The Institute for Ethical Leadership was founded in 1998 to raise awareness of the importance of ethical leadership and to provide opportunities for leaders to come together to discuss and learn how to apply high standards of ethical practice in their work. Through meetings, conferences and seminars the Institute has brought an ethical focus on key issues ranging from the environment to health, business and education. It is now working to bring a stronger focus on teaching and learning through the creation of a new discipline of ethical leadership.

  An Urgent and Important Agenda. . .



Every aspect of civilization

...its built world
...all the ideas and policies that govern it
...its continuous flow of innovation and technology
...the actions and emotions that are expressed in our relationships

emerge from human consciousness.

In the 1st decade of the 21st century the
individual and collective expression of this consciousness
has put the quality of human life and
the health and well-being of our supporting planet in peril.

At the same time. . .
the barriers and boundaries
between individual communities and nations
have been breached
by transport and communication technologies,
exposing the connections between us,
and allowing the effects of choices
governed by consciousness in one place
to flow into the air, the land, the water,
and especially into the relationships we all share.

It has become clear. . .
that we cannot build a quality future for ourselves and our descendents with the same consciousness that has produced the outcome so far.

We must move to higher ground!

  The Way Forward

Those with the responsibility and privilege to lead others need a new internal compass and an ethical filter to guide and govern the millions of choices we make, that weave and reweave the fabric from which the tapestries of our lives are made.

This compass's true north must be magnetized by qualities of kindness, respect and compassion for others, tempered by a thoughtful and tender wisdom for the human condition, and measured by considerations of justice and balance for people and our planet in all its diversity.

To incorporate such teaching into our consciousness, a new kind of education must be created to recognize how we can act together as citizens, in partnerships, in teams, in communities to rethink the policies, the infrastructures and overarching principles on which a quality future may be built.


This is a task for millions of participants whose consciousness is already climbing to higher ground.


Belief and Intent This is an urgent and important agenda!

Dr. Desmond Berghofer



Dr. Geralidine Schwartz


› Meetings Highlights

As one of the ways forward the Institute for Ethical Leadership has been created (1998) to assert with a clear and effective voice the belief and intent that high ethical standards are our first priority.

We do not need to reinvent the content of the new education. Since the time when civilization created the written word, the wisdom of the sages and elders from ancient times has been preserved. Now, combined with the new knowledge of our times, this human story and its emergent ideas needs to be gathered, repackaged, reinterpreted and presented for a modern audience through every media available making it accessible to all citizens everywhere.

The Founders and Principals of the Institute for Ethical Leadership, Dr. Desmond Berghofer and Dr. Geraldine Schwartz, have made a start on this project. They connected ethics to leadership because of their conviction that ethical behaviour does not simply appear in society, but has to be modeled by the leaders. Through its location in Vancouver, Canada the work of the Institute begins in its own community, then reaches beyond.

Dialogue, discussions and outreach activities need to engage citizens from every part of our society and the reports of their deliberations should be shared with political, business, industry and community leaders to inform the choices they make and the policies of governance they create with real unfiltered grass roots input.

The work of the Institute from 1998 to 2004 has been preserved on this site through its history, which includes its founding document, important essays, key meeting highlights and awards.
  The New Thrust

In spring 2007 the Principals of the Institute began a new thrust in teaching, beginning with Ethical Leadership Workshops for business clients and the launch of the Living Legacy Project with community leaders and the opportunity to become Friends of the Institute. As well as breaking new ground this work provides a fascinating synthesis of the thinking of writers from many disciplines, captured in a set of foundational essays that form the basis of the workshops and facilitator training.




In March 2007 Drs. Berghofer and Schwartz also released two new books: Antale: An Allegory of a World Reborn by Desmond Berghofer and Journeys of Second Adulthood: A Woman's Search for Higher Ground by Geraldine Schwartz. These books complement their earlier work and, in particular Desmond's novel, The Visioneers: A Courage Story about Belief in the Future. In all of their writing Desmond and Geraldine bring passionate expression to their conviction that humanity is poised to break through to a new and higher level of peaceful coexistence.

Recognizing the urgency to bring the ethical leadership agenda to as wide an audience as possible we invite you to contact us to discuss possibilities of how this might be done.


Institute for Ethical Leadership
209 - 1628 West 1st Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Canada, V6J 1G1

Phone: 604-734-2544
Fax: 604-734-2973


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