Good Prospects for the WCGE’s doctoral program: Successful Graduates and Committed New Doctoral Students

On October 14, 2022, the graduation and inauguration ceremony of the doctoral program "Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business" took place at the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WZGE).

The event focused on the farewell of the graduates of the WZGE and the welcome of the new doctoral students of the 9th cohort. Dr. Moritz Appels, Hannah Schragmann and Dr. Felix Wittke from the 6th cohort received their certificates. In the future, all three will deal professionally with the issue of ethics in business: Moritz Appels as Assistant Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam; Felix Wittke as CLO of Avantgardist Institut GmbH, a start-up he founded together with alumna Lili Jassemi (5th cohort), among others; and Hannah Schragmann as Chief Sustainability Officer at Grow My Tree, a start-up she built together with Dijana Galijasevic (5th cohort) and others.

Five new members were welcomed to the doctoral program: Vittorio Cerulli and Manon Filler are both supervised by Prof. Markus Beckmann (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and work in the field of business ethics on the topics of sustainability and purpose. Simon Merz will conduct research on just and trustworthy leadership in the AI domain under the supervision of Prof. Philipp Schreck (MLU Halle-Wittenberg) and Georg Röder, whose PhD supervisor is Prof. Andreas Suchanek (HHL - Leipzig Graduate School of Management), on consumption-related self-limitation. Christin Philipp is supervised by Prof. Ingo Pies (MLU Halle-Wittenberg) and responsible consumer behaviour is the focus of her PhD project. With the admission of the 9th cohort, 13 doctoral students from 6 nations are currently conducting research at the doctoral program which the Karl Schlecht Foundation generously supports since 2014.

An event of the dialogue platform of the doctoral program accompanied the graduation and inauguration ceremony. The motto of this event was "Good prospects despite global crises(?)". In recent years and months, bad, sometimes dramatic news has been pouring in: Corona pandemic, war in Europe, rising inflation, growing social divisions and noticeable effects of climate change. Not a good outlook! However, times of crisis are also times of upheaval, and upheaval can be a departure for something new. And so, the question arises as to whether the various crises offer the opportunity to initiate or accelerate positive change.

After the opening by WCGE board chairman Dr. Martin von Broock and a greeting by mayor André Seidig, Dr. Andreas Lenz, MdB (CSU), as former chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development, gave a lecture on "Crisis, Sustainability and Energy." Afterwards, Dr. Heide Richter-Airijoki, MdL (SPD), gave insights into her experiences in international cooperation in the health sector under the title "Crisis, Health and Globalization."

The film "Collective Leadership and Passion" showed that a crisis can also release new energies and awaken commitment and leadership. In the film, doctoral students of the WCGE program portray the Leipzig-based association "Humanitäre Hilfe Ukraine e.V.", which was founded immediately after February 24, 2022. The film was this year's WCGE contribution to the Karl Schlecht Foundation’s call for ideas "Leadership+Passion".