CSR Series: Social Entrepreneurship and Governance Training Program

I have enrolled in a short course in Ateneo De Manila University, which is dubbed as the “Social Entrepreneurship and Governance Training Program”.  This class is very interesting, and in the vernacular, nakakakaba, since most of the students are graduates already and in fact, some already have their own social enterprises.  Only I and James Fernando are the undergraduates in this course.

However, this makes the whole experience more interesting.

We are witnessing startup social entrepreneurs practice and offer insights on what I learn from my COSORES class – the importance of integrating business ethics to business entities.  Indeed, ethics is embedded to the business model since social enterprises use profits and market-based solutions to address social problems.

And again, pardon the blatant redundancy, but this dynamic of a class is very interesting.

In the Philippines where corruption is so institutionalized, how can social entrepreneurs remain ethical, especially in applying for business permits and needing political connections for support?  The first session, though introductory, allowed me to realize how the collaboration of the public and private sector is vital to the success of social entrepreneurship.

I am very excited to meet established social entrepreneurs, even the rarer sustainable entrepreneurs.  I think this is a great chance to network, and even set up interviews with sustainable entrepreneurs for our group’s thesis.

This term is a period filled with opportunities to explore CSR and social innovation.  I’m enrolled in COSORES and the Social Entrepreneurship short course, having a thesis on sustainable entrepreneurship, while being a part-time intern for the Benita and Catalino Yap Foundation.

I sincerely hope that I can integrate social innovation to my long term career plans – get a lucrative life yet make the society and environment richer as well.  This is the materialization of my almost impossible dream to be strike the best of all worlds.

CSR Series: Prologue to the Potential YFC Involvement

We will be involved in the Youth for Christ (YFC) for our Shared Learning activity in COSORES.  I think this is a great exposure to see how a Christ-centric organization functions, and how we can integrate our business student skills and talents to help their organization achieve their goals or execute projects.

I remember encountering a book, and if I’m not mistaken, it’s by Peter Drucker.  The management guru’s book is about what lessons companies and businesses can learn from nonprofits.

And indeed, this learning experience will show us in its simplest form, how organizations work which are not driven by profit.  Even more interesting?  They are driven by a benevolent of God – Jesus Christ.

If Ms. Pia, our professor, does approve this shared learning experience proposal, then I think we will be uncovering great insights.  Exciting, indeed.

CSR Series: On Dignity and Virtues

Ethics has been a very delicate issue especially in business. Numerous principles and frameworks, such as utilitarianism and deontology, have been developed and even applied to the business setting to address the need for enterprises to have guiding principles.

This is a tricky situation, indeed. How do you mix ethics in an environment where results are measured down til the final centavo? How do you apply principles to highly competitive results-driven performers?

Can virtues such as honesty, fortitude, and temperance directly achieve multi-million dollar profits?

How do you mix soft and intangible things to an entity that must maximize income and minimize cost?

This is where CSR and business ethics enter.

It disproves the notion that businesses are just profit achieving entities filled with selfishly-driven individuals. Instead, it sees using different lenses, that businesses are also organizations with benevolent intentions, fueled by human beings capable of being stewards of God’s creation.

We are entering a major paradigm shift, wherein these noble things are being appreciated and are now even used ti mitigate the harshness of exploitive capitalism.

We are in a world where one does not anymore need to sell one’s soul to the devil ti achieve greatness. And this is the way that things ought to be, transcending the past, the present, and the future.

CSR Series: CSR 2.0 and Marketing 3.0

CSR is a continuous growing field. According to Wayne Visser, the old model of CSR is evolving – from Corporate Social Responsibility, it is rephrased to Corporate Sustainability and Responsibity.

From Social to Sustainability.

This addresses the need to address not just the poor and the society, but also the ecological implications of business and corporate processes.

The thing is, as a business student, the field is growing fast and is even being married to development and sustainability issues. The assumptions of pure profit maximization and cost minimization are being challenged by our need to take care of the planet.

It is exciting that we are entering a revolution where established principles are being challenged and are in fact evolving. Philip Kotler (2010) wrote Marketing 3.0, which contents propose that we are shifting to spirit-driven consumption. People consider how the products and services affect the society, and whether the consumers, through patronizing a brand, can contribute to a certain cause. For Visser, he is now establishing the new CSR 2.0 which shifts towards sustainability.

The challenge for me now is to marry my desire to earn a good living while integrating the value of sustainability and responsibility. CSR 2.0 and Marketing 3.0 will be my foundation principles.

CSR Series: The COSORES Journal

Just a brief backgroud – I’m currently enrolled in a Corporate Social Responsibility class and one of its requirements (which I happen to personally like) is to keep a journal or a blog.  Lo and behold, I thought of putting my COSORES entries into my own personal blog since it is also my interest!

This is the start of the CSR Series.  The official link for this series is http://patchaurecsr.tk!  Stay tuned and feel free to comment and stimulate discussion regarding Corporate Social/Sustainability and Responsibility.