A New Charter for Companies
I have been quiet on this page for two years but have not been idle and many events have occurred..the Meetups are going strong and the new Club software is being developed in India as I type.
I have been much engaged in worrying about BREXIT and Trump as my many videos attest – check them out on my regular show with Dukascopy TV
More importantly I have launched a new CHARTER for companies see: CSR and Populism A new Charter April 1 2017
And I was in CERN in Geneva recently talking about the above for PORT – a CERN initiative to put their intellectual scientifc knowledege at the service of mankind. I contributed two ideas..let’s see. Nice was using a London bus as a seminar room inside a building housing the accelerator where the Higg’s Boson was discovered…see picture below.
Mumbai CSR Meetup May 2015
The CSR Meet-up (soon to be re-named to ‘CSR International Club’), founded by Dr. Michael Hopkins and active right across the world, has started in India. The Meet-ups are hosted by prominent speakers for instance with the CSR Heads of renowned companies such as Mr. Deepak Arora of ESSAR, Ms. Anupam Nidhi of Reliance ADA and others on a monthly basis. The event is organized by Ms. Harsha Mukherjee of the International Institute of CSR in Mumbai region and is envisioned to expand to Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and other metro cities. The objective of the meet-ups is to inspire creative ideas and thereby become a, or the, Think Tank for CSR in India. Typical topics are CSR Impact Measurement, Business case for CSR, Ethics in Finance, CSR Education, and the sorts of International Best practices that can be adapted to India, and vice versa. Challenges and solutions of members in their CSR projects are also discussed.
The CSR Meet-up invitespeople to attend who come from from varied backgrounds to learn and develop more information on the subject. Other locations where CSR Global Chapters are organized include London, Geneva, Amsterdam, New York, Mauritius (Port Louis), Athens, Dubai and Washington DC. CSR Meet-up is a global platform created for the CSR Practitioners and learners to enable the CSR Field to prosper.
Amsterdam CSR Meetup 23 April 2015
While attending the launch of B-Corp Europe, I was happy to be invited by our CSR Meetup in Amsterdam to talk to 30 or so members about my forthcoming book CSR and Sustainability, from the Margins to the Mainstream (Greenleaf, Sept 2015)..Do feel free to contact me and I’ll put you on the receiver list. CSR Meetups are now active in NINE major cities around the world with Boston, San Francisco and Nairobi all in the pipeline.
It was wonderful to be in Amsterdam in the warm spring sunshine, and to address such a talented set of people. I am glad I asked them to introduced themselves AFTER my talk since I would have hesitated in the face of people who could all have done a better job than I!! Based on the key theme of the book I argued that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is steadily moving from the margins to the mainstream across the spectrum of private companies, NGOs and the public sector. It has grown from being a concept embraced by a small number of companies such as The Body Shop in the early 1990s to a widespread global movement. At its weakest level, it is represented by a few philanthropic gestures by organisations, but when applied in its most complete form, it can steer the organization or sector to deliver a fully-fledged, system-wide, multi-stakeholder operation, accompanied by multiple types of certification.
Earlier that week I had been invited to the launch of B-Corp Europe and below is a picture at the event of B-Corp’s Founder the enigmatic Bart Houlahan..further details on B Lab.
Mauritius to become Model of CSR: An example to the World
During the week of 11-18 April 2015, at the invitation of the Social Club of Air Mauritius, Michael Hopkins and Maga Ramasamy (pictured above), two major events took place that are likely to place Mauritius at the Centre of Worldwide efforts on CSR and Sustainability. Let me explain.
First, Mauritius six years ago was the first country to ask companies to contribute 2% of their profits to community development projects to help alleviate poverty. Two years ago, their approach was copied by the Indian Government. Now, the tax was not popular among companies and both Mauritius and India have started to change their rules on CSR (see the Govt of Mauritius website for more details). We at MHCi/CSRFi were not too happy with the tax stance taken although we do admit it placed CSR firmly on the company agenda. Our stance has always been that ‘CSR is all about treating key stakeholders responsibly’ – see front page of www.mhcinternational.com for more details on our definition).
Happily in a meeting between Michael and Maga with the new Mauritius Government Head of CSR, Danielle Wong (pictured above left), changes were afoot. In a subsequent CSR Meetup seminar hosted by CSRFI and Air Mauritius and led by Michael, Daniel Wong announced that, indeed, Mauritius was going to treat CSR as in our above definition. We at CSRFI shall work with Daniel not only to broaden the implications of CSR and Sustainability in Mauritius but also work to make the Mauritius version THE model for the world.
Second, Maga Ramasamy (Head of CSR and Sustainability at Air Mauritius and pictured with his team and Michael) have started to implement a CSR and Sustainability programme in Mauritius that will not only be a practical application of the Government’s new approach but also intends to become a model for airlines in the region, and hopefully too, airlines around the world. Michael has also achieved some success with his CSR approach as far back as 1997 when British Airways implemented some of the ideas in Michael’s book ‘The Planetary Bargain: CSR Comes of Age’.
Pictured below is the first rough sketch of the stakeholder approach, beloved of Michael, as part of the strategy for Air Mauritius. We shall update our readers on both above steps as we move forward.
But as ever, it was not all work and no play as Michael and Maga (pictured below) both had a chance for an early morning swim and run on the beach at Flic-en-Flac!
Dr. Michael Hopkins CEO at CSFI & MHCi Consortium for Sustainability Reporting and Advisory Services
I started this post on a Linkedin Group discussion…check here if you would like to comment. So I thought I’d test this page to see whether the discussion could be more widely shared.
Given the almost total lack of CSR in Qatar’s bid for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup – such as allegations of bid fixing, use of poorly paid labour, let alone staging a sporting event in 45C temperatures – my suggestion is that Qatar host the first round match, one set of group games and the Final. These would be in one stadium and the number of people could be accomodated in one air-conditioned, 1000 air-conditioned buses, and the many hotels in Qatar i.e. around 50,000 people. Then, Qatar had suggested that its stadiums be used in other countries lacking in good facilities AFTER the World Cup.
My suggestion is to build these stadiums BEFORE the World Cup and then use these stadiums to host all other groups stages and games in 2020. These other countries should be within 3-4 hours flying time from Qatar – hence that would include Jordan, Greece, Kenya, Ethiopia etc etc. Such a gesture from Qatar would be a huge REPUTATIONAL triumph for them, show Qatar as a truly caring country and also save them money. That money should be put to good use in the countries chosen not only to build the stadiums but to use to promote Development AND Football..for instance as done so well by MYSA Kenya or even Qatar’s own SILATECH for which I was its architect.
Is anyone in FIFA or Qatar listening?
Dr. Michael Hopkins, CSRFI CEO, gives Keynote speech at CSR Hungary’s Annual CSR conference
In Julia’s own introductory speech she noted that many Hungarian, and Eastern European Companies in general, see CSR as purely philanthropy. In Michael’s speech he noted that philanthropy has to make sure it is ‘sustainable’, otherwise it will be subject to the vagaries of financial winds of change when the philanthropic topic goes out of fashion. Michael and Julia agreed to work together to extend the wider definition that both use (see www.mhcinternational.com) in Hungary and move out to other Eastern and Central European countries!
GRI G4 Sustainability Training delivered by MHCi Consortium, Nairobi, Oct 1-2 2014
For its first certified training, CSRFI joined SBS (Strathmore University Business School) and APN (Apex Porter Novelli) in delivering the two day seminar. Led by former Head trainer of GRI, Enrique Torres 20 top professionals enjoyed the enjoyed the experience.
Participants at Nairobi course and Head of Safaricom Sustainability Reporting, the brilliant (really!) Karen Basiye, pictured immediately above. Next two day GRI training Mauritius then Tanzania then Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana and Nairobi again…contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
GRI G4 Certified Training Courses in sub-Saharan Africa (all countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Botswana, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)
CSR Meetup Preparation Mauritius
Michael and Maga Ramasamy preparing the evening’s CSR Meetup on Sept 26 2014…Really! Tonight we shall be joined by Dr. Robin Nunkoo- University of Mauritius, Mr. Niven Muneesamy – Tourism Authority, Mr. Eric Bell- Chairmin l’espoir et development Foundation. After an introduction by Michael on Sustainable Tourism and Community involvement, there will be a RoundTable about Community Development linked with Tourism in relation to World Tourism Day 2014.
Michael Hopkins receives Honorary Doctorate in London
Acceptance Speech July 28 2014 by Michael Hopkins
- Thankyou to the staff, Dean of Business and Vice Chancellor for honouring me with this award of an honorary doctorate. It is the second award I received this year..the first was a lifetime achievement award at the University of Delhi in India – then I had to point out that my lifetime was still going on…as you can no doubt see!
- I have worked on CSR for 20 years and seen it work its way across many institutions. London Metropolitan itself was based upon CSR when it was started by the Bishop of London in 1848 (no I wasn’t around then!) when he appealed to his clergy to improve the intellectual and moral conditions of the industrial classes.
- Many of you may have watched the recent World Cup of Football, and CSR has even entered that world. You may have seen the captains of the teams speaking out against racism? UEFA, too, has just appointed the former Captain of Chelsea, Paul Elliott, to be its new champion of Diversity. While the person in front of you, myself, has just been appointed the first CSR advisor to a Football Association in Africa, that of Kenya. Did you know too that the actual winner of the World Cup, Germany, has one of the best CSR records of all European FAs…maybe that is a clue as why they always seems to win?
- At London Met, you yourself have a long statement on promoting equality and diversity – and on its website states that people from diverse backgrounds can bring new ideas and perceptions that help increase organisational efficiency and improve services.
- London Met’s location is indeed a triumph from where it can launch much needed CSR in the City of London. In fact it was there near today’s London Met that 50 years ago a young girl, after failing all her exams and being a rebel made her way..to Bishopsgate and became a secretary, married then had three children. Without little formal education she travelled to the USA and was determined to achieve a decent education. While bringing up her babies she struggled and studied, as I know many of you here have had similar struggles. She gained her O and A levels, then went to University where in her mid forties, she gained a degree as well as an award of magna cum laude. Today she has her own business in interior architecture and is one of the leading designers in the USA. She showed how education can help, as London Met has also helped so many. I am proud to say that she travelled from Chicago to be here today – my sister Susan!
- So education is not the be all and end all, but without education – as I have seen in my work to create one million jobs in Somalia – zero education leaves you open to all sorts of influences, including the malicious ones you see there.
- So do go forth from here today and use your newly acquired education to make the world a better place than you have found it..and I thank London Met for allowing this to happen and also for awarding someone like me, an honorary award. Thank you!
MYSA Exhibition in Geneva comes to a happy end
We were pleased to receive Bob Munro, the inspirational founder of MYSA, on July 18th at the exhibition which ended on Aug 3rd. Thousands saw the images and many press reports were made. Pictured below is the exhibition along with Bob Munro and Francois Schaer the photographer. Michael also visited and shown in front of his featured remark. One can see the superb location of the exhibition in front of the HQ of the UN building for Human Rights and just by the lake in the center of Geneva.
Michael adresses Kenya FA on CSR at their annual meeting in Nakuru, Kenya, June 27 2014
Rare indeed do Football Associations invite a presentation on CSR such as that given by Michael Hopkins. In the middle of the World Cup and in the middle of increasing concerns worldwide on corruption, match-fixing, player misbehaviour it was both timely and brave for a FA to invite a presentation in the middle of their deliberations on mainly administrative matters. Michael takes a stakeholder model of CSR and insists that CSR is not simply donors giving good causes some sponsorship money. Michael gave a stakeholder map of the Kenya FA and started by presenting the total lack of responsibility by one player – Suarez – whose one flash of anger has led to a huge drop in reputation of himself, his country and their chances in the World Cup itself. By treating all stakeholders responsibly (fans, players both male and female, management, media, referees, local communities etc) it is very likely that this will lead to success on the field of play and better appreciation of socially responsibility by fans, players, sponsors, media etc.
A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION IN GENEVA CELEBRATE A CSR PROJECT during 2014 Football World Cup: MYSA Kenya
A project dear to Michael’s heart is that of MYSA (Mathare Youth and Sports Association) in Kenya. Prize winning Swiss photographer François Schaer invites all to the opening of his exhibition of MYSA in Geneva, Quai Wilson, on July 2 2014 at 6pm and the exhibition will be displayed…100 full sized photos with quotes all of July 2014. See phovea_schaer_flyer.
CSRFI: Michael Hopkins runs workshop on module 1 of CSRFI’s CSR Diploma in Mumbai, Bangalore and Mysore
Ably organised by Wockhardt, CSR Advisors and Erin I met hundreds of business people, Government officials, NGOs who are all fascinated by the new India CSR rules – see my thoughts here The new India CSR rules_Help or hindrance to India – which insists that 2% of large company profits are allocated to ‘CSR’ projects. The changes in the company law has certainly raised the profile of CSR but mainly CSR projects are considered, and not a multi-stakeholder viewof CSR held by CSRFI – see my view here. We fear that the new law might actually be regressive for CSR in India since companies may ignore multi-stakeholder views that are common see CSRFI definition of CSR.
I write this from Mysore in a luxurious room located in InfoSys’s fabulous training campus in Mysore..picture below.
CSR and IPL, Bangalore, May 31st 2014
Just one week later after being at the UEFA Cup Final in Lisbon, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the IPL (Indian Premier League)Final between Kolkata and Punjab in a beautiful stadium in Bangalore, India. Now many of you have not heard about the IPL since its about 20 over cricket. The stadium was full of 65,000 noisy but happy fans with cheer leaders dancing each time one of the teams lost a wicket or scored a four. A six was greeted with fireworks and small volcanic eruptions around the ground. I attach a few pictures below where I tried to reproduce a similar picture to that of Lisbon – you can see I failed miserably and my tiredness showed after a week of touring Bangalore and Mysore while giving CSR lectures in each place.
Of course, I reflected upon the differences in CSR between the Lisbon and the Bangalore event. The main difference is that while UEFA are well versed in CSR (although still not the multi-stakeholder variety I prefer) led by its supremo Patrick Gasser, the IPL have not started to think about CSR in any way. Some segregation of fans but no appeal to multi-racial diversity such as in UEFA’s RESPECT programme, seats not allocated and so minor scuffles broke out continually, and no corporate governance transparency – I didnt notice anything in particular on the latter but one knows how keen Indians are to bet (and is illegal in India). I can only speculate whether tricks were being played to support wagers on, say, how many sixes scored in a particular over. Millions of dollars are wagered and the betting syndicates have great power accordingly. The new CSR rules in India (see above) will do nothing to prevent any CSR transgressions in public events such as the one I witnessed. But let me finish this short note with a positive feeling of the immense happinness in the ground and I witnessed no agressive behaviour between competing fans. Yes, I would certainly go again!
CSR and UEFA, Lisbon, May 24 ’14
The CSR team of UEFA met for lunch and the UEFA Cup Final in Lisbon Portugal on Sat 24 May 2014. Wonderful people attended such as Paul Elliott former Captain of Chelsea FC and now nominated as UEFA Diversity Ambassador. UEFA also announced their new Social Responsibility Report..more on this later.
When Girl Meets Oil..CSR Meetup, New York, 16 April 2014
Christine Bader (When Girl Meets Oil, Bibliomotion, April, 2014) led the lively discussion that was ably moderated by journalist Marci Alboher in front of 80 Meetup members (see photo). She spoke about her personal experiences while working with BP on CSR. Michael (CSR Meetup Founder) visited the Meetup as just about his last stop on his Nairobi – London – Mexico – Miami – Washington DC – New York – Geneva voyage. Check out our other CSR Meetups around the world – now in ten or so country capitals and meet monthly.
Was this the biggest CSR event in the world? (Mexico April 2014)
Michael travelled to Mexico City to give the keynote speech at a massive event hosted by CEMEFI and ALIARSE. ‘Amazing to see so many people in front of me as I spoke’ he says. Are Mexicans leading the world in CSR?
Again impressive (I also saw him in Quito last year) was Fernando Prado Managing Partner of the Reputation Institute with a data filled presentation on the importance of reputation and its very close link to CSR. All orchestrated by the suave Jorge Villalobos, CEO of CEMEFI.
First CSRFI Workshop held in Nairobi Kenya
CSRFI partnered with Strathmore Business School (SBS) and Apex Porter Novelli (APN) to offer its first event in Africa! Attended by a number of NGOs and private sector companies the knowledge of CSR was high and discussions centered around practicalities. For instance the Head of KCB’s Foundation wanted to know the experience of other Institutions around the world in setting up CSR not only in an independent Institution but in the company itself. While a leading Insurance company was intrigued by the possibilities of stakeholder analysis and its business case. Insurance is all about reducing risk, so maybe consumers could get involved in reducing risk not only helping their insurance company but also reducing risk in their own lives thereby living a healthier and longer life. Want more details? Come to our next workshops either in Kenya or around the world and see the practical side of CSR and Sustainability.
MUMBAI: CSR Advisors Pvt Ltd is organized 2 days workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility in Mumbai on February 8,9, 2014. The venue of workshop was Wockhardt Towers, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Dr. Michael Hopkins – Founder of MHC International and CSR Finance Institute was the master trainer of the workshop. The world class workshop was designed for paid participants. Course Fees was Rs. 30,000 including taxes for each participant. The theme of the programme was ‘CSR, Sustainability and international Development and link to Indian Govt CSR Law’.
“CSR Advisors, the co-host with CSRFI, believes that Finance plays a crucial role in the development of CSR and imbibing CSR in any companies DNA. In India, we take innumerable amount of social initiatives in order to fulfil our CSR obligations with less thought on the beneficial financial implications of CSR.”, Dr. Huzaifa Khorakiwala, a member of CSR Advisors informed IndiaCSR today.
Dr. Huzaifa Khorakiwala, Ms. Harsha Mukherjee and other other industry leaders also took sessions at the workshop.
“The course focused upon CSR in international development and its practical implications. Starting from a discussion on what is CSR and Sustainability all about, we started with a clear and useful definition to help participants understand the maze of terms that are being used as well as how they link to other concepts such as those defined by ISO26000, the EU, the UN Global Compact etc.”, Harsha Mukherjee, member and CEO of CSR Advisors said.
The course drew upon both the course leader’s book on CSR and International Development as well as Dr. Hopkins’ vast experience in working with companies, Governments and the United Nations in over 120 countries around the world. The course covered CSR strategy and how it linked to practical conditions in emerging market economies with examples taken from large companies as well as small. Delegates left the course with a clear idea of how to implement CSR and Sustainable Development in projects and programmes from community development, to employment creating programmes to their own chosen projects.
What does Sustainable Entrepreneurship (SE) mean for you personally?
Making profit by doing good for the private sector and creating increased efficiency for non-private institutions. Both sets of institutions must treat their stakeholders in socially responsible and sustainable ways.
How deeply anchored is this mindset, in your view, in society, but most importantly of all in the heads of entrepreneurs?
Most entrepreneurs have a single idea and assume they will also do good. However the effort required to treat all key stakeholders responsibly is only just taking off. My view of this around the world is captured in the below graph (excuse me if I use CSR as the overall concept – I define, by the way, CSR as the process to meet the goal of sustainable development).
And lastly, a personal question: Which is the most memorable SE project you’ve ever heard of – and why?
The Mathare Youth and Sports Association, that takes kids from one of the poorest slums on Earth – Mathare in Nairobi – and gives them hope and development through sport. Since its inception (see: http://www.mysakenya.org/) MYSA has now 140 leagues, with 25,000 active boys and girls in over 1,800 teams. Last week I was able to witness Kenya, here in Nairobi, winning the CECAFA cup of 13 international teams beating both Tanzania and Zambia on the way to the final. Three proud ex-Mathare slum kids played for Kenya. I have been to the slum and what MYSA has done is remarkable. Now footballers from Mathare can be found playing in the top professional leagues in Europe and, I am sure, one day will be running the country in sustainable ways
I am happy to note that one lad from the slum, schooled in the slum, played football in the slum, became CEO of MYSA, attended (where I met him) my CSR course in Geneva, Switzerland and is today a prominent member of the Kenyan society promoting SE both in Africa and worldwide and, happily for me, is the stalwart of my CSR and Financial Institute (www.csrfi.com) in Africa…let me name him – Peter Karanja and the man who set MYSA on its way 27 years ago and someone I am proud to call my friend – Bob Munro – social entrepreneurs par excellence!