André Almeida (Brazil)

16/03/2020

André Almeida (Brazil) - Philosophy PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Fundação Dom Cabral, Associate Tutor in Philosophy, at University of Sussex, England (2013-2018).

Philosophical Practice as a Way of Dealing with Internal Ethical Conflicts in Business Contexts (Lecture) 

Presentation Language: English

Internal ethical conflicts are common in the professional life of many executives in business settings. They may emerge from specific, unanticipated, events or may be inherent to the very professional activity of the executive. During my presentation I will: describe the kinds of situations that generate internal ethical conflicts in business settings; explain the kinds of problems (both for the individual and for the company) which emerge if those are not properly addressed; justify why Philosophy in general and Philosophical Practice specifically is the most appropriate means for addressing those conflicts; and present a model for using Philosophical Practice as an effective tool for dealing with those internal conflicts. Executives are constantly faced with hard choices. Sometimes those choices oppose the economic performance of the company and an ethical outcome. Sometimes they involve straightforward ethical dilemmas. Examples of specific events: having to dismiss a considerable number of employees; closing a factory; working in a company that is involved in corruption scandals; and focusing on the professional life to the detriment of one's family. Examples of internal conflicts that are inherent to the professional activity: working in industries such as alcohol or tabaco; and working in the sustainability division of a mining company. The model I will propose for dealing with these internal conflicts involve group Philosophical Practice sessions intercalated with occasional individual sessions. The aim of the work is not only to elaborate the internal conflicts, but also to use them as "fuel" for the healthy development of the individual. 

A Model for Using Philosophical Practice as a way of Supporting Business Executives During Crisis (Lecture)

In this lecture I will propose a model for the use of philosophical practice as a way of supporting business executives during crises. I will start the lecture by characterizing the problem: in general executives are constantly faced with hard choices. Sometimes those choices oppose the economic performance of the company and an ethical outcome. Sometimes they involve straightforward ethical dilemmas. Examples of specific events: dismissing a considerable number of employees; closing a factory; and focusing on the professional life to the detriment of one's family. During periods of crises the degree of difficulty of many of the choices that executives need to make intensifies. I will explain why philosophy (and philosophical practice in particular) is an appropriate "tool" to offer support to executives in those moments. I will claim that key abilities which are useful to executives in those situations are being able to make ethical choices, to think critically under pressure, and to elaborate the internal ethical conflicts that some of the hard choices generate. I will then explain the model which I propose as a tool to support groups of executives during crises. In order to illustrate how the model works I will share insights from its actual application with a group of executives in a specific crisis. I will finish the lecture by making a point about the application of the model in specific contexts and the ethical responsibility of the philosophical practitioner. 

Creating an International Network for the Sharing of Experiences and Cooperation on Philosophical Practice (Workshop)

The aim of this workshop will be to develop the basis of an international network of philosophical practitioners. The main objective of the network will be to share experiences and support one another (additional objectives can be proposed during the workshop). Working on the "how" is precisely the point of having this workshop. In terms of its structure the workshop will start with me presenting the basic idea and proposed objective of the network. I will then facilitate a discussion among participants, covering the essential aspects of what such a network would look like. I will start each 'topic' by sharing my thoughts as a basis to start the discussion (it is more productive if we start from something concrete rather than having a totally open discussion). I will nonetheless make it clear that participants have complete freedom to present and discuss their own suggestions on each respective topic. The network aspects to be covered during the workshop will be 'suggestions on the scope of the cooperation and possible activities', 'structure and dynamics of the network', 'additional ideas to be incorporated and further points of clarification' (giving room for participants to propose issues that I haven't anticipated), and 'practical steps towards the implementation of the network (which includes a discussion and a formal membership enrolment process)'.