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.
Are you effectively measuring your digital efforts? By what means are you claiming success? These are just a few of questions that frequent the minds of most digital departments of commercial brands and advertising agencies, but seem to arise even more often for those involved on the digital side of national and international policy; an arena typically still working on gaining better digital footing. In fact, embassies, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations can certainly benefit by adapting successful, primary methodology utilized in the commercial world in a few easy steps. However, it all begins with having the proper mindset.
The promise of ideas, however innovative, is empty without realistic possibility. This emptiness is evidenced by the failure of programs like Cash for Clunkers or the Fair Housing Act. Though admirably idealistic, Cash for Clunkers was not financially sustainable, and the Fair Housing Act contributed to the thousands of foreclosures that preempted the current U.S. recession. In the global sphere, the United Nations is far from reaching its Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and the United States still cannot trade with X, one of its cruciate enterprise partners. As social issues grow, government and other public institutions have not been able to keep up. Fortunately, there are players who can.
On August 24th, Ukraine marks its independence for the 23rd time. During all these years we have been happy to say that regardless of any political contradictions, we have managed to preserve our independence and territorial integrity without any bloodshed inside the country or an external war. But this year has changed a lot.
You’ve arrived in Washington, DC for your new posting as an embassy press attaché, corporate spokesperson, or NGO public affairs operative. Congratulations!
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