The North East Initiative on Business Ethics had a very busy year, despite limited resources. This was thanks to a generous donation from Northumbria University in Newcastle and the hard work and commitment of my fellow directors, all volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to put on events and promote good, responsible and ethical business practice.

We have:
● Published a series of advertorials in Bdaily, Northern Insight etc. and these have included articles promoting our work, including each of our events;
● NIBE’s website and Twitter feed promote ‘Responsible Business’ seminars and NIBE members continue to nominate speakers for our several events. This included Matt Wilson of Goodlabs who opened the seminar series;
● NIBE supported the recruitment of students to Northumbria’ ‘Responsible Business’ Short Course;
● The NIBE Twitter account has grown to around 1,000 followers;
● The NIBE Weekly Blog keeps all interested parties up to date and offers an opportunity for Northumbria University Business School academia to promote their research findings e.g. ‘How to engage employees through corporate philanthropy’;
● The 100 Club (our supporters) has grown to 14 members.  Our target is 100 and we are seeking to use our events, such as the Paul Polman lecture on Global Goals for Sustainable Development, to encourage further membership growth;
● NIBE has established the North East Business Ethics Network bringing together the North East Chambers of Commerce, CBI, IoD, FSB and a number of Business-to-Business events have taken place under its auspices.
● As part of Cyberfest 2019 in September, NIBE sponsored the event Ethical issues in the digital age, which brought 35 business people to Northumbria and included Professor Briggs as one of its speakers.

We are continuing our liaison with the other universities in the region and with their support, organise meetings in their neighbourhood to debate current matters of interest in ethics and the carrying on of responsible business.

In addition to progressing matters of education, we are seeking to make ourselves more efficient and effective to build membership and profile. We are extremely grateful for the help that the Northumbria University, Business Clinic has given us over the last few months: a change of staff has
put a temporary halt whilst an administrative assistant is appointed.

We have also received the benefit of a critical analysis of our activities from the Business Clinic team.

We consider it extremely important to engender the culture of ethics in learning and presently promote two activities:

  • Sponsor a small prize for the best ethics paper produced by a student from the Business School; and
  • Organise and facilitate a debate amongst sixth form pupils on an ethics-based subject, we have done this over the last few years and we are pleased to say it is gaining momentum.

To carry out our plans and promote responsible business we need to supplement the voluntary work of our directors with administrative support. Our plan for next year is to consolidate what we have done, grow the 100 Club of supporters, our events activities and seek financial support.

We are also extending our reach with association and collaboration to other like organisations nationally.

Kevan Carrick – Chairman, North East Initiative on Business Ethics Ltd.