A New Voice in Global Ethics

in News, Press Release, School
May 5th, 2014

Mr. Harry Susilo endows a new SMG institute to stimulate ongoing dialogue on East/West ethics and culture

In an increasingly connected world, questions of global ethics demand attention.

The Harry Susilo Institute for Ethics in a Global Economy at the School of Management will promote dialogue and debate around these issues through scholarly work in global ethics and by teaching cross-cultural business practices that focus on ethics in Western and Eastern cultures.

Established in 2014 through an endowment in perpetuity by Mr. Harry Susilo, the Institute is the School’s first permanently endowed institute—a milestone for SMG as it strives to achieve elite status among business schools. “We couldn’t be more pleased about this wonderful vote of confidence from Harry Susilo,” commented BU President Robert A. Brown, who announced the gift at a dinner gathering at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 29. “What began as a conversation about shared values between SMG Dean Ken Freeman and Harry Susilo has blossomed into a powerful tool for understanding and promoting ethical behavior in the business arena.”

The Institute ultimately aims to be a positive influence on the global economy. “If we want a sustainable business environment, then we must establish a virtuous cycle in business ethics,” said Mr. Susilo.

Seeking to be a role model and focal point for conversations around global ethics, the Institute will develop teaching cases conveying lessons from both Western and Eastern ethical frameworks. Carrying out this mission calls for collaboration between SMG faculty and faculty from research centers at universities across Asia, which Mr. Susilo and his advisors will help facilitate. In addition to providing research funding, the Susilo endowment will support the institute director—a world-class scholar in business ethics, to be named when the institute is formally established—and an annual Harry Susilo Institute Symposium for the Study of Ethics. It is anticipated that this symposium will be held in Boston and Asia in alternating years.

“My earnest hope is that the University can promote the study of business ethics to serve as the compass for future commerce, to instill more caring in the world, and to allow everyone with a dream to be able to realize that dream and achieve their lifelong goals,” said Mr. Susilo.

A leading Chinese-Indonesian businessman and founder of frozen seafood corporation Sekar Bumi, Mr. Susilo is a member of the SMG Dean’s Asia Advisory Board, the President’s International Advisory Board, and a parent of BU graduates Finna Susilo (GSM’98) and Fanni Susilo (CAS’00).

Mr. Susilo’s gift comes more than 100 years after a man with a strikingly similar background helped found Boston University. Mr. Isaac Rich and Mr. Susilo both came from humble backgrounds, then worked in the fishing industry where they both achieved great success that enabled them to support a common goal – thriving, inclusive higher education that lasts the test of time.

“Mr. Harry Susilo is a long-time friend of BU,” said Kenneth Freeman, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean. “He, and his commitment and gracious support, will positively impact SMG, BU, and inform the essential conversation on global ethics for decades to come. We are grateful to Harry for providing resources for this vital effort.”