Mr Janez Podobnik attended WFEB Forum

World Forum for Ethics in Business, led by Ms. Rajita Kulkarni organized an international event on 22 March, which was held at Bled, Slovenia with the title Ethics in Business and Leadership, "The Time is Right, Now!".

Mr Janez Podobnik, director of the International ECPD Institute was a panelist at the event, which was co-organized by a Slovenian Institute Fokus 2031, which is presided by Mr Lojze Peterle, member of the European Parliament.


The guest of honour was the president of the Republic of Slovenia, HE Mr Borut Pahor, and as a special guest his holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was present, who is also a co-founder of World Forum for Ethics in Business, founder of the International Association for Human Values and founder of the Art of Living.

Mr Podobnik's invitation to speak at the event can also be seen as a recognition of his work.


More about the event:


Mr Podobnik's speech:


Ethics and responsible leadership/ not only a duty, but a privilege/

I was taken by suprise to be invited to your conference on business ethics. 10 days ago I was a speaker at CEE Business Integrity forum Against Corruption in Budapest, which was organized by EuCham. I was wondering why I have the honour, to be your guest today. This is my answer: perhaps, because I was keeping close friendly contact with Mr Lojze Peterle and together with him and by him fostered the notion of slovenian personalism, which was marked by the editor of the magazine 2000, Mr Peter Kovačič Peršin. We were studying the texts of french perosnalist Emanuel Mounier and his magazine Esprit; while 2000 magazine was issuing we were passionately discussing Edvard Kocbek and right before the crucial time of slovenian history, we established the Slovenian christian social movement, that inspired many new Slovenian political parties.

I was blessed to lead different systems although I was still relatively young; communities, associations, from religious, political, administrative to international and economic and developmental. I began my journey while very young, being the class president in primary school, being a secretary of Interdiocesan Board for students, president of the 2000 Association, being as a doctor the president of the Union at Idrija hospital, becoming the president of the Idrija Council after the democratization of Slovenia, the Mayor of Idrija, president of the national assembly, president of a political party – SLS, minister for environment and space, president of the european council of ministers for environment, director of the International ECPD Institute for Sustainable development, on behalf of which I am speaking here today; and lastly, the Acting Director General of ICPE, an intergovernmental developmental institution, headquartered in Ljubljana.

There were so many connections with people that had been made, many positive vibrations and  some occasional misunderstandings,  little injustice and a setback here and then.

When I look at it today, as if I have an answer, why I was always led to high positions and the privilege of leading. I was  designated by my medical education, which most definitely defined me to be very responsible for my actions and at the same time gave me the realization of fragility, ephemerality and the fact that people can also make mistakes. The gift of being able to feel close to people is also very important to me and I know what was the key to my success: i left behind internally connected and well functioning communities, I never left prematurely if a system or community was not led well. The main point is, that at the end, ethics survive and everything else goes into the oblivion of  transient memory.
I am surprised to observe and see that there are three medical doctors (also dr. Jakopin and prof. dr. Zorc) who were invited to take part in the event. It seems as the profession of a medical doctor, whether you are active in it, or being active in other parts of life, gives you an indelible seal in your life style and provides you with putting ethics above other principles.

How can we schematically describe the principles of cultural behavior aligned with ethical standards?

-show people that you trust them

-immediate confrontation with problem solving

-admit your mistakes,

-seeing and exposing the added value of the activities by your employees/coworkers


And what would I advise to younger generations, that are entering the leadership level – also in business:

-motivate your employees again and again;

-trust your employees again and again;

-work as a team player, again and again.

Everything mentioned above has many notions; after all, if we are in a managerial positions, we should not expect impossible from our coworkers. We should always count, that it is humane and understandable, that one of the main initiatives in people's actions is their »material« motive, from their salary, to their status and safe future for them and their families.

Upcoming International ECPD Institute events and activities: