A Message from Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal: Let’s Use Today to Empower Ethics and Build a Better Future

Oct 20, 2021

Let’s Use Today to Empower Ethics and Build a Better Future

I wanted to start by thanking everyone around the world participating in Global Ethics Day 2021.

I don’t believe it’s hyperbole to say that this past year has been one of the most challenging ever when considered as a matter of history. We’ve confronted the spread of COVID-19, responded to attacks on democracy, struggled with racial injustice, and battled climate change.

It’s clear that humanity faces a number of global-scale challenges. Although this moment may feel overwhelming, make no mistake, we are not helpless. Today as always, we have the power to reshape and improve our world.

History has shown us that progress is not only possible but probable when we think in a principled way and commit to ethical action. Just look at what has been accomplished in the past 100 years. However imperfect and unfinished, we’ve seen the rise of great movements for civil rights and human rights; environmental awareness; and global campaigns to address poverty, illiteracy, and public health.

In order to face the issues of today, while simultaneously building a better tomorrow, we must work together to empower ethics.

But you may be asking what is ethics? And how can ethics be used as a tool to create a better future? Simply put, ethics is the code you live by. And you have the ability to make up your own mind about that code. Ethics is not about getting everyone to agree on one way to live or even a single set of values. It’s about acknowledging and accepting differences while recognizing what is common in the human experience.

This idea is at the heart of Global Ethics Day.

At Carnegie Council, we believe that ethics sit at the center of our greatest global challenges and that by working to empower ethics, society can discover common values and interests that lead to a better future.

This Global Ethics Day, we invite you and your friends, family, classmates, and colleagues together with schools, businesses, and institutions around the globe to join us in taking ethical action and showcasing those efforts.

Whether it’s simply reflecting on your own ethical code, organizing a Zoom discussion with colleagues on ethics in the workplace, or tweeting about what ethics mean to you—these are just a few of the ways that individuals and organizations can participate in #GlobalEthicsDay2021.

Together, let’s use today as a moment to empower ethics and build a better future!

Stay safe and be well.

Joel Rosenthal
President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs