"When will CSR move from being a heroic deed and translate into a workforce initiative that creates more jobs and methods of work that bring the experts out of their silos to work together, learn together and build outstanding practices that help us build the "dream" we now define as an "impossible dream?"
Read on for the additional input from people who contributed to this orginal post and my reflection- February 26, 2009..
I chatted a bit with Michael Dupee, VP of CSR at GMRC after writing and releasing this post to syndication. I reflected a bit on what Michael had to say about the blog post and from my perspective I did not create a context that served this post to be understood as I wanted it to be.
I thought of something after I spoke to Michael that paints that context well. It relates to my father's generation of business owners, who practiced what we now call CSR and Sustsainability before the terms were spoken...
It is emulated by the way Paul Newman created the Newman's Own Brand and his philanthropic council for CEO's, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. Paul Newman live his life and carried out his interests at a level of precision and quality reflected in his passion for race car driving. Race car driving even more than acting requires a precision of spirit, knowledge and technical skill in balance. That is how Paul Newman approached his life with family, as an actor, philanthropist and business owner.
Like my dad, I wage you that Paul Newman did not even think on the words Corporate Social Responsibility. As a humanitarian, business person and creative artist he approached everything he did with the same level of precision. That is the precision now with which we need to approach education and all aspects of #csr and #sustainability in my opinion.
to up the ante on CSR or Sustainability, I believe education has to begin with a foundation of value's that leaders like Paul Newman emulate in practice. These leaders know that education does not stop there that learning is generated life long and grows out of a discipline of science, technology and inquiry.
Read on to read my original post...
This week I gave some thought to more conversations I have had and the work of people I know in CSR that are striving to do just that.
is someone I know from years of hanging out in various places in New England. For those of you who do not know Jeff, Jeff describes himself as the Inspired Protagonist and CEO of Seventh Generation. Through numerous activities, I keep bumping into Jeff on the virtual plane of CSR or through people we know in common. Jeff is stretching out to create Sustainability as a revolution of values based leaders who are leading "purposeful companies." His new book, coauthored with Bill Breen, is about how the next generation of business will
Last summer, an academic professional association adopted me and informed me that I was an ecological economist and I found myself in conversation with a group from Vermont launching a new magazine that Jeff and Michael Dupee, VP of CSR for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters helped to launch for people and academics working in the field of ecological economics.
MIchael Dupee, recently asked a very broad question on CSR Education on Justmeans.com. Michael and I decided to connect by phone for more of a dialogue. Michael and I decided to connect by phone for more of a dialogue. During the conversation, Michael provided me a very interesting overview related to the needs of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMRC) and the success of all GMRC brands from Newman's Own to Kureig in a Cup. .
GMRC added 1,000 jobs in a recession economy over the past 3 years. The experience of identifying candidates, hiring and bring 1,000 people into employment gave Michael some real insight into what is not happening in education today to assure a person can work in a CSR enterprise. Michael is finding he has something to contribute to MBA programs that focus on CSR and Sustainability. He recently lectured to students at the CSR MBA Program at Notre Dame University and is seeking an educational partner to shape his ideas with in action translated into an MBA educational program and plans to write a book about it.
I am now working on a white paper that is food for thought on today's challenge re: Sustainability and CSR and providing a proposition for could change in education. I am also thinking through a structure of mentorship and what factors into learning and interaction outside of a school setting that employers,government agencies, health services and non profits need to consider.
Shortly after I talked to Michael about what I also thought about a new educational format for CSR, two new articles on sustainable education came to my desk authored by Jeffrey Hollender with Ashely Orgain, Seventh Generation and Ted Nunez of Kaplan Eduneering. I have placed these articles in queue for my review at a later date to grasp the quality and their implications and weave the thinking into conversations I am having with John Friedman at Sodexo about how to move CSR activity to a new level of quality and impact.
After I talked to Michael, Cary Krosinsky told me he was going to speak at an SBSI conference Duke University hosted by the Fuqua School and sponsored by Newman's Own. Cary like me monitors the press and articles about the new emerging education and had pointed me to a McKinsey interview with the Dean of the Fuqua MBA program on today's educational challenge. Cary is Vice President of Marketing for Trucost.com and coeditor of with Nick Robins, who heads Climate Change Initiatives at HSBC. Cary has been lecturing on Sustainable Investing at numerous "green mba" program including Marlboro College and Columbia and I continue to watch how he influences curriculum and thought leadership to prepare today's CSR and Sustainable Workforce.
Slowly from these conversations, an idea is starting to shape for me to organize a private research quality newsletter on the new education format for CSR and Sustainability within the context of how I define sustainable portfolio work that assures all workforce citizens sustainable wage and a system of compensation that assures access to health and educational opportunities as needed through a worker's life time.
For me this form of learning started up close and personal during a recession in the early 90's in the Bay Area where I had moved to obtain employment after Massachusetts went through years of downsizing. In the Bay Area, I had joined initiatives tied to the Bay Area Regional Technology Alliance and Silicon Valley Joint Venture and authored job retraining programs for manufacturing that won grant funds by a community group I belonged to. In parallel, I also developed a curriculum to prepare Human Resource Professionals and Licensed Clinicians to think about the Wellness Revolution for the Workforce. This led me to join community education activities on the influence of environment and chemical toxins on consumer health and to become curious about when and how this form of education would link with CSR and Sustainable Programs in companies to exercise precaution related to the health of the workforce.
For me when Anita Roddick, Ben and Jerry launched Business for Social Responsibility it seemed only natural that CSR and Sustainability agenda's should examine the state of employment, job creation, workforce health and retooling education to insure someone could stay educated and contribute as a viable member of the workforce.
This passion for me traced back to a simpler question that was natural for me to ask after I became a working mother and then single parent. The question has been very simple to ask and far more complex to find answers to.
Take a minute to read my question out loud and make it your own in your own words:
"By the time my daughter grows up will I have means to give her an education, teach her health practices to keep her healthy and be able to assure her a job and stability in life?"
The impetus for this question came from my experience by the time my daughter was 8. By then I had lived through an employment cycle that spanned 3 recessions and 3 experiences with downsizing.
As a former health care practice leader I began to see a pattern emerging of increasing health care costs, increasing work and economic related stress and the impact it was having on ordinary people like and my daughter and aging parents to be able to churn a daily wheel of activity in an ordinary day - earn a living, stay healthy and keep a roof over our heads.
Yesterday, Jeff Hollander wrote a note on his blog - titled Systematic Dissonance: Ben and Jerry's & Unilever. Jeff noted in this blog post that his friend, Walter Freese stepped down as President and the announcement contained no discontent. Jeff also indicated that one could imagine the friction that may have grown between a commercial giant like Unilever swallowing up a values based company like Ben & Jerry's. It made me think a bit about Ben Cohen's ideas on compensation and the challenges that Ben and Jerry had to recruit a CEO to fill their shoes at a pay scale significantly below any form of CEO compensation.
At the same time I remember my first drive from Boston up to Burlington, Vt where i was greeted by a sign shaped like one of Ben and Jerry's cows that welcomed me to Vermont, the home of Ben and Jerry's. I thought at that time how fortunate Vermont was for the jobs this company created. Now I thnk the same when I think of the jobs created in Vermont by Seventh Generation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
I also know that Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stoneyfield Yogurt in New Hampshire has had a different experience different from Ben and Jerry's experience with Unilever. Gary wisely took initiative with Danone Partnership during the merger with Stoneyfield Yogurt to address issues of value practices upfront. I learned from reading Gary's book, that within the merger agreement and transition lots of thought was given to the values of Stoneyfield. I wonder what Danone learned of value that has led to continued success and introduction of a new product line,
In my opinion, I think there is some wisdom here from Stoneyfield that is not contained in the world and circles in which ohter CSR heroes travel. Yo Baby Meals is part of the world of children and a brand that is creating a future for our children delivering to their homes health foods and snacks.
You can be sure that many of the households that stock Yo Baby contain circles of conversations from mothers and fathers ,who think sustainable like me and are working hard to learn how to sustain livelihood to support a home for their families, and find a form of healthy living and health livelihood.
That is the thinking that was the basis for my vision a portal called WorkEcology.com. My simple question is now a question that any family group of single person is asking after this last economic meltdown with some reframing
"In the world of Sustainability and CSR are we going to create more jobs with sustainable compensation plans that see us through health challenges, education and old age? And when we are recycled or downsized by industry how will be get the funds and ability to retool?"
So my next question was what group of people want to look at answer how we organize ourselves in knowledge sharing communities to lead qualified people to jobs, train ethical and hard working people for skills they don't have and assure them the housing and health they very much want.
Stay tuned......I have begun a series of conversations with Mark Jelfs, Mark is responsible for communications for
Manpower's Global Social Responsibility and Knowledge Sharing Group. I'll let you know more about what I learn as we continue our conversation.
As part of beginning my education on global employment and learning how to predict skills gaps and moving people from country to country, I viewed this video of From my virtual cottage near Jamaica Pond in Boston, I write and
correspond with some of the most incredible heroes of Sustainability who
are creating this new score card that has not translated as of now into
an economic sustainability for the millions of people in the US out of
work and in other parts of the world. David
Manpower Inc.'s President of Corporate and Government Affairs participated in activities at the World Economic Forum in Davos, this past January, David spoke about the rising challenges of employment globally that have been discussed at meeting hosted by the UN. At Davos, he asked for help to build a platform that can predict workforce patterns and skills gaps and how to address the social injustice issues that arise from changing global patterns that can also imply a need to move entire labor pools of people between countries.
View the video of David's presentation linked to his name, and begin your learning and join the team to address global employment and build local sustainable opportunities for the workforce in your community.
The New York Times Sunday Cover story this past week was on the New Unemployed Poor, describing the new face of uemployment in the US as creating a new form of poverty.
On the day of publication of this story Sustainable Life Media tweeted --
" Time 4 us to collectively raise the profile of #CSR More attention is being placed on it today, &.."
I raised the profile by starting this Twitter list, #csruptheante
Prior to this tweet, the New York Times Sunday Cover story was on the New Unemployed Poor, describing the new face of uemployment in the US as creating a new form of poverty.
That is what I am working towards and more specifically interested to develop, facilitate and monitor. I want to build with others CSR and Sustainable Metrics and Investments which monitor the growing and changing world design to assure more jobs, more people access to right education, right livelihood and compensation schemes that support our health and living lifelong.
So to Sustainable LIfe Media and all my new friends on #CSR, this is how I would like to up the ante and collectively raise the profile for CSR from my corner of the world as a private citizen and thought leader to collectively work on this. Who's game?