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
Category Archives: Communicating CR
The final two days of the BSR Conference continued to have engaging speakers and thought-provoking discussions. I would like to pick up where Andrea left off and add two more themes that I noticed from the session I attended. Fast Forward, but Be Smart and Deliberate: Aligned with this year’s conference theme, speakers and attendees were eager to discuss how we should strive to “fast forward.” However, many of the speakers in the sessions I attended added a warning, asking organizations to fast forward in smart and deliberate ways that take into account both short- and long-term consequences. In discussing environmental sustainability initiatives, Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund and Mindy Lubber of Ceres provided some examples of when it is imperative that organizations consider short-term gains at the same time as long-term consequences.
Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
As you know, last week was the 2012 BSR Conference. Picking up where Robin’s post left off, here are two themes I noticed from the sessions I attended and one cool case study.
Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2012 By Andrea Shatzman
This year, BSR celebrates its 20th anniversary, so the 2012 BSR Conference happening now in New York has done a great job highlighting the progress both BSR and the CSR field as a whole have made. In his opening speech, for example, BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer spoke a lot about the evolution of the last 20 years and its success. He also spoke of the great challenges we still face, which are mighty but surmountable, as long as we not only maintain but accelerate our work -- thus this year’s “fast forward” conference theme.
Posted on Friday, October 26th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
In a recent Bloomberg Businessweek column, Steve McKee presents a rather simplistic view of corporate social responsibility. Given how muddled his argument is, it seems necessary to remind the online world that CSR: a) does NOT equal nonprofit and b) is not an all-or-nothing proposition. I fundamentally disagree with his premise that for a company to be “known for CSR,” it has to trade away things like profit, optimal business performance and remaining as competitive as possible. Good CSR strategy aligns company interests with societal ones. Bad CSR does not; McKee doesn’t make this distinction. Good CSR is good business strategy, and can and should result in better business performance.
Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2012 By SharedPurpose
I ran across two studies recently that together make a pretty compelling business case for CR. The first was a Working Paper by faculty at HBS’s Accounting and Management school that finds statistically significant evidence that companies with superior environmental and social performance face significantly lower capital constraints. Contrary to arguments that CR imposes costs on a firm, the authors assert that stakeholder engagement can cut down on agency costs, and greater transparency leads to greater accountability and better risk management, which together increases access to finance. Good news to those who see the potential in CR for long-run value creation.
Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 By Julie Jack
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
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
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
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