The United Nations in Geneva celebrates the focus on Ethical Leadership.

Neil Hawkes
2 min readMay 9, 2023


On the 1st May 2023, at the UN in Geneva, I had the honour of representing the IVET Foundation, by being part of a high level panel, that focused on Values-based Leadership in a multi-crisis world.

Dr Neil Hawkes, Founder of the IVET Foundation

The session heralded the launch of a programme organised by UNITAR in partnership with ARROWAD, which would provide essential values-based leadership skills to staff of international, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organisations, diplomats, government officials and private sector professionals.

I gave a good-humoured, interactive keynote on values-based education being the key to values-based leadership.

My Key take home messages were:

· National governments must invest in quality education that gives equal emphasis to knowledge of the world and knowledge of the human being — the head and the heart.

· Each of us should hold up the mirror to see what values we live and check out our ability to genuinely connect with other humans. Clearer understanding of us brings greater awareness of others and their needs. Our eyes often give us away! Do they genuinely smile? Be compassionate to yourself as none is perfect.

· All schools should build a culture that is based on universal positive human values such as respect, empathy, compassion, justice, equity and altruism.

· Focusing and the modelling of values by adults develops in students ethical intelligence, which is the ability to ethically self-regulate behaviour.

· Values-based Education nourishes ethical leadership, which the world desperately needs if we are to solve the complex existential challenges we face on our planet.

· The IVET Foundation ( and its educational arm Values-based Education ( are reaching thousands of students worldwide who are developing ethical leadership.

· There is a window of opportunity which we need to grasp, if we are to ensure that we flourish. The key being to invest in the development of ethical leadership.

I was deeply touched by the appreciation of my message and the warmth of feeling that my keynote created. I returned to the UK more hopeful that, through a focus on ethical leadership, we can achieve the UN’s Sustainable Goals, notwithstanding the challenges that must be met.

UN Geneva 1st May 2023



Neil Hawkes

Dr. Neil Hawkes is well known as an inspirational speaker, educator, broadcaster, author and social commentator. He is a popular TEDx presenter.