©2020 by Nordic Business Ethics Network


Business Ethics Day 2020 – The rise of speak-up culture

The 2nd Business Ethics Day will be organized in Helsinki on October 29, 2020 under the theme of speak-up culture.


Ethical companies seem to outperform in their markets over the long term, and business ethics can be a real competitive advantage for the companies that take it seriously. One of the founding elements of business ethics and sustainability is a corporate culture that enables people to share their concerns and mistakes, especially those that occur in the gray zone. However, according to a recent study (Nordic Business Ethics Survey 2019), the most critical issue in Nordic companies is that employees do not dare speak up about their ethical concerns. Nordic companies must make some changes to encourage a healthy speak-up culture.

The theme of Business Ethics Day 2020 is the rise of speak-up culture. We invite all business leaders and ethics & compliance professionals to join the discussion around the challenges and opportunities related to corporate conduct, ethics, and sustainability.

08:00 - 09:00 Registration and morning coffee  

09:00 - 09:15 Welcome to 2nd annual Business Ethics Day! 

Niina Ratsula & Anna Romberg, Founders of Nordic Business Ethics Network


09:15 – 10:15 Ethical leadership and the stigma of whistleblowing

Michaela Ahlberg, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Getinge Group

One of the leading Ethics & Compliance professionals in Nordics Michaela Ahlberg will share her insights from working with several global organizations going through ethical failures. She will talk about how business leaders cannot ignore the current trends for greater responsibility and what the role of an ethics and compliance professional is. Michaela will also talk about the leadership and the stigma of whistleblowing.


10:10 – 10:35 Coffee Break



10:35 – 11:30 How I became a whistleblower

Jóhannes Stefánsson, whistleblower of large-scale bribery scheme


On 12 November 2019, WikiLeaks published thousands of documents and email communication indicating that Samherji, a fishing and fish processing company in Iceland, had paid hundreds of millions islandic krona to high ranking politicians and officials in Namibia with the objective of acquiring the country’s coveted fishing quota. That same day, Jóhannes Stefánsson, the former general manager of Samherji in Namibia, stated on the investigative TV-program that Samherji's CEO and biggest shareholder authorized the bribe payments. Next day Namibia's Minister of Fisheries and Minister of Justice where forced to resign due to their involvement in the scandal. Johannes will now share his very personal testimony on how and why to blow the whistle against your organization. 



11:30 – 12:15 How to become and remain as one of the worlds’ most sustainable companies?


12:15 - 13:15 Lunch break



13:15 – 14:00 Nordic Business Ethics Survey 2020 – Where do we stand in 2020? 

Niina Ratsula & Anna Romberg, Founders of Nordic Business Ethics Network


In April 2019 the first Nordic Business Ethics survey results were launched with a great response from the public and media. The 2019 survey shed light on the ethical issues Nordic companies are facing today, such as the difficulty on speaking up on ethical concerns and lack of organizations’ ethics training for employees. The survey will be repeated in 2020 with an increased scope, including now survey respondents from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The 2020 survey responses will be launched in April 2020 in country specific launch events and in Business Ethics Day. 

14:00 – 14:20 How should my company prepare for EU Whistleblowing Directive?

Karin Henriksson, Co-founder of WhistleB, part of Navex Global Group


The new EU-wide whistleblower protection directive was officially entered into force on 16.12.2019. Now EU member states will be obliged to implement the directive into their own national laws until 2021. The EU Directive requires companies with more than 50 employees to take measures to protect whistleblowers and to establish confidential whistleblower channels and clear reporting processes. What does this mean in practice? What should every company do to ensure compliance with these new rules? Karin Henriksson, co-founder of WhistleB, will provide a short update before a panel discussion around the topic. 


14:20 – 14:50 Coffee break


14:50 – 15.10 Whistleblowing and data protection – are whistleblowing channels legal in Finland? 

Suvi Knaapila, Attorney-at-law, Partner, Dittmat & Indrenius

The European Union has recognized the importance of whistleblowing channels and appropriate protection of whistle-blowers. However, the current Finnish approach on collection of employee data from other sources than employees themselves without their consent is threatened. This creates a challenge for the organizations that already have a whistleblowing channel and for those who are planning one. What is the current status of this issue and how will it be solved?


15:10 – 15:45  To blow or not to blow? Panel discussion on the benefits and challenges on whistleblowing channels and employee data protection


Karin Henriksson, Co-founder of WhistleB, part of Navex Global Group

Suvi Knaapila, Attorney-at-law, Partner, Dittmat & Indrenius

Jóhannes Stefánsson, whistleblower of large-scale bribery scheme


15:45 – 16:00 Final remarks and closing the seminar

Niina Ratsula & Anna Romberg, Founders of Nordic Business Ethics Network


Michaela Ahlberg is a lawyer with over thirty years of experience working with global business and ethics & compliance, with a proven capability of engaging those around her. She is an advocate for empowering leadership, strengthening a culture of ethical business. She has been responsible for ethics & compliance programs at several multinational companies such as Nokia, Volvo Cars, Telia Company and Getinge.


Jóhannes Stefánsson is a former managing director of Samherji's operations in Namibia, who became the whistleblower in his former employer’s bribery case and is now working with anti-corruption authorities in Namibia, and other countries.


Anna Romberg is a driven anti-corruption, compliance and corporate governance expert specialised in the prevention, detection and remediation of corporate conduct and corporate crime related compliance issues. She has worked with organizations such as Telia and Cargotec and used to interact with both external and internal stakeholders such as investors, regulators, the board and executive management to manage corporate conduct related matters and she is now assisting global companies in managing corporate conduct related risks.


Niina Ratsula is business ethics and compliance expert with a focus on building sustainable corporate cultures. Niina spent 12 years in multinational corporations (Nokia and Kemira) focusing on ethics, compliance, internal controls and audit. In 2018 she started her own business Code of Conduct Company and is now supporting organizations in building their ethics and compliance programs, ethical leadership and internal audit functions.

Karin Henriksson is one of the co-founders of WhistleB, which currently is part of Navex Global Group. WhistleB is a global whistleblowing service provider and ethics & compliance expert. WhistleB service is currently used in more than 150 countries. 

Suvi Knaapila co-heads the Employment, Benefits & Pensions practice at Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys. She advises Finnish and multinational corporations in their HR-matters, including HR-related compliance and data protection matters."