How Social Media Empowers Consumers to Re-engineer Capitalism

Social media empowers consumers to change the way companies do business.

By Simon Mainwaring

No doubt many readers of Talkback agree that free market capitalism has fallen into disrepute, proving to be ineffective in creating a prosperous society for everyone. Today, Wall Street banks, wealthy investors, corporate CEOs and boards continue to pursue profits at the expense of the overall society. Jobs are being outsourced to cheaper labor countries, worker salaries are falling and the middle class is slowly disappearing. Meanwhile calls for values-based practices, ethical conduct and concern for the greater good fall on deaf ears.

In response, many thought leaders and social visionaries have proposed new versions of capitalism – co-op capitalism, conscious capitalism, ethical capitalism, philanthrocapitalism and creative capitalism to name just a few. But these efforts are yet to have the impact we need to build a better world.

That is about to change.

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07:32 pm by csrwiretalkback[15 notes]

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After Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima: Can sustainability reporting help fend off catastrophe?

Better GRI reporting standards would help companies avert costly disasters.

By Sanford Lewis

As many readers know, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the leading standard for corporate sustainability reports, developed through collaboration of NGOs, investors, companies and other stakeholders. About 2,000 companies currently issue reports referencing the GRI’s guidelines. Through June 30 of this year, GRI is inviting suggestions of new topics to be addressed in the next round of revision of its guidelines.

To this author, the key question is how GRI can remain relevant in light of recent environmental disasters in the Gulf of Mexico and Fukushima. What role, if any, can sustainability reports play in anticipating and preventing the worst forms of corporate destruction of our planet? Is sustainability reporting regarding catastrophic risk only reactive, or is it anticipatory?

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08:16 pm by csrwiretalkback[7 notes]

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Rains Bring Relief for Six-month China Drought, But Chronic Water Problems Loom

Although now satiated, the dry spell is the latest in a growing trend of severe water shortages threatening China’s food production, energy generation and accelerating modernization.

Originally posted on the CSRwire website.

Photo: © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue

By Nadya Ivanova, Circle of Blue

Heavy rainfall began in China at the beginning of the month, easing the effects of a prolonged drought that has been ongoing in the nation’s central and eastern regions since January. Though this spring’s dry spell has affected 35 million people across five provinces in the Yangtze River Basin - leaving 3.5 million with limited access to drinking water - analysts predict limited impact on national food production, consumer prices and power output.

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07:32 pm by csrwiretalkback[4 notes]

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Saving the World by Making Capitalism Work for Everyone

Innovative models shared at Europe’s first SOCAP conference.

Originally posted on the CSRwire website.

By Jeffrey Hollender

Innovation. Passion. Possibility. Potential. Just four words that come to mind when I think back on the first-ever SOCAP/Europe conference (an organization dedicated to the flow of capital towards social good), which took place on May 30-June 1 in Beurs van Berlage, an extraordinary building that was Amsterdam’s original stock exchange.

What transpired over the course of three days was an exploration into the wondrous realm of people fearlessly fighting back against a world gone wrong. People excited by their ideas and, yet, uncertain as to how those ideas would manifest themselves in the real world. With seven hundred people from more than 50 countries touching every corner of the globe present, the energy and excitement was palpable.

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07:20 pm by csrwiretalkback[6 notes]

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Mapping Uncharted Waters

A compelling New Economy policy framework is being framed and developed.

As part of the New Economy 2.0 series

 

By David Korten

I am among those who hoped President Obama, based on his campaign promises, would introduce reforms putting the United States on the path to a New Economy.

Unfortunately, for all the powers of the presidency, any new president, no matter what his intention, quickly learns he is captive to institutional forces that severely limit his ability to set a course for uncharted waters.

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04:36 pm by csrwiretalkback[13 notes]

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Déjà Vu All Over Again, BP Style

It’s time to get tough on repeat corporate offenders.

By Bob Monks

As we pass the one-year anniversary of the Gulf Coast disaster, I am reminded of the earlier BP disaster at the Texas City oil refinery in 2005. I’m still astounded that a leading company previously charged with numerous felonies for a major environmental disaster was allowed to have another major disaster just five years later. In the same country. In the same state.

Following the Texas City disaster, I was retained as an expert witness by the plaintiffs in an action brought by injured parties. The extent of the damage was impossible to ignore, and it was clear this couldn’t simply be brushed under the rug and huge monies paid to make it go away. The problems were far too pervasive for that. It really was a question of the culture of British Petroleum. 

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10:15 pm by csrwiretalkback[12 notes]

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Games are the Future: Saatchi & Saatchi S CEO

The sustainability challenge: move away from language and toward experience.

 

By Emily Drew

Angry Birds and Cinepuzzle. Those are the favorite games of Judah Schiller, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S, whose San Francisco office got rid of the board room years ago and replaced it with a game room, complete with Xbox Kinect. “We have our best meetings in the game room,” Schiller and his colleagues told me at Sustainable Brands ’11 this week.

Schiller’s own love for gaming led Saatchi S to a study released this week called, “Engagement Unleashed: Gamification for Business, Brands, and Loyalty.

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09:21 pm by csrwiretalkback[11 notes]

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Panera Bread CEO Says Pay What You Can

People are inherently good, and Panera’s new social model proves it.

 

By Emily Drew

One in six Americans live in “food insecure” homes. This means one in six Americans is seriously hungry, likely under-nourished or malnourished and doesn’t know when he/she will have their next meal.

When Panera Bread Founder and CEO Ronald Shaich learned this, he thought about how Panera Bread opens two restaurants every week, employs 60,000 people, and he knew Panera’s resources could have impact on America’s hunger problem. He personally set out to help, pitched his board (with a lot of respect and credibility under his belt), created a foundation and the result is a new kind of chain restaurant: pay-what-you-can Paneras

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08:59 pm by csrwiretalkback[13 notes]

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Fact: Men Don’t Brag About Buying a Nissan Leaf

Why sustainability will not be achieved until “green” goes mainstream.

 

By Emily Drew

Eighty-two percent of consumers say “green” is feminine. Green is the new pink, and that’s not good for environmentally friendly products and businesses.  

A study launched by OgilvyEarth states “green” products aren’t being marketed effectively to the mainstream consumer and green marketers are actually forgetting two major consumer groups: men and the working class. The report, “Mainstream Green,” notes that  66% of consumers are “in the middle” on being green, and argues environmental sustainability will be impossible until green becomes “normal,” even invisible in society.

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08:29 pm by csrwiretalkback[14 notes]

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ESG and CSR Game Changer: the CalPERS Embrace

A model of good money management embraces ESG. 

By Hank Boerner

We’ve commented here on “Universal Ownership,” which like the term “SRI” can have several meanings and dimensions, depending on the speaker (and those who hear her and interpret the words). I like the concept of UO as the communities’ monies, with funds contributed into the larger pool, partially and in the main by individuals and government, and other institutions, to be managed by independent fiduciaries with very clear duties and responsibilities for the ultimate beneficiaries. Think of pension funds (corporate and public sector), mutual funds, and endowments and the concept of monies being universally-owned.

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04:51 pm by csrwiretalkback[87 notes]

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ABOUT US

CSRwire is the leading source of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability news, reports, events and information.

CSRwire Talkback is hosted by Francesca Rheannon, Managing Editor, and Sarah Peyok, Director of Editorial.

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