Insights from The Trialogue Business in Society Conference 2017

Tracking a decade of trends and forecasting the future of CSI in South Africa

At Trialogue’s milestone tenth annual conference, director Cathy Duff presented on a decade of trends and forecasted the next decade of corporate social investment (CSI) in South Africa. Despite uncertainty and tougher trading conditions in almost every sector of the economy, corporate South Africa continues to demonstrate its commitment to CSI. Drawing from Trialogue’s research, Duff said that CSI expenditure in South Africa was estimated to be worth R8.6 billion in 2016, significantly up from R2.9 billion in 2006. Read more…

The role of women in the socioeconomic development of Africa

The advancement of women in business improves bottom-line performance and strengthens corporate culture, which ultimately drives GDP and socio-economic development. That’s the view of Graça Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Trust.

Mrs Machel, who was delivering the keynote address at the Trialogue Business in Society Conference, told delegates, “women must be allowed to assume positions where they can unleash their transformational power in business and society. There’s still an enduring view that women have a collateral and auxiliary role, rather than reflecting the 52% of the society which they make up.” Read more…

US employees, customers empowering CEOs to embrace CSI and sustainability

Businesses that contribute to socioeconomic development, and which actively enable their employees to do so, can dramatically outperform their competitors who turn a blind eye to sustainability as a driver of business growth. This ‘new normal’ business imperative goes hand-in-hand with the core of how businesses interact with their customers, employees and other stakeholders, and it’s transforming CEOs’ relationships with investors and societal investments.

According to Mark Tulay, Director of Strategic Investor Initiative at New York-based CECP, US-based corporations can be harnessed as a force for good in society. Read more…

ICT for development 

Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) aims to harness ICT for socioeconomic development, with particular emphasis on driving impact in low-resource or low-income regions. A panel discussion held at Trialogue’s 2017 Business in Society Conference explored the potential of ICT4D, the impact that new technologies could have for the developing world, as well as the ways in which existing and emerging technologies are currently used, particularly in under-resourced communities. Read more…

 

Enterprise development

In 2016, 27% of the adult population in South Africa was unemployed. According to The National Development Plan, 90% of the approximately 11 million jobs that need to be created by 2020 will be through small businesses. However, according to The Gordon Institute of Business Science, 80-90% of new businesses fail in the first two years, with some of the reasons for failure being lack of access to markets, capital and business skills. A panel discussion held at Trialogue’s 2017 Business in Society Conference unpacked some of the key elements needed to support enterprise development in South Africa. Read more…

 

Social licence to operate

In his overview presentation on social licence to operate at The Trialogue Business in Society Conference, Nedbank Executive Head of Public Affairs, Thabang Chiloane, shared the key message of the imperative for community engagement from Ernesto Sirolli’s Ted Talk, entitled Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

As a young man, Sirolli worked for an Italian non-profit that ran projects in Africa. The organisation saw vast, fertile land along the banks of the Zambezi River and decided to teach the Zambians how to cultivate the land. They paid the community (who were reluctant to participate) to attend agricultural training. They grew hundreds of tomatoes and zucchinis which, when ripe, were eaten by the hippos from the river. When the non-profit workers asked the community why they didn’t warn them not to plant in that area, the community responded: “You never asked”. Read more…

Trialogue Donors’ Den 2017

This interactive and popular session was adapted from the internationally acclaimed Dragons’ Den television series. Following a national call for applications, three non-profit organisations (NPOs) from across South Africa – Alliance for Parenting Education in Africa (APEA), Community Action Partnership (CAP) and Hlumelisa – were selected to pitch a project to a panel of corporate donors. The NPOs received detailed feedback, empowering them with expert advice about how to hone their pitching and fundraising skills. Read more…

2017-12-04T18:37:55+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Business In Society 2017|