Tuesday, April 25, 2006

One way ticket to the world

How about a one way ticket to the world??
Currently, Guayaquil, Ecuador, seems like a place to go, let's see how it's gonna work out...
And one way for a simple reason, it'd allow to return from some other place than Ecuador ;)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Training days

3 days of trainings are behind me! 3 days of actually running trainings, not just participating.
An end of something is a beginning of another thing, and in a way it works in the current case as well...since I left my full time job as an internal auditor, I quickly found another opportunity for myself - I'm now a trainer at the European Youth programme, except that's more like a freelance trainer's job, and suits well with my other responsibilities. The trainings are about cultural preparation, team work, project management...all the soft skills that AIESEC helped me to build a good foundation for.
Friday and Saturday we run a 2-day training for about 30 young people, aged from 15 to 22 (my guess :). It was extremely motivating for me for number of reasons:

Firstly - as I hadn't run these sort of trainings lately (as I have mostly been doing only CSR kinda training activities in the recent times), I felt a bit unease with it (don't know how it goes, not sure in which shape will I be as a trainer with this particular target group etc). The feeling itself - although not comfortable in essence, was motivating. Feeling that I have to extend my comfort zone, which I had fallen into, and push myself a bit to succeed! An additional factor was to work with youth with special needs. I didn't have this sort of experience before, but now that I have, I appreciate it a lot. And moreover, I was really glad to see these young guys who are in a way underprivileged (being in a wheelchair), being so...alive!! and ready to make things happen and ready to be involved and active!

Secondly, the youth - the whole group in general! It simply gave me loooots of energy to see these smart youngsters, who have started with their project (or in some cases their youth leaders have started the projects, and they've just somehow got involved :), and now want to make a difference, want to make something happen!

and thirdly - my collegues! We were 3 of us, and I truly enjoyed the time worked together :))...ya..so I'm happy :))

I mentioned I had 3 training days behind, but the European Youth one was just 2 days. The third day was today, when me and Mari gave CSR lecture/seminar in Pärnu College for the open university students.

And now I'm almost off to bed...to get up tomorrow at 4 am to catch an early flight to Brussels for a CSR meeting by the European Commission...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Corporate responsibility - my job and my hobby

I havent been really writing about my biggest passion - in professional terms that is - that is Corporate Responsibility. Or one could call it also corporate social responsibility, corporate sustainability..and maybe a few other names for a concept that is essentially all the same: businesses integrating social and enviromental concerns into their daily operations and relationships with stakeholders, and doing that voluntarily (ooh! the latter is rather controversial topic, but i won't get into that right now :))

But yeah CR is my passion really (hehe...sometimes it feels like being in love or smth :))), it's amazing how interesting the journey has been for me (now for about 3 yrs already)...to dig in and discover the role of business in society, and not just Estonian society, but it has become thousand times more interesting when looking at the whole world, the balances/imbalances in the world, the power of MNCs, and the threats and opportunities that derive from that, the role of and opportunities for small businesses...and so on and on and on...the topic has huge depth and thus room for discovery...it has been so for me.

I actually started to write about it now, cos I had a full week of CSR action: a CSR/SME project meeting in Milan and right after that an ISO (international standardization organization) meeting in Vienna on a new standard they're developing - a standard for social responsibility - ISO 26 000. That is to indicate that it's a field that is globally addressed not just by big businesses, and a few goverments and a myriad of international NGOs and network organizations, but it's a hot topic on the table of ISO as well.

read more www.iso.org/sr

Important note (for all CR fans :) - ISO has already declared that social responsibility excludes all philantropic and charitable activities, thus moving the focus even further to the core activities of the business (yeah, that's what it should be!!).
And a note to the standards's fans - the ISO 26 000 is not going to be a standard that a company can acquire a certificate for, but it's going to be a guideline...contentwise, too early to say as the content is mostly not ready yet..but ought to be so by 2008.

For a little induction for a reader that's not crazy about CSR (yet!), read Anita Roddick (either www.anitaroddick.com or her books Take It Personally, Business as Unusual), she's one of the global CSR advocates, founder of the Body Shop (now sold to L'Oreal) or see the movie The Corporation (www.thecorporation.com)