In a rapidly changing world, all members of society – and namely the next generation of leaders – need skills to face ethical challenges they might be presented with.

This is why three leading European Universities, together with the European Investment Bank Institute launched the European Ethics Bowl (EEB). A collaborative and competitive event that offers participating teams an environment that enhances their capacity to critically discuss ethical dilemmas related to economics, business, and society. 

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Why the European Ethics Bowl?

The European Ethics Bowl was created to raise awareness of the relevance and complexity of ethical issues in the European context and to improve students’ ability to discuss ethical issues in the work environment. The ability to identify and openly discuss ethical issues in the context of work, organisations and business is becoming increasingly important in today’s world where Europe and the world are becoming more and more integrated.

What is the European Ethics Bowl?

The European Ethics Bowl is both a collaborative and competitive event where teams of students, alumni and recent EIB Summer School alumni analyse and discuss ethical dilemmas related to work, organisations and business. Ethical issues related to personal choices (sexuality, life and death, etc.), science and medical practices will not be part of the competition. 

Ethical issues are presented in the form of specific case studies. Students work together in teams of three to solve the case and compete, first at the institutional level and then across institutions. Teams will be judged by a panel of judges (appointed by the organisers) on their core statements, their responses to the core questions, and their authentic and analytical resolution of the ethical issues.

Teams are evaluated on:

  • The understanding of the key ethic challenge posed by the case study.
  • The solution to the ethical problem, which will also be evaluated in terms of the degree of inclusivity, integrity, and respect for diversity embedded in the proposed way forward.

How does the European Ethics Bowl differ from an academic debate?

The focus of an academic debate is skillful opposition, while the EEB encourages dialogue and collaboration. In a debate, students present opposing arguments. In a debate, students are asked to take a position and defend it vigorously. At the European Ethics Bowl, they use arguments to get to the heart of the matter. Students engage in a dialogue and learn from each other. Students are assessed on their communication skills, use of relevant information, critical thinking, creativity and respectful collaboration.

What is the origin of the Ethics Bowl?

The Ethics Bowl was developed in the United States of America in 1993 by Dr. Robert Ladenson of the Illinois Institute of Technology. The first nationwide Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl was held in 1997 in Washington, D.C. and the event has been annually organized ever since.

The European Ethics Bowl gratefully acknowledges the pioneering work of the National High School Ethics Bowl (U.S.) at the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NHSEB) for providing the general format for the European Ethics Bowl. More information about the NHSEB can be found at