I had the pleasure of attending AmCham Shanghai’s 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability Conference on Nov 29, 2012. Sponsored by Biogen Idec, Intel, and Dow, the theme of the event was "Shared Value Creation For Business.” Among the list of speakers were business leaders from Intel, Dow, and KPMG along with academic and research leaders such as Dr. Zhang Qiang of Beijing Normal University and Harvard University and Mr. Chien Weijia from the China Social Innovation Forum. There were representatives from organizations such as the United Way, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, and Solar Ear as well as foundation leaders such as Dr. Shi Derong, former Director General of Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau and current Shanghai Chairman of the Special Olympics and vice president of the Shanghai Special Care Foundation. Reflecting on the diversity of stakeholders involved in the event, one can see the shared value that was created.
One recurring theme during the conference was our thoughts towards CSR evolving and progressing. Mr. Jun Ge, Managing Director at Intel China, aptly outlined it as a three-tier system:
- CSR 1.0: traditional CSR comprised of charitable contributions and compliance (e.g. human resources, legal services, environmental, health and safety)
- CSR 2.0: strategic CSR involving aligning CSR with one’s business interest and core competency
- CSR 3.0: catalytic CSR concerning collaborating with others to transform systems into social innovation.
Dr. Zhang Qiang's moving speech, "The 3rd Path to a Beautiful China" is also a nice summary highlighting the challenges and opportunities driving social innovation.