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Athol Williams is an ethics advocate, philosopher and poet.

He is the founder of the Institute of Social & Corporate Ethics (ISCE) which works to foster ethical practice, currently focused on South Africa, where he was an ardent campaigner against corporate corruption. After blowing the whistle on state capture  and corruption in 2019, Williams went into exile in 2021 over safety concerns.

He is currently based at Oxford University in the UK where he holds part-time appointments at Blavatnik School of Government, St Catherine's College and the Porter Diplomacy Centre, Hertford College.


His research interests are in the areas of political philosophy, philosophy of business and philosophy of being. His philosophy of being is partially reflected in The Book of Eden and Pushing Boulders, as well as his six books of poetry. Early indications of his philosophy of business are evident in his academic work on corporate ethics well as his recent book on corporate corruption, Deep Collusion.

Williams received his business education at the MIT Sloan School of Management and London Business School, after an initial education in engineering at University of the Witwatersrand. He trained as a philosopher at Harvard University, London School of Economics (LSE) and Oxford University. He holds six degrees from these universities and is completing a seventh (DPhil in Political Theory).

He worked in business for over 20 years in the US, UK and South Africa in management consulting, financial services and mining. He founded business and social ventures in South Africa including Read to Rise an award-winning youth literacy non-profit organisation. 

Williams has authored 18 books and had over 100 poems and two short stories published in literary journals and anthologies worldwide. He is a regular speaker at literary, public, corporate and academic events and a frequent contributor to the media. He is the recipient of numerous literary, academic and social development awards.

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