Talk: Integrity in Business 11 April

Poster for Integrity in Business event at Kingston Quaker Centre on 11 April

In 2022 the EY Global Integrity Report 2022 found a ‘growing gap between what organisations’ senior leaders say is important and what they are prepared to overlook or to do for individual gain.’ On 11th April Quakers in South West London will be examining what is going wrong and how trust in business might be restored.
 
Evasion, deceit and misinformation have always been with us, and a focus on integrity was a founding principle of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, and the basis for the success of many Quaker-led businesses from Cadbury and Rowntrees, to Lloyds, Barclays and Friends Provident, sadly none still Quaker-run. So if these business empires could grow and prosper based upon strict integrity why does this not seem to work anymore? 
 
Two Quakers of long-standing, a corporate communications expert and a charity CEO, will explore this topic, in this latest in the series of public events exploring Quaker concerns, drawing on their extensive experience of working at the interface between public, private and governmental organisations.
 
Tim Cowen has been a spokesperson for several high-profile and at times controversial organisationsincluding Royal Mail, Centrica (the owner of British Gas) and  - during the pandemic - the Cabinet Office. Prior to his work in corporate communications he was a journalist for newspapers including the Evening Standard. 
 
Tim comments ‘trust is generated by doing the right thing and being seen to do it. Everybody can get things wrong what matters is the intent and avoiding the deadly lure of the coverup.
 
Antonia Swinson is CEO of the Ethical Property Foundation and an award-winning business columnist. In 2005 she launched Social Enterprise Scotland, a trade body for non-profit businesses, which became a strategic partner of the Scottish Government in 2007. Antonia is the author of five books, including the polemic ‘Root of All Evil? How to make Spiritual Values Count’ published by St Andrew Press.
 
Antonia says ‘small business (including non-profits) has a great deal to teach big business; and social capital is as good as money in the bank.’ 
 
Entry to the event is free and open to all, and refreshments will be provided. It is the latest in a series of events organised by Quakers in South West London. Previous events have addressed the climate crisis, the status of refugees and asylum seekers, nuclear disarmament, prison reform and AI and spirituality. 
 
Future events for 2024 will include Poetry on a summer evening on 13 June at Kingston Quaker Centre. 
 
Integrity In Business will be held from 7pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 11 April at Kingston Quaker Centre, Fairfield East, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 2PT (doors open at 6.30pm).