland?

The importance of nature around me as it inspires and gives energy.


What do you want to learn but you haven’t dared yet?



What are you going to learn next?

How Virtual and Augmented Reality works from a technical aspect and how to translate it to the business I work in.


What would you recommend to those struggling to restart learning?

Make it fun again. See if you can gamify learning and find different means as watching Ted Talks.


What do you learn to navigate constant change?

To build an environment around you of continuous learning and have a re-shift focus on our human skills.


What skills does it need in the 21st century?

Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication. These skills cannot be replaced by computers. Secondly, be open to learn and play with technology.


What did you learn recently to protect the planet?

Stories of fear do not work, stories that inspire do. Therefore, I stopped watching disturbing content on how the planet is at risk and started searching for people that inspire and actually start initiatives to drive change without searching recognition for it. This inspires me and activates to contribute.


What are the key ingredients to build a learning culture at the workplace?

At first, re-establish for everyone that it is ok to ask questions. In our digital age we almost pretend that as information is so accessible we need to know everything. In order to learn we need to ask questions again in order to learn. So, a key ingredient is to create a safe environment and lead by example by start asking questions again. Secondly, Make learning fun again. Especially in the development of the skills of the future there is an opportunity to learn in a fun way. Imagine learning how to drag again (visual Storytelling) or doing escape rooms. Lastly, create time during the week for yourself and team to gain new knowledge and develop skills. What I see a lot in the workplace is that there is budget for learning activities. But if a manager does not make use of it than her/his team won’t do it either.


Companies need to build on collective purpose, values and vision. What needs to be learned to make that happen?

Two things. At first, include everyone, from all levels, in the design not focused on marketing slogans but on what everyone truly believes and feels.

Secondly; Lead by example! Having it written in documents or embedded in presentations does not lead to anything. Only when leadership displays behavior and actions that are in line with the purpose, value and vision others will follow. 

Learning critical innovation to spark change


Jowan Oesterlund big


Jowan, you are micro-chipping people for a more comfortable life, i.e. we don’t need to think any more about our car keys, we can forget about door codes, passwords … is there any risk that we are less memorizing and less capable of learning?

No, quite the opposite actually. Getting rid of base stress in terms of always having to line your pockets and bags with disconnected tokens of ID and assets creates more time and space for creative thinking. And when in control and sovereign owner of your digital identity you will be able to benefit from the data you own thus creating sort of base pay. 


What do you mean by “critical” innovation?

Critical innovation is defying the elements inhibiting progress through innovation, like elements creating friction and obstacles to uphold a creative environment, i.e. procurement regulations and semi monopolized market segments.      


 Which learning changed your life?

The more you learn the more you realize how little you know.


Who is your best teacher?

My kids, my wife and my mistakes.


What do you want to learn but you haven’t dared yet?

Helicopter pilot, double backflip & basejumping.


What lessons did you learn from failure?

Fail more but faster.


What did you learn during your last stay at the Caux Forum?

A broader line of thinking from omnivertical diversity input.

Unlearning for Change


Biliana Vassileva


Biliana, you are a coach and consultant with extensive experience in social innovation and change, did you have to unlearn something?

To take myself too seriously and I am still in the process of learning it. Also, I am learning not to trust too much the thoughts in my head.


In your work you are focusing also on the role of failure. What lessons did you learn from failure?

It is said that it is important to learn from failure by analyzing it, which is right, but we need to turn failure into action, and not only knowledge… otherwise we will get paralyzed by the failure experience. It's like after an accident, you have to go back to the situation, for example, if you fell from a horse, you need to get back on it as soon as possible, in order not to become afraid of it. To do so, it needs a lot of courage, creativity and trust in oneself.


How does failure prevent us from being successful? 

It doesn't. In fact, failure helps us become successful. What comes in the way, though are our fears.

I’ve learned that there are 5 types of fears, which we need to overcome to be able to change: 

1.    Fear of not being good enough. To overcome this fear, one needs to take action which will build up self-confidence.

2.    Fear that we have to compete with one another. To counterbalance that fear, we need to engage into collaboration with others.

3.    Fear of the unknown. Here the solutions is about being creative, trying things out until they work, that shows the direction to go.

4.   Fear of not achieving one’s goal. To manage that fear we need to learn how to embrace failure and to use it to one's advantage.

5.    Fear of being successful. One may wonder, but it's a real fear: how will I change if I am successful? Will my family and friends still love me? This fear can paralyze us. So the answer is: try it, live it! Let reality surprise you!


Who is your best teacher?

Nature. Being in nature relaxes me, opens me up for surprises. 15 years ago I went scuba diving with my husbands. I had questions how to deal with resistance in change context. Suddenly, I saw a flock of fish floating and going with the current, and the current was constantly changing. I discovered, that we need to be with the change, relax and work with the it.


What do we need to learn to manage constant change and uncertainty ?

We need to learn to laugh again about ourselves. We need to learn to laugh about our situations, we are living in a world that provides us everything, so humor helps to get unstuck, to see the fun side.


How can we learn to change?

It’s hard to change. So we need to listen to ourselves, if something doesn’t work we need to listen and learn to our inner voice. Life is totally contextual, so the context calls us to do something concrete. Learning how to change is really about changing how I think about change and how I do things to be aligned with my inner voice and the context.


What do you want to learn but you haven’t dared yet?

I am my hardest critic, so I want to learn to judge less and accept myself more. I need to learn to trust myself.


What did life teach you?

The importance of taking care of myself in order to take care of others. This way I can contribute and support the change I want to see in the world.


Learning for Change


Rainer Gude


Rainer, where does your inner motivation for learning come from?

I am genuinely curious and want to know “why” and “how”… I also just enjoy picking up new things and feel it is part of growth and life in general.


What do you want to learn but you haven’t dared yet? 

Another language, maybe Portuguese or Norwegian.


What are you going to learn next?  

Looking forward to reading the book “the secret life of trees” would also like to learn more about gardening.


What would you recommend to those struggling to restart learning? 

To start with something fun.  Our schooling often got in the way of our learning as it was “forced” and often un-interesting…. Try to make a game out of it or ask yourself what you would enjoy to know more about.


What did life teach you? 



What did you learn during your last stay at the Caux Forum?  

That with good preparation and a great support team, you can do things you never thought you would do…. Like moderate a panel on a topic I previously knew very little about.

Christine Beerlie square big

Caux is such a humbling place, providing you with a safe space to experiment with different topics and flourish in bold thinking, all while staying true to yourself.

Michelle Rickenbach, IT Project Management & Ecosystem Relations at Panter AG

The Caux Forum – ethics in business – provides a very open and calm environment for conversations to take place where we take the time to listen. This means we can tackle tricky topics differently from how they are treated in the press which is always the same. Here we can share ideas with a new approach to ethics and technology.

Father Eric Salobir, President OPTIC Technology

I have loved every second of this conference. Never expected to meet so many interesting and warm people. I go home with many new ideas, thoughts and friendships.

Bram Jonker, Senior Innovation Manager, Deloitte (Netherlands)

I’m leaving the conference enriched and content, and with considerable take-aways for my professional life.

Antonio Hautle, Global Compact Network Switzerland, Senior Programme Leader & Network Representative


The idea of self-reflection and what you can do on a personal level to have a bigger impact in the world is really important.

Tara Scanlan, Customer Success Group, Salesforce

The Ethical Leadership in Business conference equipped me with the mindset, knowledge and connections to contribute to ensuring that our digital transformation benefits humankind.

Tom Marshall, Innovation Community Ambassador, Deloitte (Netherlands)

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Shared Standard Twin Room
  • Accommodation and food*CHF 95 (1 night)
  • Forum FeesCHF 360
  • TotalCHF 455
Private Standard Single Room
  • Accommodation and food*CHF 120 (1 night)
  • Forum FeesCHF 360
  • TotalCHF 480
Shared Premium Twin Room
  • Accommodation and food*CHF 145 (1 night)
  • Forum FeesCHF 360
  • TotalCHF 505
Private Premium Single Room
  • Accommodation and food*CHF 170 (1 night)
  • Forum FeesCHF 360
  • TotalCHF 530

* Prices per person with full board.

Extra nights before or after the event can be booked at the same price.  

You can also attend one full day of the event. The Daily Forum Fee is CHF 270 and includes full participation, one meal and two coffee/tea breaks. 

We apply a registration fee of CHF 50 to all registrations.

Not included is the mandatory city tax of CHF 5.00 per person per night (free of charge for children up to the age of 15).

Click here for more information on the fees, possible subsidies and the different room categories.

organizing team

Annika Hartmann

Annika Hartmann de Meuron

Managing Director - Ethical Leadership in Business
Mulham Soufi

Mulham Soufi

Technology & Logistics
Ghada Zribi

Ghada Zribi

Communication & Outreach
Sonja Przulj

Sonja Przulj

Welcome & Care
Aliaksei Babets

Aliaksei Babets

Technology & Logistics
Sofia Sehin

Sofia Sehin

Fundraising & Sponsorship

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past conferences