It’s been awhile since my last blog, so there is much I could discuss. Just prior to taking a vacation in Mexico with my family, I published a post on Intel’s Classmate PC and how the press had so often characterized it as in competition with the one laptop per child (OLPC) initiative.Well the world moves fast because by the time I got back, Intel had joined the OLPC initiative. There was a lot of press on that announcement but a fairly accurate description can be found here. I wonder though, are actions such as these seen as a social responsibility? Or are they viewed as just day-to-day business? That’s the kind of discussion I want to have on this blog. As a global company, we do things all over the world that strive to leave a positive social impact – and we’re usually pretty quiet about it. In my mind, that’s operating a responsible global company that plans to be around for many, many years. I view CSR as considering impacts to society, the environment and communities when making business decisions. I also view that as just smart business. One comment to my last blog pointed out that there are a lot of things people need to before they might need access to technology – things like clean water and basic health care. He asked why we don’t just take the money spent on an initiative like the Classmate PC and give it to people so that they can address their most important needs first. I thought those were very good points, but they left the Corporate out of CSR. There have been a few stories and conferences about the next wave of CSR. I view it more as an evolution. I see the current leading edge as a place where global companies are able to apply their unique skills and capabilities to some of society’s toughest challenges as part of their business strategy. This has to come after, not before running their own business ethically, in an environmentally responsible way and while treating their employees and communities well. Let me know if you agree.
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