Philippe de Woot was a leading light in the realm of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). With two doctorates – one in law, and one in economics, we were honoured to have him as a fellow and senior scientific advisor at the GRLI. He made an enormous contribution to our founding ‘call’ and was an active member of the organisation.

Philippe was born in Brussels on 29 August 1930. A professor at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) from 1965 to 1995, he became a pioneer in CSR, with a focus on the ethics and responsibilities of global companies as corporate citizens.

His book, Should Prometheus Be Bound, examines the new corporate responsibilities in a globalising world, and offers a conceptual and critical analysis of the new trend towards Corporate Social Responsibility, and his essay, Rethinking the Enterprise: Competitiveness, Technology and Society, explores the key role enterprise could play in the transformation of the economic system and how it can move from being a problem, to being a solution.

We received many tributes (see below) from GRLI Partners and Associates and invite you to forward more to for us to add to this page:

“Philippe’s path-breaking work on responsible leadership has had a worldwide impact. His wisdom did more than educate; he inspired a movement. His legacy will live on through the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative and the many other organisations and individuals he profoundly impacted by his words, his actions and his leadership.” – Dennis Hanno

“Avec sa disparition nous perdons nôtre source d’inspiration mais non ses enseignements. Merci, Philippe.” – Liliana Petrella

“A wise man has left us – I shall remember Philippe de Woot as a rebel of thought, fighting for relevance and purpose of the organisation with no uncertain words and profound ideas. There was a certain stubbornness about him that is a natural side product of such a thought leader. I stand for a minute in silence to honour this great man in our community of thought leadership around global responsibility.” – Katrin Muff

“Philippe de Woot was the Special Advisor to the GRLI from the earliest days. With immense generosity of spirit he contributed an incisive mind, a loving heart, a relentless commitment to ethical living and working, and a steely determination and courage. For me personally he was a brother in humanity, a chuckle buddy and a wise friend. The world has been a better place as a result of Philippe being part of it and he shall be deeply missed.” – Nick Ellerby

“An inspiration, not just for his thought leadership, but also for the way he conveyed his ideas with passion and empathy, always and for as long as he could.” – Carol Adams

“Philippe was an outstanding academic and world citizen. He has inspired hundreds of people, and taught me a lot. His conversation was always an exceptional moment where he was able to leave you feeling you were more intelligent and creative after the discussion than before. He brought to GRLI all his vast culture, intelligence, reasoning ability, empathy, and has been a rock to build on. Indeed this is very sad news, but his vast hope, rooted in spirituality, asks us not be sad, but builders of a better future for the planet.” – Pierre Tapie

“I feel very privileged to have talked with him on a few occasions. I felt that he listened with genuine interest and offered me his insight and far greater knowledge as a supportive peer. I’m sad I won’t have this opportunity again but hugely grateful for the time he gave me. I will certainly miss his wisdom.” – Mary Godfrey

“Philippe had a fierce burning for a better world which did not wane with the passing of years. It got stronger and burned more brightly. And at the same time his personal care and concern was unmatched. He was and will remain an inspiration.” – Mark Drewell

“You were one of the brightest minds the world has observed throughout history. Your example and the knowledge you shared with us will be transmitted to new generations. You were a lighthouse in complicated waters to guide people safely to port. We will keep you in our souls and in our minds.” – Fernando A. D’Alessio

“Philippe’s intellectual inspiration, his well of wisdom, and his wonderful friendship will give us strength and guidance for all time. He has profoundly impacted many individuals and organisatíons, and his work and legacy will continue to do so. Thank you, Philippe! You remain among us, and we’ll do our very best to honour you in our future undertakings – in thought and in action.” – Anders Aspling