It is not by chance that Stephen Fry called for athletes at the World Athletic Championships in Moscow to use a symbol to protest Putin’s most recent push to curb gay rights. We have always used symbols to tell stories. We used symbols before we used words. They are an incredibly powerful communications tool. They evoke feelings, thoughts and ideas. They promote action.
Corruption consistently ranks high among corporate sustainability risks. Yet while business ethics policies and procedures are common, violations still occur. Encouraging employees to grapple openly with these issues is often the missing link. In a recently published guide for employees, Scania has tackled the dilemmas and “grey zones” straight on.
David Wong, CEO of Plantedd - an organsiation that promotes British nursuries - says the horsemeat scandal should raise awareness for the benefits of local, independent businesses.
Shared ownership models, particularly co-operatives, are more common than you might think. There are over 5,933 independent co-operatives in the UK, owned by 13.5 million people, meaning that the co-operative economy in the UK is worth £35.6 billion. Worldwide, there are 1.4 million co-operatives with over 1 billion members in sectors as diverse as healthcare and housing, food and football.
BBC's Panorama recently offered us a chilling insight into ‘Britain's Hidden Housing Crisis’. And while the government and banks are largely failing to address this issue, social businesses are uniquely placed to help to meet the challenge of homelessness.
Rod Schwartz is CEO of ClearlySo, a company that helps social entrepreneurs raise capital. He was a leading analyst on Wall Street before shifting his focus to helping grow the social investment marketplace and build a more social economy. Described as ‘the leading advocate and supporter of social enterprise.’ by Peter Tyson of the Body Shop, he founded Catalyst Fund Management & Research in 1997, followed by ClearlySo in 2009, which provides social enterprises with business support and strategic advice.
Counter Culture got involved in this year's John Bryne Award.
We raised critical sponsorship funding, doubled the amount of students participating and even got the iconic Scottish rock group The Proclaimers involved.
We did this because we believe this competition offers an essential dialogue about values.
Author, educator and environmentalist Bill McKibben has just wrapped up "Do the Math": a campaign aimed at spreading ‘the most important numbers you’ll ever hear’ across the US.
The first of those numbers is 2.
2 degrees Celsius is the global average temperature rise that the Earth can handle before destructive weather events, changing weather patterns and sea level rise make our current way of living challenging at best and impossible at worst - for some plants and animals, even a 2 degrees increase will sadly be too much.
The annual public procurement spend in Scotland is estimated to be in the region of £9 billion.
So how can this significant buying power also act as a key driver of economic growth, deliver value to taxpayers and better outcomes for those in receipt of public services?
With the SNP Government delivering on their Manifesto commitment to introduce a Procurement Reform Bill (in our view, previously better titled the Sustainable Procurement Bill) - we have a real opportunity to influence how that £9bn is spent and ensure that intelligent commissioning and sustainable procurement delivers ‘value for people’ as well as ‘value for money’.
Since opening their doors for business back in 2001, Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has supported 107 organisations in 23 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities with loans of more than £11 million. Projects that have benefited from the funding are worth in excess of £60 million and tackle a range of social issues including employment and training, health, arts and culture and the environment.
But what social impact has SIS had through their investment?
It’s an important question and a recent assessment of 58 social enterprises and community organisations provide some answers.