The goal of the OLBIOS Advisory Group is to help you ask the right questions, raise awareness and inform you on the ethical issues you are confronted with, using ethics not as a constraint machine but as a basis for a stronger, deeper, more conscious and creative approach to your field.

Is culture best defined as the learned and shared patterns of behaviors, knowledge and interactions, as well as affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization? Documenting and analyzing ethics resources connected with cultural policy: treaties and conventions, declarations, legislation, and government programmes and strategies.

Equal rights / responsibility for future generations / freedom of speech / democracy. What should be sought in the realm of social harmony and fairness? Small sub-cultural communities within larger communities, and inter-cultural mixing. Distinguishing civil questions from religious questions.

New cultural problems created by new circumstances and technologies. National identity issues. The emergence of the idea of rights. Pressing ethical problems in contemporary culture and how different cultures are dealing with them: Welfare and Charity, Addictive Substances, Abortion, Suicide, Parenthood, Animals, Safety Standards, Environment, Corruption, Criminality, Business Climate, Population Control, Medical Care & Assurance, Homosexuality, Church and State, Prostitution, Privacy, International Obligations.

Is there a real dialogue between cultures? “Uniformisation” as a massive cultural misunderstanding. The question of cultural rights. State censorship; cases. Ecumenism and the dialogue between religions.

Main differences in socialization, education, religions, law systems, organizational and professional cultures and codes of conduct (whether written or not). Cultural conflicts as a result of different ethical standards. Kluckholn & Strodtbeck on the six dimensions of culture.

Emphasis on individuals vs. emphasis on groups. Valuing stability and preservation vs. change and progress. Is culture consisting primarily of the symbolic and intangible aspects of human societies? Is culture a simple adaptive mechanism? Do we mean by culture all the historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational but also irrational and non-rational?

Is culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”? Culture is a powerful human tool for survival, but is it a fragile phenomenon, constantly changing and easily lost? What is a subculture and the consequences of shared cultural traits of subcultures? What are the culture universals? Are they really some learned behavior patterns that are shared by all of humanity collectively?

Are we the only animal that creates and uses culture? Are there immature cultures? What is the essence of nationalism and the inclusive notion of culture as worldview? Does each ethnic group have a distinct worldview that is incommensurable with the world-views of other groups? How does this approach to culture still allowed for distinctions between “civilized” and “primitive” or “tribal” cultures?

Would a scientific comparison of all human societies reveal that distinct world-views consisted of the exact same basic elements? Do all human societies share a set of “elementary ideas” whereby different cultures, are only local modifications of these ideas? Culture as excellence: can we still use the word “culture” to refer to an ideal of individual human refinement, culture representing a pursuit of our total perfection?

Is it possible to move from orderly /popular to high culture? How can we think the distinction between high and low culture? Is the distinction between civilized and uncivilized people only an expression of the conflict between European colonial powers and their colonial subjects? Are there any « ˜noble savages » living lives more authentic than ours, uncomplicated and uncorrupted?

Is the refinement and sophistication of high culture unnatural, superficial and decadent? Are there any ethical principles, standards and cultural values that are shared worldwide? Difference of cultures: What is a gift and what is a bribe? “West” vs. “East”? Believing in harmony vs. believing in efficiency? Believing in one God vs. believing in sages?

Subtlety vs. confrontation and explicitness. Courtesy and honour vs. direct criticism. Religious morality and godless morality. The functioning of the creative economy, creative industries, art and wellbeing. Reality Television / Prostitution / Copyrights and Copywrongs / Disability as a Cultural Issue.

Technology’s role, as medium and mediator. Ethics of Civility, and the cultural context. The limits of defamation or harming another’s reputation: morally repugnant or illegal? Affirmative action and ethics: Can we reverse the effects of past discrimination by discriminating? Who participates in the planning and implementation of cultural policy?

Who deserves extra advantages? Culture as Right: – copyright, intellectual and artistic freedom, right to language, education, freedom of expression, religion – human/fundamental civic rights – developing and protecting cultures – choosing one’s own culture and ways of participation in cultural life – equitable access

Three ethical points of view on culture: – Virtue ethics: focusing on issues of freedom in art and culture, self-expression, art autonomy. Creativity and art as intrinsically valuable and legitimate goals in their own right. Policy for developing creative skills and prerequisites for creativity: culture as promotion of freedom. – Responsibility ethics: Cultural identity of a community / safeguarding of cultural traditions, realisation of cultural rights. Cultural policy – infrastructure / cultural services / accessibility / availability / participation and inclusion: culture as promotion of rights. – Benefit/corollary ethics: Benefit ethics sees creativity as a tool, focusing attention on the application of art and culture. Cultural policy becomes a part of social and economic policies (including protection of intellectual property). Role of art and culture in promoting welfare / commercialisation of art / economies of the cultural sector / cultural exports and cultural diplomacy: culture as promotion of benefits.

Protecting cultural products, expressions, cultural heritage, producers, cultural identity and culture overall. What is fair culture? Inclusion of all in cultural signification, irrespective of age, gender, ability, ethnicity, religion and cultural background. Ethical dimensions of physical and cultural accessibility. Regional Participation. Capability for cultural expression.

Analysing the extensive material on culture: Conventions / Treaties / Legislation / Government programmes, strategies, norms and administrative practices. Human rights as civic and political and economical and cultural rights. Analysing special cultural fields : The Sciences. Museums and cultural heritage. Design and architecture. Libraries. Literature. Music. Theatre, dance and pictorial art. Film and audiovisual culture. Sports. Child and youth policies. Religions.

Cultural diplomacy. Ways of life and identity. Vitality and continuity of culture. Ethnic- and minority-related diversity. Interaction between cultures. Art education. Making cultural policies choices consciously and transparently after a keen scrutiny of ethical consequences.