To help further companies’ CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives, and to bridge the gap between companies, NGOs and social enterprises, CSR Innovation Week at Suzhou Industrial Park held its CSR Learning Day at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) on April 10th.
The one-day workshop was held by Business Ecology Magazine, and was co-organised by the International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) at XJTLU, Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP)-CSRA, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftuing. Experts from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan and practitioners who work in the field of CSR and social entrepreneurship attended the workshop.
Different from traditional learning forms such as lectures, this workshop combined lecture, case studies, group discussions and expert comments to provide an all-round study of the topic. This event also attracted over 90 delegates from the government, foundations, enterprises, NGO, media and many members from the social public. The meeting of various interested parties made the discussion more thorough and fruitful.
Professor William Valentino from the International Center for Communication in Tsinghua University, as well as a former Vice President for CSR in Bayer China, gave an opening introduction of CSR’s development in China over the past three decades. He pointed out that though China has achieved amazing economic achievements in the transition from planned economy to market economy at the end of the last century, the social and environmental consequences were actually neglected. Entering the 21st century, these problems have been more and more salient, reflected by the emergence of government initiatives like “Scientific Outlook on Development” and “Harmonious Society”. China is thus making an attempt to find a balance point between the development of economy, society and the environment.
Apart from CSR, guests also gave keynote speeches on “social enterprise”. Dr. Yaonan Lin, Associate Professor in Fu Jen Catholic University’s Social Enterprise Center, introduced the current situation of social enterprises in Taiwan from different angles, offering the listeners a clear concept and comprehensive development condition of social enterprise. Moreover, Mr. Kee Chi Hing, Chairman of Fullness Social Enterprise Society as well as an Associate Professor in Hong Kong Baptist University, shared his outlook on how to create shared values through CSR.
In the afternoon session, Haiyan Sun, the Chief Editor of Business Ecology Magazine, shared her experience of starting a magazine to promote the idea of business ecology. Eason Chen, Vice President of Delta Environment & Educational Foundation introduced his experience of carrying out CSR projects in Mainland China in recent years.
The opening ceremony of “The Wisdom of CSR” Exhibition, lasting from April 10 to 24 in the Central Building of XJTLU, was held between the sessions. Professor Sarah Dixon, Dean of IBSS, made a speech on the ceremony, saying “the mission of IBSS is to promote the development of the society through education, research and collaboration between the university and industry. This CSR Innovation Week is a great helping force to our mission. We are dedicated to improving communication between enterprise, government, community, and other stakeholders to support education, enhance dialogue and discussion around essential topics including global social responsibility and sustainable development. ”
Dr. Juelin Yin, as one of the organisers of the workshop and exhibition, commented that IBSS, as a signatory of PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education), has made steady progress in embracing the six principles of PRME: purpose, values, methods, research, partnership and dialogue. Corporate participants also spoke highly of the event and expressed that they hope more activities will follow in the future.