About Shared Purpose
Shared Purpose is a forum to think about, discuss, and predict what’s next for business and society.
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ContributorsLeela StakeLeela is a director who helps businesses innovate, collaborate and communicate to be more successful. She’s based in San Francisco, has worked in six Asian countries and is interested in the relationship between long-term business success and community prosperity.Laura PalantoneLaura is a member of our corporate communications team and is based in New York.James RobinsonJames is a director who brings ten years of experience working on CR strategy and communications in New York, Beijing, and Jakarta. He looks at how CR is employed as part of broader business strategy and has a particular interest in the evolving role of technology and innovation in managing social and environmental issues.Julie JackA director in APCO's New York office, Julie works on corporate responsibility with a focus on business strategy and emerging issues and trends. Her currents interests and work focus on sustainable agriculture and supply chain management, the integration of CR and financial communications, and CR in the consumer goods space.Ellen MignoniEllen is a senior director and helped build APCO’s global corporate responsibility practice. She works primarily with APCO’s corporate clients on business alignment and corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement and partnership development, and communication and outreach.
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History & CategoriesClick to unfold.
- What’s behind the gender wage gap in Seattle?
- iCrisis, version 2.0
- Takeaways From New Renewable Energy Proposals in Washington State
- The Red Equal Signs: Top Takeaways for Cause-Conscious Companies
- Women Helping Women
- Meet the Aspirationals: Three Findings from Regeneration Roadmap
- As Same-Sex Marriage Reaches the Supreme Court, So Does Support from Corporate America
- Shareholders of the World, Unite!? (Part II)
- Mandatorily Philanthropic?
- The Word from Seattle: U.S. Needs Sustained Clean Tech Movement
Monthly Archives: February 2012
Think McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King are feeding American families seven nights a week? Think again. New research by APCO for Share Our Strength takes a look at family dinner cooking behaviors – and the results may be surprising to some. The marketer in me zeroed in on a couple of key findings: Families are making meals from scratch 4 nights a week. Barriers to cooking healthy are not only time and money, which are to be expected, but also education. For example, respondents didn’t know that frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh (and sometimes more so). However, 85 percent of families say that eating healthily is important, so there’s a gap to address.
Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
Having spent many of my formative years in China, my SharedPurpose movie pick is a 2001 film named "Beijing Bicycle" (the literal Chinese translation is “seventeen-year-old’s bicycle”). For me, this movie captures the inherent tensions in modernization, urbanization and the emergence of free-market capitalism in places like China. Much like Lao She’s seminal book Rickshaw (or Camel Yangzi) of the late 1930s, "Beijing Bicycle" paints a vivid and sometimes-disturbing picture of a contemporary China in which private enterprise in big cities offers great opportunities for brave and hard-working rural migrants. But it also shows the economic and social precariousness for ordinary people striving to improve their lot in life.
Posted on Sunday, February 26th, 2012 By James Robinson
Yesterday President Obama unveiled his Administration’s white paper on online privacy. Among other things, the much-anticipated document – Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World – calls on Congress to adopt a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and charges industry to do more self-policing but under the watchful enforcement of federal regulators. While the white paper has been in the works for months, yesterday’s event tops off a number of recent events that have served as a somewhat predictable trigger and a flashpoint for a broader public dialogue around the protection of online consumer privacy.
Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
Apparently our whole team loves cartoons because my film is also animated, but of the vintage variety. Robin’s Pick: The Lorax Based on the Dr. Seuss classic, this 1970s film (and upcoming new release, which I hope is just as good) tells a story of wild and unbounding growth at the expense of the trees, the water, the air and the animals. The evil Once-ler CEO focuses on producing more and more thneed garments and encouraging unlimited consumption, never giving a thought to the effects of his careless business practices and dismal leadership until the very end when he has decimated the entire Truffula Tree population. All the while the Lorax “speaks for the trees” and tries to get through to the Once-ler that his runaway business can’t last and that he’s destroying everything, but he doesn’t listen. He is only (sort of, it’s up to you to decide) saved in the end because one Truffula Tree seed remains – but it hits the point that next time, that last seed might not be there and we shouldn’t wait until we’re hanging on the cliff.
Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
Sure, there are the obvious picks like “Erin Brockovich” (forcing companies into handling waste responsibly), “Norma Rae” (the fight for fair wages and safe working conditions) and my all-time holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life” (the mutually-beneficial relationship between business and community). But I have slightly different picks today – a tie for my best CR flick.
Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 By Tara Greco
It’s hard to miss the conversations around government spending these days. Lots of debating, discussing and pontificating about how money is collected and spent at both the federal and state levels this time of year. The federal budget conversation is a constant din in the background here in D.C. And I usually pay attention to the negotiations for D.C., Maryland and Virginia because they have a real impact on my life. Otherwise, I minimize time spent tuning into the dialogue.
Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 By Tara Greco
Happy Oscar season, SP readers! We thought we could have a little film-related CR fun this week leading up to the red carpet. While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is busy choosing the best films of the year, some of our SP bloggers will be naming their pick for best CR film. This year’s Oscar nominees sadly presented slim CR pickings, so to make the competition more interesting, we’ve opened the field up to past years’ films as well.
Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 By Andrea Shatzman
It’s Social Media Week – here in Washington, D.C., and in several other cities – and there’s a lot going on. We’re always looking for innovative ways to infuse corporate responsibility and sustainability information into company communication, and this week we’d like to highlight a few brands succeeding online. Unilever, for example, incorporates its corporate responsibility messages into much of its online communication. The company made a video posted on YouTube and its corporate site about communicating sustainable behavior to consumers; tweets from @Unilever_Press via a handle that talks about standard corporate news as well as information related to its corporate responsibility and sustainability platform; and uses Facebook to communicate, too.
Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
February is Black History Month in the United States. Its origin can be traced back to scholar Carter G. Woodson, who, on February 7, 1926, led the first celebration of “Negro History Week” to help rectify the omission of African-Americans from history books. Today, the observance of Black History Month provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of African-Americans and to recommit to making the teaching of history more honest and inclusive. The theme of Black History Month 2012 is “Black Women in American Culture and History.” African-American women are members of two traditionally excluded groups in the United States and have faced overwhelming odds in making their names and stories known. In spite of those barriers, the deeds of women like Harriett Tubman, Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan and Condoleeza Rice now grace the pages of history books. There are singers and writers and poets and artists who also left their mark on American culture and who helped make this country great. But there are countless others whose stories have never been told. And, in spite of civil rights laws and affirmative acts on the part of government, employers and educational institutions to curb discrimination, African-American women continue to face obstacles on the path to the American dream.
Posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
For a long time, companies have tried to make statements with Super Bowl ads by being trendy, clever or quirky. As viewers, we’ve come to expect goofy beer spots, celebrity cameos and “arrival statements” from newcomers (remember those pets.com ads with the dog sock puppet?). Most of the Super Bowl commercials are presented with a “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” tone, so to stand out, a commercial has to have a clear, solid message coupled with compelling imagery. In a straw poll of the APCO CR team, a few of those stand-out commercials in 2012 tapped into broader themes of responsibility and shared value. Among the most notable spots:
Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 By Tara Greco