16th NERPS Webinar: From Economic War to a Culture of Economic Peace

May 25, 2022 (Wednesday 4:00-5:00 PM JST)

About the Webinar

Human flourishing is both the heart and the purpose of all social, political, and economic activities. But there is a problem. The needed energies for human activity are in perpetual evolution. They are sometimes opposed to each other. They can lead to many wonders as well as hurtful or dangerous situations. It is therefore our collective duty to address this problem and reduce inequalities and poverty. It requires courage in rebalancing these energies to stop the violence and resume the momentum of human flourishing.
When human beings decided to pool their skills and work together, it was in order to aspire to a better way of living together and to care for each other. We believe that today’s companies and organizations still retain that mission: to reinforce the social fabric in a way that respects and sustains both people and the environment. In this perspective, the creation of wealth is not an end in itself. Rather, it is just one of the means that allow companies to reach higher social goals, which go well beyond mere profit. Companies in the economy are also involved in the creation of value in the widest sense. Companies can create meaning and well-being, not only for their employees and customers but also for the wider society.
We are just at the first steps in the construction of the idea of Economic Peace. Giving a premature definition now would risk trapping us in an unmerited loyalty to it, rationalizing its strengths while blinding us to its shortcomings. Nevertheless, here are two different ways to define the main idea.

Economic peace is the orientation of a company, a manager, or an employee to preserve human values, create wealth for the common good, and seek the flourishing of all stakeholders, all in the context of their broader social and human responsibility.

This positive definition is an attractive one. However, it also invites immediate criticism, as every word used can be interpreted in several ways. It is also possible to present economic peace, not negatively, but “in the negative” through an apophatic approach. This may avoid the premature dismissal of a definition before it has had time for adequate study. Then the definition might read:

Economic peace is an orientation a company chooses to create value without destroying competitors, manipulating customers, exploiting suppliers, violating employees, harming stakeholders, or ignoring its broader social responsibilities.

About the Speakers

Guest Speaker: Dr. Dominique Steiler is a senior professor in management, leadership, and psychology at Grenoble Ecole de Management. His personal life questioned himself about the simplest combination of his own vulnerabilities and assets. His research and consultancy focus is on personal development and transformation, suffering at work and stress management, well-being and happiness, and their relationship to performance. Initially educated in Chinese language and culture, then as a professional in social rehabilitation and later as a fighter jet pilot officer in the French Fleet Air Arm, the operational and relationship-based approach he uses is both pragmatic and humanist. Dominique has delivered leadership programs and coaching interventions for corporate executives and Olympic teams and holds a doctorate in Management from Newcastle University.  In 2012 he set up the endowed Chair in Economic peace, Mindfulness, and Well-being at work, dedicated to transforming self, management behaviors, and business towards a more peaceful economic marketplace. He is also a research fellow at the Center for Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ.

Discussant: Prof. Kimitaka Nishitani is a Professor at the Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University. He is also currently serving as the Deputy Director of the RIEB and the Center for Computational Social Science, Kobe University. He completed his Ph.D. in business administration at Kobe University. He was also an academic visitor at the School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, from 2015 to 2016. Professor Nishitani has published extensively on sustainability management, and social and environmental reporting in leading journals including Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Environmental Management, and Sustainable Production and Consumption.

About the NERPS Webinar Series

The Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) at Hiroshima University in Japan is hosting a series of webinars on the relationship between peace and sustainability in the context of environmental, socio-political, economic, and technological transformations. This series is situated within the urgent need to deal with the implications of global change, including the COVID-19 pandemic, for peace and sustainability. The webinar sessions serve as a platform for rethinking and updating the current discourse on peace and sustainability amidst these global challenges and transformations. Leading experts will discuss the role of resources, digital technologies, migration, governance, and education in peacebuilding, conflict mitigation, humanitarian aid, and capacity-building, among other components that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainability Development Goals, particularly that of Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

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