Showing posts from January, 2007

CSR program development challenges

Many questions about CSR and program ideas have been coming to me these days.

Some (misconceived) ideas and (false) notions that are holding back the development of programs that contribute to the society/communities:

* The idea that companies do not need to invest anything - nonprofit NGO staff can do the work of coordinating programs for free.

* The idea that any event equals a social contribution.

* A strategy that assumes impact on the company staff is more important than the impact on the people being helped or the organization they are working with.

* A focus on obeying the law and following regulations as being enough of a contribution to society.

* The idea that corporate people can not or do not want to be involved in their community - all they care about money.

* The assumption that nonprofit NGO people have no skills and no common sense.

* The assumption that all private or corporate money is dirty money.

* The concern that people in the nonprofit N…

Darwin's Nightmare

This past Wednesday we went to see Darwin's Nightmare.

"Darwin's Nightmare is a tale about humans between the North and the South about globalization, and about fish" (From the film's website)

Done in a documentary style without any overbearing narrative - it paints a picture of the complexity of a cycle of poverty. Starting with the introduction of a non-native species of fish (Nile Perch) to Lake Victoria, it explores the myriad of issues facing different types of people living off the business by the Lake. Old planes go from Europe to Tanzania to pick up tons of white fish for consumption but what do they bring to Africa? Some say empty but really how likely would that be? The answer few are willing to give to this is ARMS. Our airline meal fish supports various conflicts and wars in Africa.

Yes, it does not answer all the questions it raises but by watching it hopefully more people will realise how the rich lifestyle we want to maintain is rea…

Happy New Year!

I was happy to come back to Japan on January 4 to find a number of emails from new people. I was a bit surprised but then saw that most of them had come to me through the recent Metropolis article by Lucy Birmingham Fuji in her Global Village column. She has been featuring different nonprofits, NGOs and people working in different communities, trying to make a difference.

I am happy that I could be featured in her column and that she did such a positive profile of me. I am a bit embarrassed as I am not very good at being positive about myself.

Have a look:
A Tokyo-based social-issues champion offers her New Year's advice: