Art and Sustainability

  • This collection addresses the relationship between business, the natural environment, ethics, and spirituality. While traditional economic theory generally assumed firms maximize profits, it has long been acknowledged that other factors may be important to understanding firm activities. The role of ethics and spirituality in society is clearly significant, yet economists have traditionally had little to say on these topics and how they intersect with economic activity.

  • Laszlo Zsolnai and Doirean Wilson published a paper on art-based business. Their paper argues that with its exclusive focus on profit-making, modern-day businesses tend to violate the integrity and diversity of natural ecosystems, the autonomy and culture of local communities and the chance that future generations will lead a decent life. The core of the metaphysics of modern-day business is what Martin Heidegger calls “calculative thinking”. It is contrasted with poetic thinking represented by genuine art. To preserve nature and to satisfy human needs, gentle, careful ways of undertaking economic activities are needed. The paper analyses the cases of Illy Café and Brunello Cucinelli as art-based companies to show that art can inspire business to become more aesthetic organization engaged in socio-ecological value creation and the enrichment of  the quality of life.


  • The Center for Ecological Economics and Ethics of the Bodo Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland organizes the 2016 Annual European SPES Conference in May 27-29, 2016, in Bodo, Norway. The topic of the conference is „Integral Ecology, Earth Spirituality and Economics”. Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato si’  (Praised Be: On the Care of Our Common Home)  is an excellent opportunity for building a conversation between science and spirituality on ecology and sustainable development.

  • This book discloses the spiritual dimension in business ethics and sustainability management. Spirituality is understood as a multiform search for meaning which connects people with all living beings and God or Ultimate Reality. In this sense, spirituality is a vital source in social and economic life. The volume examines the spiritual orientations to nature and business in different cultural traditions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

  • Laszlo Zsolnai edited the "Spirituality and Sustainability Management" Special Issue of World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development 2014 Vol 10. No.1. This special issue is a product of the Spirituality and Sustainability: A New Path for Entrepreneurship Conference held on 21–23 September 2012 in Visegrad, Hungary. 

  • The Business Ethics Center of the Corvinus University of Budapest and the ERENET - Entrepreneurship Research and Education Network of Central European Universities organized the 2012 Annual Conference of the European SPES Forum in September 21-23, 2012 in Visegrad, Hungary. The aim of the conference was disclosing the spiritual dimension in business ethics and sustainability management.

  • The authors share the idea that narratives offer their readers an alternative fictional world. In doing this they hold up a mirror that confronts the reader with otherness that questions his self-evident norms and values but also his daily practices. Both heroes and antiheroes contribute to this process of reflection. The confrontation with literary texts stimulates the intellectual, the emotional and the social consciousness. The firm belief that divergent (cultural) systems i.e. business ethics and literature can enrich each other is at the core of this project.

  • The Norwegian School of Economics and the European SPES Forum organized a workshop on European Literature and the Ethics of Leadership in May 2–4, 2008 in Bergen, Norway. The aim of the workshop was to explore European literature for leadership ethics. Papers were invited to focus on the myths and stories of European literature: Odyssey, Orpheus, Antigone, The Holy Grail, Hamlet, Don Quichote, Robinson Crusoe, Faust, Peer Gynt, etc. and link them to contemporary issues of leadership.