Students having a discussion

About the Montrone Seminar Series

The Paul M. Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics is an intimate series of round tables which focus on real-life ethical issues and the consequences of decisions. This series of sessions fosters open dialogue between business leaders and a small group of students, providing an opportunity for discussion and reflection, which students do not always have in a lecture. While everyone carries values from their upbringing, these values are often latent, not examined or discussed. These round tables provide a forum for bringing assumed values into the open, where they can be challenged and honed.

The round tables create a special environment — one in which students can safely discuss dilemmas of choice they may have already faced or fear facing in the future. These small sessions engage students and allow them to ask questions in a more intimate setting, increasing the comfort with which students think about, discuss and practice ethics, making it second nature, thus preparing them to become responsible leaders.

Topics examined and debated range from how individual behavior can affect entire companies and in turn affect shareholders and the public to how small decisions can be particularly impactful — echoing the School’s underlying philosophy as it relates to ethics that “the little things do matter,” particularly in day-to-day business decisions. The core values of corporate culture — an emphasis on speed, authority and an orientation to maximize financial results — can sometimes lead to imperfect systems, particularly with respect to ethics. Best practices in business are not always ethical practices, and there is often little time or opportunity to think, to challenge or to reflect on day-to-day actions.

The Paul M. Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics is a critical part of the MBA experience, and provides a forum for a slow-motion approach to breaking down fast-paced decisions. Discussions with corporate leaders expose students to business leaders making real ethical decisions, giving them the chance to engage more directly in dilemmas of choice. This Seminar Series not only allows students to benefit from the experiences of established leaders, but from each other’s experiences, as well. The Series emphasizes that ethics is not a compartmentalized issue only relevant to those making major decisions and inspired from the top down, but must be practiced on all levels. This format encourages a free exchange of ideas, enabling students to learn to identify the theoretical and practical issues of recognizing and responding to ethical dilemmas, and allowing them to find the link between good ethics and good business.

Past Speakers

 Maryam Banikarim Headshot

Maryam Banikarim ’93
Former Global Chief Marketing Officer
Hyatt Hotels

 Lewis E Sanders Headshot

Lewis E Sanders
Founder, CEO, Co-CIO
Sanders Capital LLC

 John Podesta Headshot

John Podesta
Chair, Fmr President, Center for American Progress
Fmr Chairman, 2016 Hilary Clinton Presidential Campaign

 Peter Stringham

Peter Stringham
Fmr Chairman, CEO
Young & Rubicam Brands

 Van Jones Headshot

Van Jones
President, Dream Corps
Contributor, CNN

 Majora Carter

Majora Carter
Founder, Sustainable South Bronx
President, Majora Carter Group LLC

Full list of past speakers