At the millennium summit of the United Nations in September of 2000, the nations of the world adopted a series of goals aimed at increasing the quality of life for all of humankind by 2015. Eight specific initiatives, commonly known as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ranging from eradicating hunger, reducing child mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, were identified as the most significant impediments to our sustainability and improving the human condition. There has been measurable progress, with some research on the MDGs showing that global poverty has been halved five years ahead of the 2015 timeframe, with remarkable gains having also been made in the fight against communicable disease. These accomplishments should be celebrated.
Twenty-five years to the month after Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was deposed, President Obama announced normalization of relations with Communist Cuba. Ceausescu's Christmas Day execution, less than two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, was the final major domino in the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the raising of the Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Black Sea.
Earlier this year, Forbes published an article that said employees who are engaged produce better work and are more committed to the organization, and that companies that engage their employees outperform by 200 percent those organizations that do not. One of the best ways to engage employees and demonstrate shared values is through philanthropy. Giving Tuesday 2014 proved to be one of the best employee engagement opportunities for RLJ Lodging Trust.
It may be fitting for an institution that thrives on debate that there is no agreement on where the first parliament was established. The title often goes to the Althing in Iceland which was established in 930 AD, but residents of the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom will point out that the Tynwald, while a little younger, has been running continuously for longer.
There has been an ongoing intellectual revolution concerning economic and development policies for the emerging world. Interestingly, this revolution is in fact driven and played out by the emerging world itself.
It wasn’t long ago that “CSR” was a CEO’s insider reference to a company’s charitable gifts, often to bolster its image and the bottom line. Today, Corporate Social Responsibility—sometimes dubbed philanthropy, corporate giving, and more recently “social entrepreneurship”—is as central to employee engagement as it is to public relations.
In the months to come, I am sure there will be ample analysis of the role that social media played in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. However, what follows here is a view of what it has meant for me, as someone born and raised in Hong Kong but now living in London.
Non-profits as we have known them for the past few decades are soon becoming obsolete. With the emergence of social entrepreneurship and technological advancements such as crowdfunding, the field of non-profits has become a viable career option for young entrepreneurs to tackle global social issues by using innovative and non-traditional operating models. Likewise, philanthropy, their main source of funding, also must adapt to the times. The traditional methods embraced by philanthropists and foundations that are often marred with bureaucracy no longer serve the demands of the 21st century non-profits. They need to shift from conventional program-oriented and aid-based funding to capacity-building investments and grants, enabling non-profits to innovate and achieve sustainability.
November 27th, 2012 marked the first ever #GivingTuesday, and since then the global movement has been making waves in social media and media streams, sparking hundreds of volunteer projects and resulting in millions of donations towards charities globally.
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