I’m pleased to have been asked to participate in a panel discussion: CHANGEMAKERS: THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENUERS IN THE UNITED STATES
Visitors are invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Their program is arranged by Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID Washington).
This Multi-Regional Project will examine the rise of social entrepreneurship in the U.S. and how innovation can drive social and environmental change. Social entrepreneurs identify social problems and apply market-based solutions to organize, create and manage ventures that engage the community to solve social problems. This project will focus on the concept of social entrepreneurship, as well as government initiatives that support civic engagement and innovation. Through examination of successful models of social entrepreneurship, the participants will explore the impact of new and social media on traditional methods of fundraising, grassroots mobilization and strategic collaboration.
• To examine the role of social entrepreneurship in the United States, focusing on what makes these ventures sustainable and self-sufficient;
• To introduce international social entrepreneurs to their American counterparts for discussion of best practices and innovative approaches to social change affecting poverty alleviation, public health, and the environment;
• To discuss current trends and developments shaping social innovation, including the impact of strategic collaboration, youth initiatives, corporate social responsibility, and combined non-profit/for-profit enterprises;
• To explore the impact of new and social media in the promotion of social entrepreneurship.
It is great to have the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy take the lead in this and I applaud their efforts. These topics are so relevant in today’s economy and society.
Comments and inputs are as always most welcomed.
As we have said before the value of practicing Corporate Citizenship comes in many ways but let’s not assume there is no cost, after all we are talking about a return on investment.
Take the example of Walgreen. Yes, you can look at their “Social Responsibility” page and get a sense of their Main Street activity but a better indication of their actions may better seen on Wall Street. Today I read the announcement that they will not be moving their headquarters out of the U.S. as a part of a recent acquisition. A pure patriotic or even Corporate Citizenship motivated decision? Not exactly. A smart business decision? Probably. A costly decision? Absolutely!
As a result of their decision, in no small way influenced by CUSTOMER outcry, they will not be able to take advantage of the potential tax advantages that an “Inversion” event presents and this will undoubtedly have an impact to their shareholders, although I believe this will be temporary. Evidence that their decision was a tough one? A snapshot of stock market activity indicated that their share price had dropped by over 10%!
Walking away from potential tax relief (that money would fall directly to the bottom line) and taking a share price hit might send shock waves through their shareholder community but I hope it sends an even greater message to the marketplace and the consumer base.
I am wondering if the consumers will reward Walgreen with their business – I know I will now (I never really did before).
Why do I choose to listen to public radio? Because I am not in the market for a new car and happily am not in need of a personal injury attorney!
Yes I am being somewhat facetious but there is a point to be made here – the choices and purchasing decisions you make are important.
Today I was listening to KCPW in Salt Lake City on one of their fund-drive days. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where I have three different public radio stations to listen to and I distribute my financial support among them. In doing so I am not only sending a message to the stations about my listening preferences but also a message to those who I engage with about my own personal brand. I choose to not pay the (constant advertisement bombarding) price of regular broadcast stations, instead choosing to “pay” for the services I receive in the form of a donation. If you listen to public radio but do not provide financial support I will challenge your brand and standards of behavior! If you don’t listen to public radio but like what they stand for send a few bucks to KCPW J.
Let’s look at a bigger picture here and think about your decisions. WE are all impacted by actions of publically-owned corporations in the outsourcing of jobs overseas (to reduce cost) and a diminishing business tax income base (to improve profits). Regardless of what their marketing spin doctors might promote, these actions are focusing on their NUMBER ONE PRIORITY – their shareholders. Shameful you think? Well in reality, if those who are responsible and accountable do not make every effort to maximize the return on investment for their shareholders they run the risk of being taken to court by their shareholders! So is there anything you and I do about it? Of course there is – but it might come at a price!
WE can CHOOSE to buy products and services from companies that practice higher “Corporate Citizenship” principles, rewarding companies that keep jobs in America and paying their “fair” share of taxes. WE can look more towards Benefit Corporations and “Cause Brand” businesses that are not only good businesses but have “giving back” as a part of their corporate culture.
Yes, this might result in slightly higher prices and yes, if our retirement fund is invested in certain public companies we may see reduced dividends but is this not offset by the price WE pay with high unemployment and less funding of public initiatives?
Think about this the next time you go shopping or receive a statement on your financial investments. Think about how you can take a stand and make a difference simply by leveraging your buying and investment decisions. In the meantime, support KCPW or your local public radio station!
Of course reduction of carbon emissions is essential and I read the Wall Street Journal article Supreme Court Ruling Backs Most EPA Emission Controls but are we really serious about addressing the core issue? Even if we reduces emissions to ZERO we have a situation that will take generations to correct! CO2 levels are now above 400 ppm, the highest in the past 800,000 years! Of course we must reduce emissions but we also need technologies that can reduce current ppm levels. We are seeking out existing, emerging and potential technologies with applications in this area and would love to hear from you!
While the Department of Labor has posted that penalties will not be assessed, it remains a requirement that employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act should provide all employees a written notice about the Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013.