The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Strategic CSR - Social cohesion

The article in the url below by David Brooks is not directly related to CSR, per se, but registers a strong statement on the cohesiveness of a society—in particular, society in the U.S. Brooks is discussing how best to give a greater number of children an opportunity to be successful in life. And, by “successful,” he is not talking about any major contributions to society, simply that they do not detract from social value. The article is good and is designed primarily to widen the debate beyond merely spending more government money trying to improve education and school systems, for example. One quote stood out for me, though, because it illustrates vividly how far we have to go to reach a bar that is not set very high:
“According to work done by [the University of Pennsylvania’s Isabel] Sawhill and others, a significant number of kids stay on track through the early years, but then fall off the rails as teenagers. Sawhill set a pretty low bar for having a successful adolescence: graduate from high school with a 2.5 G.P.A., don’t get convicted of a crime, don’t get pregnant. Yet only 57 percent of American 19-year-olds get over that bar. Only one-third of children in the bottom fifth of family income do so.”
It is hard to imagine a stronger indictment of where we are as a society than a simple statistic such as that. And, that does speak to the CSR debate in terms of how we can envision moving it forward.
Have a good weekend
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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It Takes A Generation
By David Brooks
January 24, 2014
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final