The EBEN conference was held in the northern Italian city of Trento. It ran from Thursday morning 9th September to lunchtime Sunday 11th Sep.

There was a welcome reception on Wednesday evening put on by the local tourist office with wine cheese and meats. It ran for an hour and mostly attracted international (non-continental) participants

Trento was the city where, early in the Reformation, the Council of Trent was held. Initially to be a meeting of the protestants from Germany and the Catholics from Rome and beyond, debate over the location lasted 6 years. And then the Germans did not come and the Council saw the planning of the Counter Reformation in the 1550s.

There were 100 papers and 5-6 streams in each of the paper sessions. There was a plenary at 10:30 each morning with two speakers, lasting one-and-a-half hours all up.

Friday was a long day, starting at 8:30, with sessions running to 6pm and the bus for dinner departing at 7. The return bus left the dinner venue at mid-night.

Some participants and papers duplicated from the SBE Society for Business Ethics conference in Montreal the previous month (or from AAPAE in June).

On Saturday morning was a concluding plenary with non-cademic speakers, chaired by Alejo Sison the chair of EBEN. Participants were the CEO of a bank, President of the major multinational food company Barilla, research director from the relevant EC program, former CEO now president of a Foundation to promote catholic social teaching, and one other. Each spoke for 15 minutes, and then there were questions from the floor. It was very effective, if long.

The conference perhaps had a greater economics flavour than at AAPAE, and was less philosophical than either SBE or the other American applied ethics conference APPE. There were many references by the Italian keynote speakers to the moral elements in classical economic works, such as Keynes and Marshall.

There were two Australians beside myself, Lorraine Carey from U Canberra, and Sabina Leitmann from Social work at Curtin.

Three recognizable Americans were present — Pat Werhane, Laura Harman from DePaul and Michael Hoffman from Bentley. There were around ten from the UK, including Geoff Moore who delivered a keynote address.

Registration was €250 for members: including two lunches, four morning/afternoon teas and the six-course dinner.

EBEN is a network with 12 national chapters, averaging 25-30 members each, apart from a 700-strong German chapter. EBEN holds both an ‘annual conference‘ (this one) and a research conference each year. The 2011 annual conference will be in Antwerp.