Past Summer Seminars

Below are brief descriptions of past Summer Seminars. Programs on these topics can be arranged for specific groups or corporations on a fee basis. Contact the center for more information.

July 20-21, 2011

A Marine engages a participant at the Parris Island Summer Seminar. The 2011 Summer Seminar Marine Corps Lessons on Leadership and Ethics: What Every Organization Needs to Know offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend two days with the Marines aboard Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Through this hands-on program, participants learned how the United States Marine Corps trains its recruits to behave ethically when facing incredibly high-pressure decisions of great importance. Corporate leaders learned the Marine Corps lessons that can help them instill organizational ethics in the 21st century workforce. Starting with a recruit’s welcome at Parris Island’s famous “yellow footprints,” participants learned about the Marine Corps’ Values-Based Training Program, which prepares recruits to act ethically as warriors and as citizens. Led by Marine Corps Officers, this unique program included an in-depth view of the Core Values training, discussions with officers and experts on ethics and leadership, “live-fire” exercises, and visits to the extreme “Crucible” event.

July 28-29, 2010

A Marine engages a participant at the Parris Island seminar. Ethics Lessons from the Vanguard: What Every Organization Can Learn from Marine Corps Ethics Training
In this unique experiential program, Marine Corps Officers shared the lessons learned in teaching the Marine Corps Values Program to 22,000 recruits annually. The Marines shared how they train a broad cross section of American men and women to respond ethically in extreme situations. Starting with a recruit’s welcome at Parris Island’s famous “yellow footprints,” those that participated learned about the Marine Corps Values Program, which prepares recruits to act honorably and intelligently as warriors and as exemplary citizens. Led by former Navy Officer Dr. Thomas Creely and by current Marine Corps Officers, this first-of-its-kind program included a briefing on the Core Values training and education, lunch with Marines, and visits to “live-fire” exercises and the extreme “Crucible” event site. Participants agreed that it was a one-of-a-kind, life-changing experience that provided great parallels to the challenges faced by business leaders as they integrate ethics and values into their organizations.

August 21, 2008

Program speakers David Rowe (LaGrange College) and Jonas Haertle (United Nations Global Compact)Partnering for the Global Good: How Corporations, Universities and the United Nations are Joining Hands to Tackle Tough Issues
Participants were inspired by visionary projects that already are becoming reality. The evening involved learning from some of the innovators who are shaping the ethical face of global commerce, from the halls of the United Nations, to corporate boardrooms, to classrooms and beyond. Seminar presenters included leaders from the United Nations, The Coca-Cola Company, Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, LaGrange College and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

July 17, 2008

Mayor Shirley FranklinWater: Corporate Responsibility for a Resource in Peril
This one-day seminar brought together highly knowledgeable experts from industry, government, research institutions and advocacy groups to share their perspective on this growing concern. Participants learned how several local corporations are leading the way in addressing this crucial supply challenge; considered how regulations will affect Georgia businesses; and learned how businesses, governments and other institutions are collaborating to address the worldwide water problem.

The keynote address was presented by Dr. David Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College and the James Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont.

Listen to the presentation with the PowerPoint slides »Quicktime icon

View PDF versions of presentations from the July seminar

speaker presentation
Gary Black Water – Corporate Responsibility for a Precious Resource in Peril »PDF icon
Jeff Carrier Water and the Carpet and Rug Industry »PDF icon
Randall Childers Committee on Water Conservation Initiatives »PDF icon
Don Cope Water Challenges for Utilities and Customers »PDF icon
Gail Cowie The Georgia State Water Plan – What do business and industry need to know? »PDF icon
Trey Gibbs Sustainable Strategies »PDF icon
Ciannat Howett Building a Sustainable Emory »PDF icon
Jason Morrison Water Stewardship in the Private Sector: Challenges and Practices »PDF icon
Elliott Norse Sustainability and the Marine Environment – What does business need to know? »PDF icon
David Orr Water Resources in a Sustainable World »PDF icon
Kent Zammit Power Generation and a Sustainable Water Supply »PDF icon

June 12, 2008

Seminar participants explore today's new training techniques. New Training Techniques That Drive Ethical Performance
This hands-on learning experience featured a full day of sessions led by experts and executives from leading employers, including AGL Resources, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Georgia Power Company, The Coca-Cola Company and UPS. Participants explored today’s best practices through demonstrations of creative simulations, training techniques and employee engagement methods.

Following are representative comments from participants’ evaluations of this seminar:

  • “The program exceeded my expectations. I was impressed with the depth of knowledge of the presenters.”
  • “Lots of great ‘new’ information”
  • “Great program; lots of solid content”
  • “Very interesting, intriguing and informative”

August 30, 2007

Seven Revolutions: How Will Your World Change by 2025?
The world is changing in ways far more dramatic than most of us imagine. In his presentation, Erik Peterson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies described seven global revolutions — from technology to population to resource allocation — which have profound implications for society and commerce worldwide. The mini-seminar culminated with the Southern Institute’s 15th anniversary party and open house.

July 26, 2007

Doing Business in China: The Ethical Landscape
The economic transformation of China is affecting the world’s markets in unprecedented ways. Today, it is likely that almost any business with an international dimension will be touched by this change. This seminar gave an overview of the challenges of operating ethically in China through presentations and discussions by business people and scholars with first-hand experience. Participants gained a greater understanding of the difficulties that may arise when moving into this fast-developing market to tap its enormous potential.

Following are representative comments from participants’ evaluations of this seminar:

  • “This is the best seminar on doing business in China that I have ever attended.”
  • “Very insightful”
  • “Extremely informative. Well-prepared presenters.”
  • “Very timely and practical advice”
  • “Fantastic job putting together such a diverse line-up of knowledgeable people.”

June 21, 2007

Beyond Greening: Transforming Your Company for Environmental Sustainability
The lessons and best practices of the world’s leading environmental companies were experienced in an unforgettable way – by transforming a simulated company into an environmentally sustainable enterprise. By playing the role of an executive in an auto-manufacturing company, participants formed and executed strategies while engaging stakeholders and competing against other live and simulated companies. Used by such leading-edge companies as Intel, Dow Chemical ad S.C. Johnson, the Business Transformation Laboratory was designed by environmental management experts to teach managers the best practices of environmental sustainability quickly and effectively.

Following are representative comments from participants’ evaluations of this seminar:

  • “Outstanding. – fun, challenging.”
  • “Excellent”
  • “Well-run course”


Measuring and Managing Corporate Reputation in an At-Risk World
This seminar focused on the role of ethics in building and protecting corporate reputation. What is reputation, why does it matter and how can it be measured? What is a reputation worth and what role does ethics play? A senior researcher from Harris Interactive presented the annual “Reputation Quotient” study of corporations, several experts discussed ethical dimensions of reputation and corporate leaders presented case histories.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Best Practices in Accountability and Reporting
This program began with a special Atlanta Executive Breakfast Forum (open to seminar participants and forum-only attendees) featuring Dr. David Vogel, Solomon P. Lee Distinguished Professorship in Business Ethics at the University of California, Berkeley and the editor of California Management Review. Author of The Market for Virtue, Dr. Vogel has challenged the popular notion of the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility and is a leading scholar on the subject. Experts reviewed trends in corporate social responsibility, and leading employers engaged participants in case history studies.

Building an Ethical Culture: Strategies for Effective Recruiting and Orientation
Nothing is more essential to fostering an ethical culture in your organization than the proper recruitment and orientation of new employees. Recruitment today poses new challenges to employers in organizations of all types, large and small. This seminar explored interview methods; documentation and reference-checking strategies; new-hire orientation programs that establish ethical standards and expectations; and other considerations involved in getting employees off to the right start. Instructors included experts in ethics, human resources, psychology, employment law, background investigations and training.

West Coast Workshops
The Southern Institute and Legal Learning Group conducted a seminar in San Francisco on May 23 entitled “Managing Workplace Ethics & Compliance: An Interactive Workshop for Human Resources Professionals & Managers.”


Two seminars were conducted in summer 2005 and attended by representatives of more than 80 companies and other organizations.

Does Religion Have a Place in the Workplace? Emerging Issues in Employee Relations
Case histories were presented by several leading employers. Experts provided practical guidance for navigating the legal and employee-relations issues arising from religion expression and practice in the workplace.

Ethics for Managers 101: An Introduction to Critical Issues in Business Ethics
This concise course in business ethics would greatly enhance any manager’s competency in leading productive discussions of issues with peers and employees. Using an exciting online business simulation, this seminar gave participants the knowledge, language and perspective to address ethics as a practical matter in organizations.


What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: How Employees Can Provide Vital Information for Managing Ethics and Compliance
Explored practical ways to learn about business risks and to encourage employees to share concerns that need management’s attention. Expert presentations and examples from leading employers provided best practices in internal research and investigations, employee “help lines” and other methods of generating employee input.

Ethics for Managers 101: An Introduction to Critical Issues in Business Ethics
This concise course in business ethics would greatly enhance any manager’s competency in leading productive discussions of issues with peers and employees. Using an exciting online business simulation, this seminar gave participants the knowledge, language and perspective to address ethics as a practical matter in organizations.

Can Workplace Ethics be Taught? Today’s Best Practices in Ethics and Compliance Training
Explored how organizations can create the most effective ethics training possible while hearing from a variety of leading organizations about their own best practices.


Building a Better Code of Ethics: Best Practices for Encouraging the Right Conduct
Managers from a variety of corporations, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies learned how an effective code of ethics can actually encourage good conduct. This workshop was led by institute staff and an expert team including Mr. Robert Barker of Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy and Mr. DeWitt Rogers of Troutman Sanders LLC. Presentations by UPS and Southern Company showed how ethics codes can be used effectively for employee education, orientation, enforcement and other internal purposes.

Preventing and Detecting Fraud in Your Business
A team of expert instructors was led by Mr. Michael O’Leary, vice president and general counsel at Smith ↦ Carson, and former chief of the Fraud Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office. The team included Charysse Alexander, chief of the Public Corruption and Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office as well as senior professionals from Smith & Carson; Ernst & Young; Alston & Bird; and Johnson, Maples & Associates. Participants learned where their organizations may face risk of loss from fraudulent activities undertaken both by outsiders and by your own employees. The interactive workshop reviewed the risks facing U.S. businesses today, and provided useful resources and strategies for “hardening” a company as a target of fraud.

Creating a Great Place to Work: Strategies to Build Trust and Loyalty in Today’s Climate
This seminar was facilitated by Mr. Steve Olson, principal of Generative Leadership and associate with Great Place to Work Institute, the organization that develops the annual Fortune magazine list of “The Best Companies to Work for in America.” We examined how open communication and internal transparency can be a vital strategy for building trust and loyalty with employees. The seminar co-leader was Mr. Ron Bordelon, president of Dallas-based consulting firm Engauge, former COO and CFO for the Browning Companies, and former Treasurer of Trammell Crow Company. A special lunchtime presentation was be given by Ms. Gail Auerbach, managing director of human resources for Randstad North America, who reviewed the company’s latest national survey on employee loyalty.