Caux Round Table

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Caux Round Table
Founded 1986
Founder Frits Philips and Olivier Giscard d'Estaing
Area served
Mission to promote ethical and sustainable business practices and facilitate trade

The Caux Round Table is an international organization of senior business executives aiming to promote ethical business practice.[1] It was founded in 1986 by Frits Philips, president of Philips, and Olivier Giscard d'Estaing, along with Ryuzaburo Kaku, president of Canon.

Frits Philips had been alarmed to hear from reliable sources that the Japanese were dumping their products on the Western market and he feared a growing trade war. He saw the need for trustbuilding between international executives and for Corporate Social Responsibility practices. The CRT’s Principles for Business were published in 1994, incorporating western concepts (human dignity...) and Japanese ones (kyosei, interpreted as “living and working together for the common good”). An international code of good practices written by such senior industrialists from such varied backgrounds remains exceptional today. It was presented to the UN Social Summit in Copenhagen in 1994. It has since become a standard work, translated into 12 languages, and has been used as basis for their internal ethical assessments by international companies such as Nissan.

The CRT's principal activities are an annual meeting and the publication of best-practice guides for various types of organization. Every three years, the annual meeting is held at Caux, Switzerland, where the original initiative took place in 1986.[2][3] Its chief executive is Stephen B. Young; it has set up chapters in many regions of the world.

Stephen. B. Young is the Global Executive Director of the Caux Round Table, an international network of experienced business leaders who advocate a principled approach to global capitalism. Young has published Moral Capitalism, a well-received book written as a guide to use of the Caux Round Table ethical and socially responsible Principles for Business. In 2008 Prof. Sandra Waddock of the Carroll School of Management of Boston College listed Young among the 23 persons who created the corporate social responsibility movement in her book The Difference Makers.

For the Caux Round Table, Young has partnered with scholars at the International Islamic University of Malaysia to formulate interpretations of Qur'anic guidance for good governance that emphasize the convergence between Qur'an teachings and the global standards advocated by the Caux Round Table.

About the Global Executive Director[edit]

Steve Young is married to Pham Thi Hoa and they have three grown children. Young was born on November 2, 1945 in Washington D.C.. He was educated at the International School Bangkok, Harvard College (graduating Magna Cum Laud) and Harvard Law School (graduating Cum Laud).

Young volunteered for service during the Vietnam War. After a year of language training, he worked in village development for the CORDS Advisory program in South Vietnam from 1968 to 1971. In 1975 Young took the initiative to begin the resettlement program of refugees from Indochina after the Vietnam War was lost.

Young has subsequently written several articles on Vietnamese nationalism. With the late Prof. Nguyen Ngoc Huy, Young published with the Yale Southeast Asia Program a book study of human rights in traditional China and Vietnam.

He came to Minnesota in 1981 to be the third dean of the Hamline University School of Law. Previously, he had been an Assistant Dean at Harvard Law School.

Young has also taught at the University of Minnesota Law School, Vietnamese history for the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota and Public Office as a Public Trust for Minnesota State University - Mankato. He has published articles on Chinese jurisprudence, the culture and politics of Vietnam and Thailand, legal education, law firm management, Native American law, the history of negligence, and the law of war. His most recent article on legal philosophy discusses the morality of American law.

He has written numerous opinion articles for the Pioneer Press and the Minnesota Journal on Law and Politics and has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Minneapolis StarTribune, and the Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal. Young is now an editorial commentator, Twin Cities Daily Planet newswire, and writes a blog for the Caux Round Table.

Young’s most recent publications are:

"It's Time for Democrats to Seize the Day" dated 23 October 2014 the Bangkok Post, ref:

“Ethics: the key to understanding business and society” in European Business Forum, Issue 18, Summer 2004, p. 78

“Plus ca change ….” American Experiment Quarterly Vol. 7 No. 2 Summer-Fall 2004, p. 72

“Moral Capitalism and the Caux Round Table” in Mullerat, Ed., Corporate Social Responsibility: The Corporate Governance of the 21st Century, Kluwer Academic Publishers 2005

“Principled-Based Leadership” in Maak and Pless, Eds., Responsible Leadership in Business, Routledge 2005

“Key Ingredients to Economic Success: Formation of Social Capital” in World Islamic Economic Forum, Michael Yeoh, Ed., Partnerships for Growth and Development, MPH Group Publishing, Kuala Lumpur 2005

“The Moral Basis of American Law: An Hypothesis” Vol 82 University of Detroit Mercy Law Review Issue 4 Summer 2005, p. 649

"Moral Capitalism" in Development Models, Globalization and Economics, John B. Kidd and Frank-Jurgen Richter, Eds. Palgrave 2006, p. 200

“Two Traditional Chinese Normative Models for Business Ethics” Second International Conference on Business Ethics, Shanghai, September 21/22, 2006

“Two Traditional Chinese Normative Models for Business Ethics” in Politeia, Anno XXIII, No. 85/86 2007 P. 407

“Forward” to International Finance Corporation, Global corporate Governance Forum, Issues Paper on “Whistle Blowing” June 2007

“Fiduciary Duties as a Helpful Guide to ethical Decision making in Business.” Journal of Business Ethics (2007) 74:1-15

Young has appeared as a commentator on public affairs and international events for KSTP-TV, Twin Cities Public Television, WCCO-TV, and KARE-TV. He conceptualized and initiated the public affairs program Face-2-Face. Young has published regularly on the web magazine

He has practiced law for firms in New York City, St Paul and Minneapolis and was appointed Honorary Consul of Singapore in Minnesota for 5 years.

He commenced litigation in Minnesota courts challenging the legality of the legal fees in the State's tobacco litigation and the right of Deep Ecology, a set of religious beliefs, to set public policy for management of national forests in Minnesota.

In 1966 Young discovered - by tripping over a tree root - the Bronze Age site of Ban Chiang, in northeast Thailand, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Young has served on the boards of the John Vessey Leadership Academy, a charter school in St Paul, Minnesota, Ready4K, an advocacy group promoting the benefits of early childhood education, the Citizens League, Resources for Child Caring, Vietnam's Women Memorial, Vietnam Social Service, Minnesota Sons of the Revolution and as Chair of United Arts in St Paul and the Minnesota Museum of Art. He is the founding board chair of the Center of the American Experiment.

Young was the keynote speaker at the 2005 annual conference of the European Business Ethics network and one of only two non-Muslims invited to speak at the 2005 World Islamic Economic Forum. Young has spoken to audiences at the Harvard Business School, the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, the Chicago Business School, and schools at Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. He was also invited to speak on Moral Capitalism at the University Club in Chicago and the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. [4]


  1. ^ International human resource management: policy and practice for the global enterprise By Dennis R. Briscoe, Randall S. Schuler, Routledge, 2004, p. 189.
  2. ^ Thomas W. Dunfee and Thomas J. Donaldson, 'Resolving problems in global business ethics: is there evidence for universal principles or hypernorms' in The Blackwell guide to business ethics By Norman E. Bowie (2002), p. 66
  3. ^ Principles for Business
  4. ^ Caux Round Table home page