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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Strategic Vision

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is the world's leading proponent for practical ethics in personal and professional life. In dialogue with Silicon Valley and global society, the Center conducts research and inquiry into important ethical questions, and provides useful resources to promote ethics in everyday life and equip individuals and institutions to act with integrity.


Vision Statement 2020

The Center will create a meaningful, positive impact on the ethical behavior of institutional Leaders and of individuals in their institutional, professional, and personal lives by helping them make more informed ethical choices.

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Belief Statements

  • We believe there are unavoidable ethical dilemmas in each role of life.
  • We believe a practical ethical decision-making framework improves ethical outcomes.
  • We believe ethics should include an active concern for the poor and marginalized.
  • We believe people need a source of informed guidance on ethical dilemmas and ethical decision making.
  • We believe good ethical behavior requires information, preparation, and personal reflection.
  • We believe there are organizational ethical cultures and that they can be managed by creating effective structures, incentives, and communications.
  • We believe healthy ethical environments help organizations endure.
  • We believe institutional leaders have a critical role in creating and sustaining ethical cultures.
  • We believe every individual must demonstrate personal leadership to make good ethical choices, to help strengthen the ethical culture of organizations, and to lead an ethical life.
  • We believe in civility when exploring ethical dilemmas, which can be very complex and contested.
  • We believe the Ethics Center can be a neutral broker and unbiased convener that allows people to explore trade-offs in ethical decision-making more effectively.
  • We believe society is served by having the continuing presence of an ethics center addressing ethics in these ways.
  • We believe our multidisciplinary expertise allows the Ethics Center to have more impact.

Strategic Direction 2013-2020: Summary of the Plan

The goal of this strategic plan is to continue the programs that have made the Center so successful to dateand to pursue new initiatives which expand the Center's impact -- by building on what the Center has accomplished and by reinforcing the University's strategic priorities.Consistent with the goals of the University and the strengths of the Center, we will leverage our Silicon Valley location, our multidisciplinary character, our technological knowledge, and our global reach to provide enhanced emphasis on leadership, focusing on the critical role of institutional leaders and on the personal leadership that enables every individual to act ethically.

To fulfill our vision and intent over the next seven years, we will use four general strategies.Each of these strategies is consistent with and reinforces the strategy of Santa Clara University as a whole, demonstrating a commitment to engagement with the real world, to a global perspective, and to Jesuit values including an active concern for the poor and marginalized.

1.Expand Work on Institutional Ethical Leadership

The quality and breadth of the Center's work is such that it can have a greater impact in the near future by focusing on leaders and their work within institutions.The Center can build from its existing partnerships to engage more extensively with institutional leaders – be they corporate executives or directors, health care and government executives, or school principals.It can affect more people through institutions and their leaders.

2.Deepen Knowledge of and Linkages to Silicon Valley and its Ethics Issues/Use Silicon Valley Expertise to Build Global Linkages

The Center and the University have strengthened their roles by leveraging their location in the heart of Silicon Valley.The Center will deepen its knowledge of the ethical challenges in the entrepreneurial and high tech world of Silicon Valley.Given the diversity of the local community and the connections sought by people in other parts of the world to Silicon Valley, deep Silicon Valley knowledge can aid the Center's efforts to go global and have global influence.

3.Expand Work on Personal Ethical Behavior and Leadership

The Center is already recognized for having extensive resources for personal ethical behavior and leadership on its website.It is deepening this knowledge through the delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and interactive websites designed to reach people around the globe. The Center has the reputation and standing to capitalize on this moment, establishing itself as the leading global resource on personal ethical behavior and leadership.

4.Deepen Commitment to Ethics of the Next Generation

The Ethics Center has raised many peoples' awareness of the role of ethics in everyday life and the need for education on ethics in every educational context.It has always had an emphasis on ethics education for the next generation.To a surprising extent, ethics is emerging as a subject matter on a par with math, science, English, and history at many educational levels and institutions.And many educators already look to the Center for guidance on how to approach ethics.But the Ethics Center can make a more significant contribution in 2013-2020 in defining how ethics will be taught to the next generation and what materials will be used to do so.