Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Press Release: 2018 Global Business & Peace Symposium and Awards

9 Feb, 2018

March 7th/8th 2018 Seoul, South Korea

H.E. Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary General, will address the latest developments in the North-South Korean negotiations at the Business and Peace symposium in Seoul, the day before the Winter Paralympics begin.

The Symposium includes business, political and academic leaders from around the world and will discuss themes including religious nondiscrimination and inclusion in the workplace. With his high-profile commitment to business and peace, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, as well as providing his expert insight in to the tense situation on the Korean peninsular, will also speak about how business is a powerful force supporting interfaith understanding and peace.

Top South Korean government leaders will welcome a delegation from the symposium at the National Assembly. “Korean support for this event is tremendous,” said Brian Grim, international organizer and President of the Religious freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF). “This shows the initiative’s timely contribution to peace, held at this time of heightened tensions and in tandem with the Olympics.”

A main focus of the event will be the presentation of the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards, given to CEOs worldwide for their promotion of peace through interfaith knowledge and action. Awardees include:

  • – Ernst and Young’s UK Chairman Steve Varley who has overseen a first-of-its-kind online program, Religious Literacy for Organizations, helping earn EY the #1 slot on DiversityInc’s 2017 diversity and inclusiveness list.
  • Mark Woerde, Founder Havas Lemz and, who believes he can make the world a better place through interfaith advertising featuring the world’s most prominent religious leaders including Pope Francis.
  • – Former Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ingrid Vanderveldt, who has the ambitious goal of, by 2020, empowering a billion women from all faiths to work together to achieve more, give more and accomplish more.
  • – The Global Business & Peace Awards, will also give awards to business leaders from South Korea who have worked to build positive ties with North Korea, selected by high level government officials.

This is the second Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards. The inaugural awards were given the day before the opening of the Rio Paralympics in 2016. This pioneering peace initiative was started by RFBF and is a collaboration with the Global Compact Network Korea, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

The Awards began after H.E. Ban Ki-moon established the Business for Peace platform in 2013 within the UNGC, the world’s largest corporate member organization committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, which notably include SGD 16 (Peace) “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”