Posts con el tag ‘social responsibility’

New entrepreneurs who could drive social change

momentum eugenia New entrepreneurs who could drive social change

Each social entrepreneur is different, but they all share one thing in common: the desire to drive social change.

The entrepreneurs accompanying us in the photo have launched ten of the most promising social start-ups in Spain. We met with them recently as part of the Momentum Project’s Social Investment Day, an event organised by BBVA, ESADE and PwC to help these entrepreneurs find potential investors. Read the rest of this entry »

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ESADE MBA students commit to tackling food insecurity in India

hult prize4 ESADE MBA students commit to tackling food insecurity in IndiaThere’s one thing that makes my job really worthwhile: when I see ESADE students helping to change the world for the better.

Social entrepreneurs are a special breed. The MBA students pictured above (Cesar del Valle, Greg Perowne, Monica Noda, John Myer and James Doherty) are a good example of this. They are driven by an altruistic vision to tackle social problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the world needs more green entrepreneurs


If we don’t try to make the world more sustainable, the damaging consequences of destroying the Earth’s natural resources may, one day, reach the point of no return.

A group of experts from the American Meteorological Society recently claimed that global warming has, in fact, become irreversible.

I’m sure this reflection has detractors and promoters, but independently of our personal beliefs, something that is pretty much undeniable is that we need to take better care of our planet. Read the rest of this entry »

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If I were unemployed

I was recently asked by a journalist what I would do if I were unemployed. That’s not an easy question to answer, especially in Spain, where the unemployment rate affects more than 20% of the active population. Here is what I told him.

If I were unemployed, I would ask for advice from my family and closest friends and would find out about the tools that could help me to track down the best opportunities.

I would ask for solidarity with the people that are unemployed and would be sensitive about the social consequences unemployment involves for families.

I would set myself a clear goal. Some people have found that the solution has been to pursue their unfulfilled dreams, while others have found that the way ahead was to become entrepreneurs and start up their own businesses. Clear goals are at the core of great achievements.

I would also try to use this period to pursue further academic training to enhance my career.

I would try to find people who are in a similar situation and develop our creativity to find a solution together.

If I were unemployed, the last thing I would do is try to play the hero and go through this period alone.

When someone spends months, or even years, out of work, it’s easy for them to feel down. If I were unemployed, I would try not to lose confidence in myself. I would try to find the right environment in which to regain trust in myself. And I’d try to remember that if I didn’t find a job, it doesn’t mean it’s my fault.

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ESADE Makes Commitments for Rio+20

rio 2020 web final1 268x300 ESADE Makes Commitments for Rio+20This past April, two months before the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, ESADE signed the Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions, an initiative launched by the UN as part of Rio+20. This commitment reinforces our aspiration to be an increasingly socially responsible and sustainable academic institution.

Two months after signing the commitment, Enrique López Viguria, who is responsible for ESADE’s Social Responsibility Master Plan, and Professor Daniel Arenas, Research Coordinator at ESADE’s Institute for Social Innovation, participated in two events associated with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio: the 3rd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education and the Corporate Sustainability Forum of the Global Compact. The more than 250 business schools and educational institutions from all over the world that participated in the Rio conference produced a Declaration to reaffirm their commitments.

This Declaration contains a “roadmap to 2020” featuring the following points:

- We need to work collaboratively to reassess the purpose of HEIs in society.

- We need to rethink the nature of management and leadership education, enabling graduates, through transformative, trans-disciplinary learning, to lead for the long-term in ways that promote the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, creating benefits for the company, society and the planet through innovation in products, services, processes and business models, and in dialogue with all stakeholders.

- We need to give purpose to our research so that it supports organisations to serve the common good.

- We need to redefine the purpose of the firm and adapt our core assumptions, like agency theory and maximisation of shareholder value, so that they are fit for purpose in a society that works beyond the short term to the medium and long term.

- Sustainable development is too often seen as a niche approach (e.g., one dedicated programme, one research chair, one green campus policy) and not as a core element for HEIs. We need to change this by seeking coherence among curricula, research, training and daily operations on the campus.

At ESADE, we have given our commitment tangible form by drawing up a Social Responsibility Master Plan. This plan sets out specific actions that will move us toward our goal of becoming socially responsible in our training, research, social debate and institutional policies.

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Equal Job Opportunities

ESADE francesc blanco web1 300x249 Equal Job OpportunitiesFrancesc Blanco (left in photo) has been in a wheelchair due to a muscular disability for the last twelve years. In 2006, he joined ESADE as Academic Manager in the University Programmes Unit, through our institution’s commitment to implementing equal opportunities and integration policies.

Francesc recently represented ESADE at the DisCert Certificate award ceremony (Disabled Certificate for Organizations), the first European award that recognises institutions’ levels of commitment to integrating employees with disabilities. This is the second year in a row that ESADE has received this European award.

At ESADE, we have spent years promoting social policies intended to integrate people with disabilities, providing equal opportunities to professionals who have suffered setbacks in their careers due to health problems.

According to the latest report from the World Health Organisation and the World Bank, about a billion people around the world suffer some form of disability that results in them facing enormous difficulties in their daily lives. Initiatives such as DisCert make it possible to protect social justice, avoid social exclusion and promote employment for one of the groups with the highest unemployment rate in the world.

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Educating, Transforming and Improving through Sport

sports danone 300x199 Educating, Transforming and Improving through SportBusinesses that incorporate social commitment issues are always a role model to be followed. On 16th April, the ESADE Observatory for Behavioural Studies: Society and the Consumer, together with Danone and the Association of Athletes for a Better Childhood (ADDIM), presented the findings of their study ‘Educating, Transforming and Improving through Sport’. The research analyses the impact of Danone sports schools in neighbourhoods at risk of social exclusion over the eight years that the schools have been up and running.

These results are encouraging. The more than 5,000 children – between 6 and 12 years of age – who have taken part in activities at Danone sports schools have improved their general health, eating habits, school grades and interpersonal relationships through practising sport, remedial classes and being taught the importance of values. Childhood is undoubtedly the key age in which to inculcate behaviours that will mark people’s future development. The study shows that the Danone and ADDIM social projects have succeeded in transforming the lives of children from families at risk of social exclusion. Were it not for such initiatives, many of these children would have been more likely to have failed at school and would have left school at an earlier age.

Started up in 2004, Danone sports schools aim to raise student achievement levels and promote social values – from childhood – in Spanish state schools in socially deprived neighbourhoods with high educational failure rates. The research, led by Manuel Alfaro and Ismael Vallès from ESADE, demonstrates that the Danone and ADDIM initiative is a model social innovation project for the promotion of future personal development among children at risk of social exclusion.

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Promoting Sustainability: A Profitable Investment

social tv1 300x225 Promoting Sustainability: A Profitable InvestmentOn 16th February, ESADE’s Institute for Social Innovation hosted its 5th Annual Conference – without a doubt, an event of the utmost importance. The conference brought together hundreds of internationally recognised innovation experts to discuss how innovation and sustainability can be promoted in companies and organisations in order to address social and environmental challenges.

Consumers, interest groups and society at large are increasingly calling upon organisations for help in addressing social and environmental problems. As more and more companies and organisations have become aware of this, they are looking to CSR as a tool for reputation enhancement. The experts who spoke at the conference agreed that investment in innovation and social responsibility policies should not be seen as a cost but rather as a profitable investment in competitive differentiation. According to the experts, companies that promote sustainability and are not afraid to innovate will have greater chances of success in the 21st century. This is an encouraging thought, because it implies that being sustainable is not a purely altruistic act, but instead one that can become a key driver of growth to develop strategic business competencies.

As Ignasi Carreras observed at the conference: “If you do not take risks, you will never be innovative.” Companies, organisations and new entrepreneurs must learn to reinvent themselves. Our society needs more innovative leaders and pioneering initiatives capable of combining efficiency with a response to social and environmental challenges. If, as the experts said, sustainability is profitable, then this incentive could certainly drive change in order to build a fairer and more balanced world.

Events such as the Annual Conference of ESADE’s Institute for Social Innovation are highly important to society, because they shape the debate surrounding innovation – a key factor in ending the economic crisis and achieving sustainability, and a key driver to improve society and build a better world. Such events are also important because they promote inspirational ideas from theoretical as well as practical standpoints. What’s more, they help ESADE to fulfil its mission: inspiring and educating individuals and organisations to promote innovative, socially responsible forms of leadership in order to build a better future.

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Business Schools and their Contribution to Society

business schools Business Schools and their Contribution to SocietyThe Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS) has recently published a book that sheds light on how business schools can and should contribute to a better and more sustainable society.

The making and editing of the book was entrusted to our Dean Alfons Sauquet, and to Mette Morsing, Director of the CBS Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at Copenhagen Business School.

The book – a compendium of contributions from more than 40 business school deans, rectors and distinguished scholars from around the world – aims to bring the role of business schools and their contribution to society to the public debate.

“Business Schools and their Contribution to Society” addresses the legitimacy of business schools as agents for social change, and stimulates self-reflection and critical thinking, embracing a healthy debate that translates into different points of view around the challenges facing business education today.

The book starts off with a chapter by Harvard professors Rakesh Khurana and Daniel Penrice that provides an in-depth overview of the history of American business schools since their emergence in the XIX Century, their rapid expansion and transformational stages during the XX Century, and the identity crisis they faced in the nineties that forced them to redefine themselves. The authors state that to live up to their mission of enhancing society’s welfare, business schools today must embrace a more complex and integrative view of the relationship between business and society.

This starting reflection by Harvard experts is echoed throughout the book, with several contributions from deans and distinguished professors from around the globe that share historical perspectives, new trends, and concrete examples of how business schools are contributing to social change.

The authors also discuss in detail what new measures could be taken to improve business schools’ contribution to society. It’s inspiring to see the openness and honesty they all share in presenting the major challenges that still lie ahead for business schools to become really effective social agents.

Although opinions differ throughout the book, all the authors share a similar overall perspective: They all acknowledge that business schools have a profound obligation to contribute to society, and that efforts still need to be made to strengthen their legitimacy as agents for social change in the years to come. Their humbleness is inspiring, and it will hopefully serve as a platform for a better future.

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