The 1st Aid Blog Forum: Corporate Social Responsibility

19 Sep

Welcome to the first convocation of the Aid Blog Forum

Our first topic for internet-wide conversation: Corporate Social Responsibility.

A tiny bit of background on Corporate Social Responsibility:

Wikipedia on CSR

Can companies save the world? Should they even try? (Forbes)

CSRWire (a site the provided CSR-related news releases)

CSR Hub (a site that rates companies based on their CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility is the new sexy thing in the philanthropy and humanitarian fundraising worlds. “Doing well while doing good” is the buzz phrase. But I’ll admit that I come to the CSR conversation with a healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism. I’ve seen it be really lame a lot of the time, and I’ve seen it go really bad a few times. But the ship has also very obviously sailed. CSR is here to stay for better and/or for worse. As humanitarians we have to deal with CSR.

Here’s where you come in. What do you think?

What do you have in the way of practical, nuanced discussion about what it takes to make CSR actually work? And I mean “actually work” in the “it makes life better for the poor somehow on their terms” sense, and not really so much in the “woo-hoo! we’ve found a way to do good without compromising our own doing well” sense. Where possible, I’d love to see us all writing towards things that are actionable. A few suggestions to get the juices flowing:

  • What should we start doing that hasn’t been done before?
  • What existing practices or ways of thinking about CSR should be stopped or change? Be specific.
  • How should we think about CSR?
  • What are some “always do”, “never ever ever ever do”, and “decide on a case-by-case basis” guidelines that should be followed by NGOs? By corporate CSR departments?
  • What principles should guide NGO marketing and corporate relations departments as they engage with counterparts in the corporate CSR world to consider partnerships and opportunities for programs in the field?
  • High-level analyses: How does the aggressive growth of corporate CSR change the landscape for practitioners and recipients of humanitarian aid and development? What are the long-term ramifications of CSR, whether positive or negative?

But hey – these are suggestions only. Write whatever you feel moved or inspired to write on the subject of Corporate Social Responsibility.

* * * * *

Here’s how The Forum works:

1) At some point over the next five days you write and post on your own blog your views on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility in the context of international humanitarian aid and development.

2) Once your post is live, come back here and click the goofy blue lizard-looking logo at the bottom of this post. Click the “add your link” button near the bottom of the page you get redirected to, paste the URL of your post into the space provided, and follow the prompts.

3) To see all posts by everyone who’s participated in the forum, just click the goofy blue lizard-looking logo at the bottom of this post: you’ll see them all named and linked in the re-directed window (future editions of The Forum will not require re-direct).

4) Tweet, like, link, post on Facebook…

How easy was that?!

The rules of engagement for participating in the Aid Blog Forum can be found here.

You’ll be able to add links to this forum through 26 September, 2011.

One Response to “The 1st Aid Blog Forum: Corporate Social Responsibility”

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  1. Reflecting on Corporate Social Responsibility « Engaging Internationally - 19 September, 2011

    […] basis.  The initial topic is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and you can read the intro blog here.  I am certainly no expert on CSR but I am happy to participate in the inaugural forum week and […]

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