John Templeton Foundation

March 6, 2000
Inn at Penn
3600 Sansom St.
phia, PA


Media Release

John Templeton

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Pamela Thompson
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Radnor, PA 19087
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Sources of Wisdom Program CoverMedia Release


Business Contact:
Dr. Arthur Schwartz

Business Leaders to Discuss Sources of Wisdom for Value- based Leadership

Nine preeminent, business leaders will gather at the first "Sources of Wisdom in the World of Business" Symposium on Monday March 6, 2000, at the Inn at Penn, Sansom Common, 3600 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA. The highly distinguished group will discuss the sources of ethical and moral principles that guide every day management decisions.The John Templeton Foundation will sponsor this Symposium to explore specifically how a person's family, religion or mentors inform his or her ethical framework, business goals, and principles of success.

Sir John Templeton, a pioneer in the development of high-yield globally diversified mutual funds, will open the symposium. Tony Battaglia, President of the Diversified Foods Group, a Division of Chiquita Brands, Sandy McDonnell, Chairman Emeritus of McDonnell Douglas Corporation, and Jim Ferguson, Retired Chairman and CEO of General Foods Corporation will discuss the role of "Family as a Source of Wisdom," Gerald Cavanagh, SJ , Professor of Management, University of Detroit Mercy, will moderate the session.

Larry Pike, Chairman, President and CEO of Union Central, and Jay Borden, President and CEO of Granite Systems, a venture-backed telecommunications software company, will speak about "Religion as a Source of Wisdom," Professor Laura Nash, Director of the Institute for Values-Centered Leadership at Harvard Divinity School's Center for the Study of Values in Public Life will moderate the session.

Mrs. Gina Despres, Senior Vice President of Capital Research and Management Company, a US-based investment company, Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, and Alexander Boyle, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Chevy Chase Bank will discuss the role of "Mentors and Education" as their "Sources of Wisdom." Bill Evan, Ph.D., Professor of Management at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania will moderate this session.

Although not usually studied in business schools, the business world has always placed great value on wisdom. Since its first issue in 1917, Forbes Magazine has reserved its last page for "Thoughts on the Business of Life," a compilation of wise sayings that B. C. Forbes hoped would "inspire a philosophic mode of life, broad sympathies, and charity to all." Since then, an entire industry has developed to provide business executives with office wall hangings, calendars and appointment books that feature inspirational and motivational sayings. Even though some of the most fundamental principles of free enterprise ( e.g., "the customer is always right") are familiar to most business executives, there is little understanding of why and how executives actually incorporate these principles into their daily business practices and even less about how such beliefs are transmitted and learned. The Symposium will be open to the general public. Several key questions will be discussed:

What do we know about the relationship between ethical and successful business practices and how those practices have been shaped by family relationships, religious faith, and significant mentors?

Do strong convictions (such as honesty, courage, hard work) require strong sources (such as family, religion and mentors)?

Do business leaders frequently use maxims and proverbs that have personal meaning and motivational power?

Where, or from whom, did they learn these maxims and proverbs?