The sixth annual Global Ethics Summit took place March 20-21, 2014, in New York and was hosted by the Ethisphere Institute and Thomson Reuters. The event featured keynote and panel discussions engaging debate among executives, compliance officers, legal professionals and more, offering insight into business operations in the current global environment focusing on governance, anti-corruption, ethics and reputation.

The conference opened with a moderated keynote featuring Randal S. Milch, executive vice president of Public Policy and general counsel at Verizon; and Larry D. Thompson, executive vice president of Government Affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary at PepsiCo. The discussion addressed leadership within a global organization, the challenges with current and emerging regulation, and driving compliance and an ethical culture. Providing one of the best comments of the entire conference, Thompson, when discussing the challenges in his role, stated, “I sleep like a baby, which means I wake up in the middle of the night screaming.”

Transparency and tone from the top were major themes throughout multiple panels. Stakeholders expect companies to be ethical global citizens, and in today’s world with citizen journalists and social media, one moment can impact a reputation that took years to build. A panel on global supply chain and third-party compliance discussed transparency and that organizations can leverage it for a competitive advantage. Kenneth Resnick, vice president and general counsel, GE Oil & Gas, was a part of that discussion on how transparency breeds trust and said, “Trust is the currency of business.”

The Global Ethics Summit brought together notable panelists from across the globe, and public and private sectors. Additional discussions focused on ethical culture in global organizations; anti-corruption trends; ethics and social media; lessons from a crisis; highly regulated industries; government viewpoint on enforcement; third party compliance; data and compliance program integration; and whistleblower protection.

Additional information on the Global Ethics Summit, including the agenda and full list of speakers, can be viewed at globalethicssummit2014.com.