Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR,
through the eyes of Joe Lawless,
University of Washington Center for Leadership and Social Responsibility.
We have headed down this path, sometimes kicking and screaming, since the early 70’s. The pace accelerated in the 90’s with the advent of the internet and the availability of information. It has been the recent past, however, that has super-charged the pace of CSR due to the instantaneous availability of information and the ability to engage as consumers in global “viral” campaigns.
The face of CSR has changed and continues to change. It used to be defined as “giving back” through philanthropy and good deeds. The new world requires a much more holistic approach that leverages authentic values, engages stakeholders in solving problems and treats consumers as partners in solving world problems through the power of commerce.
This is a big task that will require a team effort. I think we are up to it, and I hope you will engage in a conversation about what your definition of CSR is today and what it might be tomorrow.