Marking 25 years of service to business and the community, the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) took time this fall to reflect on its past and anticipate a role for future service.

In 1978, Minnesota CEOs launched what was then called the Minnesota Project on Corporate Responsibility (later renamed the Center for Corporate Responsibility).  At the core of the project was a shared concern about business obligations to the community. Profit is vital, but as  St. Thomas trustee David Koch says, “The purpose of business is to serve people.”

CEBC launched The Minnesota Principles in 1992, and helped carry those principles worldwide through the Caux Round Table Principles for Business. More recently, the center participated in President Bush’s Economic Round Table and helped convene CEOs to speak out on business scandals. In the past year, center staff have spoken on ethical leadership and culture to more than 6,000 business professionals in 66 organizations, and provided consulting and ethics training to business.

Having partnered with St. Thomas in 1988, CEBC helps organize the Koch Stakeholder Dialogue, organizes an annual MBA study abroad class in business ethics, partners with faculty and provides guest lectures. “CEBC helps connect our students with corporate executives who confront real ethical issues,” College of Business Dean Christopher Puto said. “This connection helps to strengthen the bond between the college and the corporate community.”