Corporate Social Responsibility and the Potential for Societal Innovation

A view from Manchester-Disruptive City

How can we engage the talented ones into the fold of Societal Innovation?Image

Later on this month the Olympic Games comes to London.  Some would argue that  without the financial support of corporate giants such as McDonald’s and Coca Cola the event would not be possible.

The short-term gain of  accepting sponsorship monies from these organisations has a disturbing long-term effect on our western society in terms of the health of our citizens; on one hand we encourage our young people to be healthy and to take up sport and exercise, whilst simultaneously we jump into bed with organisations that flourish by selling goods that are, by any reasonable account, the antithesis of healthy. Incongruence!

I wonder, why are our most talented people attracted to employment within the food industry and to scheme up marketing ploys like food bundling, low fat health foods, and drink responsibly campaigns?

And then the talented ones are lured towards the financial markets where they get to work innovating and creating ideas such as exotic credit derivatives, sub-prime mortgages, and tax avoidance planning.

Yes, and for those who avoid the food and finance industries our good old friends the drug conglomerates are there to sweep up some of the remaining talent to generate such excellent entrepreneurial strategies such as – disease mongering, bribing doctors, and price fixing/market rigging.

And if money, food, drugs and alcohol are not attractive enough for our most talented youth then the defence industry lurks.

Later on this month, thanks to the courage, hard work, sacrifices, and determination of visionaries at Aalto University and The New Club of Paris a group of people will gather in Helsinki, Finland to discuss the challenges of our future society at the Aalto Camp for Societal Innovation (ACSI)

A question to the participants at ACSI might be this: how can our most talented people be encouraged and enabled to focus their efforts on the long-term issues of society as opposed to furthering the strategies of our finance industries, our drug companies, our food and drink lobbies et al?   Because if they can, and I believe that they can,  the future is very bright for all of us.

And that would be corporate social responsibility at the highest level.

Thoughts. comments. observations?


About David C Roberts

I am passionate about innovation, development, learning, and the future. I work internationally supporting individual entrepreneurs, organisations, educational institutions and government bodies. I am available to speak, facilitate learning sessions and run enterprise workshops. Areas of experience and know how include: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, Management Accounting, and People Development .
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4 Responses to Corporate Social Responsibility and the Potential for Societal Innovation

  1. Pingback: New post Corporate Social Responsibility and the Potential for Societal Innovation « David C Roberts

  2. I think with significant young people unemployed, many with hangover debts from their education they go where there are ‘feeding grounds’. Regretfully far too many are out of work, no prospects of work in the near future, in some countries in Europe up to 50% of the young people are searching for work or not in work. It is less to do with Talent today, more scrabbling to find a job, half decent and the alternative of being offered internships for little money or moths with no money is insulting to many. Many would like to work on long term issues or game changing ones but where is the money to find this sort of engagement. No David, you sadly go where the money is and if that is money, drugs and feeding the already obese then its sad but a reflection of something bigger as a challenge for the visionaries to ponder at your ACSI hoedown.

    • Yes Paul, I agree with you about the hangover debts and the lure of the feeding grounds. Student loans seems to be another example of marketing genius and financial engineering.

      And to your point about the money – where is the money? The Bank of England is printing money hand over fist (At least I think that’s what QE is), but I see little of it filtering down to the ordinary people. As for mainland Europe some of the news reports that I have seen from Greece, The Republic of Ireland, and Spain offer little hope for young people.

  3. Pingback: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Potential for Societal Innovation | Innovation and Entrepreneurship |

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