Bled (Slovenia), 16 April 2012 – IEDC-Bled School of Management hosted today the “CEE Corporate Responsibility and Philanthropy conference” organized for the second time by Studio Moderna in partnership this year with the Swiss company, Impact Economy. The main accent of discussion was on the need to increase the awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility that soon has to be followed by the change of the individuals’ and corporations’ actions; only then concrete effects for the future of the world can be expected. On the occasion of the conference, Studio Moderna announced the upcoming signing of collaboration agreement with German non-profit organization ParliamentWatch.
Sixteen businesspeople, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and leaders of public institutions from Eastern Europe spoke at the conference, attended by more than 100 participants who tried, through the discussion, to stimulate the development of a broader European network for corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. The purpose of the event was to increase the visibility of the European network, setting up of actual projects that will help individuals and companies to produce positive change in the society and inform the public of the importance of social responsibility and philanthropy. The participants were addressed by Mr. Sandi Češko, Founder and Chairman of Studio Moderna, who stressed: “It is important that we are personally involved in the activities towards change. If each of us makes a small step, a significant improvement will be made soon. Our goal is to form a firm network of committed individuals and organizations, who will, through their projects, contribute to solving societal challenges and concrete positive change in their environments.”
The event enjoyed a special participation by the Clinton Global Initiative, established by Mr. Bill Clinton, former President of the US, who expressed his support through sending a letter, in which he said: “I applaud Studio Moderna and Impact Economy for hosting this important event. Sandi Češko has created an impressive model for innovative and responsible corporate governance. Through this forum, each of you can help create a more accountable and competitive private sector that uplifts communities and changes lives.”
The participants discussed the meaning of the so-called green economy and challenges that the society is facing. “We all need to be aware that most of the solutions already exist – but it is our responsibility whether or not we can use them properly. If we manage to do so, we will create new business opportunities, jobs and, which is equally important, contribute to the preservation of the environment, which has been a major issue for a while now. We cannot wait on state or even world agreements, we can implement the solutions following the principle botoom-up,” emphasized the keynote speaker, Mr. Claude Béglé, Ambassador of the non-profit organization R20 Regions of Climate Action (Switzerland) that was conceived by the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The guests heard more about best practices from the area of job creation and job search, ideas on how to repair the damage to the environment that has been done so far during the intense industry growth, suggestions on how to encourage young talents and achieving better relationships, cooperation and productivity through sports. Ana Koeshall, Director of Fund Ana and Vlade Divac (Serbia), presented to the participants creative strategies for job creation based on the operation of their institution. »Through specifically designed programs and practices, we enabled the socially excluded to get help with developing income focused activities which consequently also raise the standard of living in the region. «
Jan Lübbering, Head of Partnership Development, Streetfootballworld (Germany) held an interesting presentation on making social changes through sports: “We have searched for something that contains passion, crowd and less important role of the language; we have realized that football can be used as the tool to reach societal change. Where else can you imagine an Israeli-Palestinian team? Till 2015, we wish to work with 2 million young people annually in order to help them. In our team, each member is considered as a player”.
The speakers focusing on the topic of encouraging young talents were unanimous that youth needs to be involved in solving the global challenges. Keith Clark, Executive Director of an international educational program UWC International (Great Britain) set out: “Educating the youth is not our ultimate goal; our ultimate goal is that these young people contribute to positive societal change through their commitment to sustainable development”. The conference host Prof. Danica Purg, Dean and President of IEDC-Bled School of Management, pointed out that »IEDC has been making a strong commitment to social and environmental issues since its inception; ethics, responsible leadership and sustainable development have been an important part of its educational programs, while we are pleased to serve as a partner of Studio Moderna in the initiative to establish a pan-European corporate social responsibility network. «
In the second part of the conference, devoted to social entrepreneurship, the participants had the chance to listen to a discussion based on the best practices from the fields of social responsibility, its influence on the manufacturing, the most influential programs and the possibilities of their transfer to the companies in CEE. Dr. Maximilian Martin, Managing Director of Impact Economy, said: »In the times of decreasing welfare, the rise of social entrepreneurship is ever faster, which strengthens also the importance of social responsibility. Experts on economy believe that social enterprises will become very important, as they set the base for establishing new work places and integration of excluded people. The time has come for us all to collaborate and to prepare for the future. «
In the frame of the conference, honorary speaker Dr. Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia, shared his view on the role of companies with regard to the key challenges of the region. He emphasized the need to interconnect and exchange experience on the level of Eastern Europe; he pointed out the importance of connecting the regional perspective with advanced sustainability initiatives. As the answer to the question “How to energize the economy?”, he set out three factors: current macroeconomic and international factors, responsible management and innovations, particularly in the field of ecology, social services and humanitarian projects.
Studio Moderna has been since its establishment adopting the sustainable development principles; on a global level they have been collaborating with the Clinton Global Initiative foundation for several years, while the content partner of the conference in Bled was Impact Economy, social responsibility and social entrepreneurship consultancy from Switzerland. Studio Moderna that is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012 has been striving for building a wider European corporate responsibility and philanthropy, whose major aims are strengthening the awareness of Europe’s contribution to reaching global development goals, exchange of best practices and active involvement in global corporate social networks, expanding the reach of socially-responsible projects from local to European and global levels, fostering international partnerships and receiving a stronger support in the field of corporate responsibility from the side of national and European institutions. IEDC-Bled School of Management, the leading management development institution in the Region that strives for developing responsible leaders and is the headquarters of the Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development, was selected as the host of the conference.
Studio Moderna, Živa Vadnov, firstname.lastname@example.org, +386 51 363 363