Thursday, January 10, 2008

Forecasting the future, corporate social responsibility and charities

As we are well past Twelfth Night the decorations are down and the papers are reporting news rather than reviews of 2007 and looks forward. I always enjoy reading the forecasts for the new year. However, we need to be cautious. These are among my favourite quotes:

Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value
Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home
Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp, 1977

Whilst being wary, it is important to note and watch trends.

On the last day of 2007 I noticed in the Financial Times’s suggested that it was time to say goodbye to corporate social responsibility:

Never mind rising sea levels: the waves of cynicism washing over corporate executives as they push their CSR agendas promise to become life threatening in 2008. In the inevitable life-cycle of management fads CSR is now heading for the exit … as to the identity of the next Big Thing in management: sustainability. Unlike CSR, this concept has some meat and commercial potential to it. Innovations that make money while helping to reduce carbon emissions are actually worth pursuing.

I've commented on here that cutting costs and cutting carbon can go together.

If CSR is on the way out (albeit with some re-badging of CSR as sustainability), this may pose challenges for some charities – particularly if the economic environment forces some corporate sponsors to do some trimming of budgets.

1 comment:

Susan Harwood said...


My name is Susan Harwood.

I'm contacting people who list architecture and housing amongst their interests on the 'blogger's profile'.

I have a new blog called


It is concerned with the environment, building, architecture, politics and education.

It can be found at

It is in its very early stages just yet - so comments will be especially welcome!

Yours sincerely

Susan Harwood