Key Messages

What is Global Ethics Day?

  • Established by Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Global Ethics Day is an annual moment to empower ethics through the actions of both individuals and organizations.
  • Since 2014, citizens, businesses, professional organizations, schools, governments, and nonprofits from over 100 countries have participated in Global Ethics Day.
  • This year, #GlobalEthicsDay will take place on October 16, 2024, with the theme of Ethics Empowered. Join us and help use the power of ethics to build a better future!

Why Do We Need Ethics Today?

  • Society is facing some extraordinary challenges. Partisanship and nationalism are on the rise, autocrats are deploying new technologies to crush dissent, climate change is accelerating, war is raging in multiple parts of the world, and racial, gender, and economic injustice continue—just to name a few issues.
  • Further exacerbating these trends is the fact that we seem to be living in a zero-sum, winner-take-all society, i.e., if you disagree with me, not only are you wrong, but you are also a bad person.
  • This is exactly why we all must step up and empower ethics as a force for good.

Let’s Dispel Some Misconceptions About Ethics

  • First off, ethics is not just some abstract area of study for philosophers and academics. It is an active process that each of us can engage in to improve our lives, strengthen our communities, and build a better world.
  • That all sounds great, but then we are hit with the reality that our personal values, needs, and goals often conflict with those of our neighbors, colleagues, or social media connections. However, this doesn’t mean we have to be enemies or that we can’t work collaboratively to address challenges that impact us all.
  • Good ethics recognizes that personal differences are okay and that we can still work together in pursuit of a better world, even if our proposed solutions are imperfect or do not fully satisfy all involved. It really is the good-faith effort at the center of ethical reflection, engagement, and action that counts.
  • Ethics is not some cure-all for the world’s problems, but it is an actual process for finding solutions in a more collaborative and respectful manner vs. the winner-take-all approach that dominates life today.
  • We can use ethics to guide personal decisions, mitigate harmful outcomes, create a more respectful structure for debate, develop helpful public policy, build and deploy technologies responsibly, and address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
  • Remember that ethics is not about getting everyone to agree on one way to live or even a single set of values. It’s about how we learn to live together, celebrate our differences, and face the global challenges of both today and tomorrow.

How Can You Participate in Global Ethics Day?

  • Carnegie Council is calling on individuals, schools, businesses, governments, nonprofits, etc. to join us on October 16, 2024 in taking action to empower ethics.
  • Your own Global Ethics Day activities can include organizing debates and panel discussions, sharing videos, publishing articles, conducting interviews, launching #GlobalEthicsDay social media campaigns, and even environmental clean-ups, canvassing, film festivals, and time capsules . . . there are countless ways to participate.
  • Ideas for Global Ethics Day 2024 might include:
    • Simply sharing what ethics means to you on social media using #GlobalEthicsDay #EthicsEmpowered;
    • A financial services firm hosting a public panel on the future of ESG;
    • An art class visualizing ethical action and sharing on social media;
    • A fashion brand creating a video on the ethical and environmental challenges at the heart of the industry; or
    • A group of computer science students going live on Instagram to discuss the ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence.
  • As you plan your Global Ethics Day activations, you can start by thinking about these questions:
    • What does ethics mean to you?
    • How can I take ethical action in my daily life?
    • Is there such a thing as a global ethic?
    • What ethical questions do I grapple with in my career?
    • How do you define ethical leadership?
  • Join us on Global Ethics Day, so that together we can raise awareness and work toward addressing the most critical issues facing society such as climate change, the global refugee crisis, attacks on democracy, racism, and technologies worsening inequality.
  • Don’t forget to tag Carnegie Council on social media and use #GlobalEthicsDay and #EthicsEmpowered.