Neely Ethics Conference Panel Explores Ethical Decisions Within Storytelling

On Friday April 26th, as part of the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making conference “Next Generation Ethics: Where Do We Stand”, Professor and MISC Executive Director Michael Taylor spoke on a panel moderated by Frank Zerunyan, Professor of Practice of Governance, Price School of Public Policy.

To prompt a discussion about ethical decision making, Taylor screened clips from several USC student films (Listed below) in which characters were faced with an ethical dilemma. The films explored topics such as gun control, immigration policy, and racial profiling.

The panel included Sharon Lloyd, Professor of Philosophy, Law, and Political Science; Randy Hill, Executive Director, Institute for Creative Technology; and Kenneth Fletcher, Former Chief Risk Officer, Transportation Security Administration.

Panelists asked to name the single most pressing ethical issue in their field. Taylor said in the MISC world order, there is no single issue.

“I know I was asked to answer with a single issue which I was intending to do but when I got here this morning I changed my mind. We have to acknowledge first where we are today. We are in a crisis of ethics in the world. If you examine governments, colleges, religious institutions, corporations including banking systems you will find corruption. MISC deals with issues of social significance of all kinds. And all of them seem to have an ethical component.”

Also, commenting on the need for consensus, which is something that was discussed at length at the conference, Taylor said: “As academics we gravitate towards the gray when there really is a sense of what’s right and wrong.” and “Consensus doesn’t always get us to an ethical place."

Next Generation Ethics: Where Do We Stand featured distinguished speakers from the financial industry, experts on the ethics of immersive technologies, experts on the #MeToo movement, journalist’s views on the technological impacts of changing the human mind, experts on ethical issues surrounding medical advancements, and many others.

The purpose of the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making is to inspire and develop leaders dedicated to making effective, ethical and legal decisions. The center partners with enterprises around the world to create value by making better decisions in an ethically sensitive way.

The films shown at the conference were:

Falling, directed by Ewen Wright

Borderlines, directed by Tiffany Kontoyiannis

Iman & the Light Warriers, directed by Jay Woo

Light & Lovely, directed by Uterra Singh

Dust Trail, directed by Miriam Arghandiwal

Driving Lessons, directed by Leland Hall

Ablution, directed by Omar Aldakheel

GI Jose, directed by Alejandro Vela