Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Corporate Social Responsibility = Community Responsibility

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 3, 2007

Public_Schools-Emb.jpgIn Silicon Valley there is tremendous competition for talent and companies have to offer more than just a salary. Increasingly, companies have to show that they have a higher purpose too, and show that they have a corporate social responsibility.

Companies such as Google and Salesforce.com have established large foundations. And there are many other companies that encourage their employees to engage in community and charity projects. Microsoft's Silicon Valley employees for example, are the area's largest contributors to the United Way.

As our work life and personal life blurs, companies will have to provide a way for people to express their desire to give back, to be engaged in their communities and local charities. Otherwise they won't be able to attract the talent they need to be successful.

Choosing between two companies offering similar salaries and benefits, people will select the one that also has a visible and vibrant social responsibility role.

And when it comes to Silicon Valley, we should look to our schools, these are the heart of any community.

How can Silicon Valley say to the world "we are inventing the future" yet our schools are struggling. Our schools are basket cases when they should be showcases.

Within walking distance of any Bay Area school there are tremendous resources, world class talent, world class technologies. Yet all of that seems to matter little in terms of making a difference in the very communities where they are created. It's embarrassing. It has to change.

RossellaDerickson-KristaHenley01-big.jpgComing up on October 19th is the Take Action on Corporate Responsibility Conference organized by Rossella Derickson and Krista Henley. They will be debuting their book: Awakening Social Responsibility, A Call to Action. I'll be at the conference and moderating a panel. Please join me in Santa Clara.

http://www.sbodn.com/conference/2007/index.html

SBODN is pleased to announce the upcoming CSR Conference. We are excited to have attendance from Nokia, The Gap, Intel, Sonic Wall, Genentech, Cisco, Shaklee, NVIDIA, KLA-Tencor, Xylinx, Intuit, Calypso, Adobe, Sun, Symantec, and many others.

Who should attend? Executives, Leaders, and OD/HR professionals that want to understand the role they can play in CSR to create a strong, healthy work environment that contributes to the bottom line.

Join us on October 19th to learn:

* Innovative ideas for sustainable business practices
* How CSR can be a key ingredient in attracting and retaining a workforce
* Ways to align corporate culture to socially responsible business plans

Presentations include:

* Jim O'Toole on Useful Lessons from 40 Years of CSR
* Christine Arena on Developing Your Business Case for CSR
* Sun on Eco-Responsibility and Adobe on CSR and Branding
* Symantec on Cyber Awareness and Education
* Gap on Ethical Sourcing From Suppliers and Kiva on Micro-loans
* Entrepreneurs Foundation for Startup Company Equity Donation
* David Batstone on Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

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