The Social Conscience: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility
It is vital never to forget that companies are an engine of change and it is the conscience that will keep them walking.
Marty Neumeier said that the purpose of a company is the reason why it exists, beyond making money. He always places this conscience at a higher level to the mission and vision of the company. Why? To make us understand that when the mission seems not to work and the vision is diffused, the purpose is what drives us to keep fighting.
Although 2017 will probably be the best year in Human History, events such as the recent water crisis in Cape Town or the wage gap between men and women in Spain, to name just a couple of examples, indicate that we still have many challenges to solve as a society. This is why I think it is essential that companies, as an engine of progress, take part in the process of developing the environment in which we operate, whatever it may be: technological, environmental, political, or a hybrid between different sectors.
We have already observed cases in which private organizations promote a change that seemed impossible. Tesla and SolarCity making an energy alternative for transportation and consumption, Ustwo and IDEO, among others, developing an exceptional family reconciliation plan for its employees, Salesforce and his extensive philanthropy program or Facebook and his internet.org project.
You do not even have to go far. This week, for example, we have met the promoters of Exponential Solidarity and Rockbotic Sevilla, two social innovation projects born in our city. These companies promote the technological inclusion of groups at risk of exclusion to achieve their full integration in society or spaces like RES, social incubator driven from the private sphere.
Regardless of the objectives that we define for our project, it is vital never to forget that companies are an engine of change and their conscience will keep them walking. This is a social goal that should be related to our activity and that we plan to outline from the beginning. With it, we can generate a real impact in our environment while we advance our society economically and socially.
Space itself can provide tools, show a different way to take things out and build more open-minded personalities.
At Commite Inc. we recently moved from our cozy office to a new space more than 700 square meters big. The team has grown a lot in the last two years and together with Sensa Design and Upwelling we are creating a group called Magma. The idea of this group is to join forces and align ourselves with projects that share our vision: to generate fairer capitalism, make a sustainable ecosystem with real jobs and with companies with a conscience. To finally achieve an island within capitalism, an island that ends up being so paradisiacal that everyone wants to join.
It is essential that from fields as fashionable as entrepreneurship and startups we begin to promote and define a social conscious that makes our projects and startups move in the right direction and not lose the focus that unites us as a society. We shouldn’t allow our hectic lives to ruin the environment or leave people behind. On the contrary, we must use all the possibilities that technology offers us to be more sustainable, more inclusive, and more respectful.
Providing the opportunity to work on more social and human technological products is highly rewarding. The problem is that it is not typically easy to find a business model that is not based on public subsidies that work. However there are other ways.
It is crucial to have a motivation on a personal level that will help you fight in company’s bad times.
Jose Miguel Carmona Ampuero is one of the founding members of Exponential Solidarity. He explains how the company was able to finance social projects such as Video Games for Diversity through the technical training courses offered in different educational centers by his company, Rockbotic Sevilla. In Video Games for Diversity, primary school children learned to program video games specially designed for people with cerebral palsy. He explains how they taught technology to children, reawaken their solidarity and motivated all the team involved in the project.
The truth is that if someone asked me for advice on entrepreneurship, the only thing I could say is that it is imperative to have a motivation on a personal level that helps you fight in bad times. This same advice applies to companies as an entity since they behave like the people who create them.
While a project grows it is widespread to gradually modify the vision and mission to adjust them to the real situation. Having a firm social conscious will make the path easier to travel and keep the objective to achieve in the horizon.