Whereas CSR has been an important trend in the corporate community for over two decades, digitization is a more recent one. However, it is one that is rapidly gaining speed and impact, affecting business processes from manufacturing and marketing to stakeholder engagement and corporate reporting. The CSR community, on both the company and investor side, has been relatively absent in digitization. This must change. Digitization can make CSR initiatives much more effective and failure to embrace it will reduce the still-tenuous role of CSR despite all of the current rhetoric supporting it.
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Digitalization is changing the world. We have to rethink our basic ideas about business, ethics, privacy, and social responsibility. We need to have that conversation now.
R. Edward Freeman
The intersection of sustainability and big data, two of the most powerful market influences of our time, is taking place across industries. We don’t know enough, yet, about the opportunities and risks brought about by this collision of forces. This conference is one of the first efforts to bring together scholars and industry leaders to understand these very important issues.
„We are extremely glad to have the opportunity to participate in the 7th Humboldt-CSR-Conference. In a rapidly-growing information society, technology can represent at the same time a challenge and an opportunity. GeSI is committed to supporting its members in their own CSR practices, and to raising awareness of the great contribution that ICT can give to the improvement of social and environmental sustainability. This year’s event, focused on “CSR in an age of digitization”, is the ideal platform to exchange on these themes with the leading stakeholders in the field.“
Constant connectivity, social media, big data, and global access to information about just about everything are changing the way that companies operate in significant and mostly undetermined ways. In an era in which large system change is needed to ensure sustainability, social justice, and dignity for humanity and its enterprises, where transparency is ubiquitous whether it is desired or not, companies and the rest of us need to pay attention to what we are doing and how we are doing it.
Recent developments mean that the way we communicate CSR efforts will inevitably have to change. In an age where people read print less and consume more information through mobile devices we are going to have to find new ways to get our messages across.