13 Years

That’s how long it’s been since I attended my first CSR conference. I was in business school and as campus leader of Net Impact (then Students for Responsible Business) I was invited to attend the BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) Conference in New York City. At the time, social responsibility was mostly the domain of a handful of small, entrepreneurial companies that sold socially conscious, environmentally friendly consumer products ranging from orange juice (Odwalla) to cosmetics (The Body Shop).

My how times have changed…

As I was voting today in the First Annual BCCC (Boston College for Corporate Citizenship) Film Festival, I was struck by how all 25 of companies competing, including Intel, were large multinational corporations. As a side note Odwalla and The Body Shop were also eventually acquired by large companies, Coca Cola and L’Oreal respectively.

At Intel, we’ve seen a similar shift over the last few years as CSR has gone from being a functional area to a strategic initiative for the corporation with CSR being addressed in keynotes from our senior executives at our recent International Sales and Marketing Conference, influencing our product and operational strategies, and included amongst our highest level strategic corporate goals. Our work is certainly not done, but we’ve made some big leaps forward.

As I get ready for the BCCC Conference next week in San Francisco, I’m looking forward to discussing with my peers what’s next for CSR especially in light of these challenging economic times. In the meantime, go vote for your favorite video by tomorrow and send me your thoughts on What’s next for CSR?

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