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26 / 07 / 2004
Àngel Castiñeira (CETC): “We need to break away from the fatalistic approach to social and ethical capital”

The closing ceremony of the Dialogue “Ethical Wealth of Nationas” was lead by Àngel Castiñeira, Eduard Vallory and Fran Ekiza this afternoon.

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Àngel Castiñeira, the director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary Issues (CETC) and a professor at ESADE business school, lead the closing ceremony of the dialogue, pointed out that “the Forum has made it possible to give value to a dialogue that speaks of values. We have gone from a dialogue about values to the value of dialogue.” Castiñeira added that, “the issue of values has not been resolved, as there needs to be a commitment to addressing it on both a national and an international scale.”

Castiñeira explained that, “we need to break away from the fatalistic approach to social and ethical capital. We need people to look up to, leaders from all areas who can spearhead the efforts to promote the concept of ethical capital.” Castiñeira explained that, “ethical capital is found in three types of societies: those which are fair, decent and demand co-responsibility. If the public holds political and financial sectors, as well as NGOs responsible, they themselves must be responsible."

Fran Ekiza of Intermon Oxfam also took part in the closing conference. He explained that the main goal for NGOs is to determine values that are theoretically shared by the entire society. According to Ekiza, the problem is “finding organizational practices that are in line with are value system."

Ekiza mentioned that NGOs seek change society based on their own values. “We cannot impose certain values,” added Ekiza. He added that his organization must set an example, in terms of their behavior as seen on the outside, as well as internally. “We have to be remain true to our values and put them into practice at the organization. We need external and internal ethics. The people call for companies to be transparent, so we should follow suit,” noted Ekiza.

Ekiza pointed out the importance of dialogue and cooperation for making the organization's projects more effective; “although the process is slower, it is more effective to speak to all parties”. Ekiza explained that, “it does not suffice to boycott companies and denounce bad practices. We have to help these companies work in a transparent manner that instills faith.”

Eduard Vallory, a member of the Catalonia committee for the debate values, explained that, “just as society has changed, there has also been a change in values, which was spurred by the logic of the changes occurring in this new information-based society.” Vallory spoke of it in terms of evolution as opposed to a “positive or negative change”. He explained that, “pluralism does not exclude having shared values, but is in itself a universal value.” Vallory mentioned some of the considerations that need to be taken into account when analyzing the values of any given society. Among the values he mentioned are “the need to explicitly define values, to overcome fundamentalism and relativism, to promote intergenerational dialogue to respect and listen to others.”