Why a Chinese Government Lawsuit is an Opportunity for Sustainability

China has some of the largest and fastest-growing megacities in the world. And with 100 million more people moving to those cities by 2020, China will have to tackle critical urbanization issues years, even decades ahead of everyone else. One area that doesn't receive nearly enough attention is waste management. Through our ongoing research on waste in China, we've studied the realities of Shan…

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China’s Landfills Are Closing: Where Will The Waste Go?

In China, waste and waste management have attracted national concern. From environmental issues like toxic chemicals in sea water, to issues affecting urban centers – like Beijing's burdened landfills – waste has become a central part of public discourse. With this in mind, we thought we'd share insights from our past and recent work on waste in Shanghai, and shed light on major changes to waste m…

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4 Archetypes of Sustainability Ambassadors for Your Firm

Someone has to get the ball rolling. Any and all progressive change requires intentional action from human beings, especially in terms of maximizing efficiency and sustainability in your firm’s operations. Now is no time to be passive, and this is the exact value of the sustainability ambassador — inspired individuals at all levels of leadership and influence who can pioneer your firm’s futur…

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6 Tips for Building Your Firm’s Sustainability Ambassador Network

For firms and organizations looking to join the ranks of other industry leaders and assume the mantle of social responsibility, the first key step is engaging and uniting your most valuable resource: your employee base. Consider every interested employee in the process, they bring a level of diversity in departments, expertise, and interactions with outside stakeholders. Joining their talents and…

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Why Social Entrepreneurship Fails to Scale

Over the last month or so, I have been spending a lot of time on the issues related to stabilizing and scaling social entrepreneurs in Asia. Particularly tose in Hong Kong and Mainland China. It is an issue that has been ongoing, and in a recent post Four Gaps in Social Entrepreneurship  Frogtek highlighted four of the key gaps that they see as being: Geographic and Cultural Gap. Social…

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The Power of Firms to do Good

This evening while speaking with the CSR manager of a large services firm, we were discussing the good impact that a CSR manager can have within the firm. It was an interesting conversation because (1) it was centered around corporate volunteering, the structure that a corporation has in place, and the ability of a single person (who is supported) to leverage that work and (2) we compared her w…

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Sometimes They Just Want to Be Employees

For many organizations, increasing headcount is a sign of "making it", of "scale", but as my former CEO once said to me when I asked to be made the GM of their Shanghai branch: "You really don't want the job and manage an office full of people.  Stay in the field, make money, and leave the administrative headaches to George" Being the founder of a social enterprise can at times be tough, as I me…

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How Do Social Entrepreneurs Maintain Positive Energy?

A few weeks back, while a friend was preparing to give a presentation about her work (motivating others), she asked me a couple of questions about how I maintained my positive energy while constantly battling through barriers.  It was an interesting way to frame it, positive energy, as it is something that I (and other social entrepreneurs) have spoken about as we built out our ideas. And my an…

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Are NGOs Hiring the Wrong People?

A couple of days back I was contacted by a headhunter looking to fill a position for one of the world's large international NGOs. A senior role, she contacted me because she thought I would know the right person, and she had it clear it wasn't me. IT wasn't until I read the JD that I understood why: Ten+ plus experience in the development of marketing and strategic communications plans, implement…

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What Prevents Social Enterprises from Scaling

A recent clip of Malini Mehra, Founder & CEO for the Centre for Social Markets  answering the question of "What holds Socially business from scale?" presents an great opportunity to open a discussion about what problems prevent success for many social businesses' business plans. In the 2 minute clip, she mentions three issues that hold back the organization Enabling environment - p…

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Moving Students into the Longtail of Sustainability

The other day while working with some colleagues on a paper, we began discussing the various approaches to sustainability and responsible leadership that we are seeing within the business school community. A discussion that has been taking place for several years, but what was interesting about this review was to see the progress that has been made, and how we are seeing others look to advance…

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5 Steps Towards Better Corporate Philanthropy

5 Steps to Developing a Successful Corporate Philanthropy Program Through my work, working with firms looking to develop "CSR" programs in China, more often than not the conversations I have revolved around donating money. For many firms, even those experienced in philanthropy, China can be a difficult place. The groups who are able to accept 50,000+ USD are more likely to be GONGOs (Government…

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Leading Business Schools Off the “Grid” to Develop Responsible Leaders

For the last three years, I have been fortunate to be working at the China Europe International Business school as an Adjunct Professor of Sustainability and Responsible Leadership. In this time I have facilitated a course that over 600 students have been required to take, and why it is different (and so much fun) is that the students work in teams to understand an issue of sustainability and…

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Rockets Have Trajectory. Fireworks Just Blow Up

The other night while speaking with my wife about achieving goals, she made the comment that I needed to think more like a rocket than fireworks. That, in the interest of achieving my "goals", I needed to have a trajectory with a goal as the destination... versus shooting straight up in the air, looking pretty, and then blowing up. It was one of those conversations where a simple visual…

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How Can NGOs Get the Most Skilled Volunteers?

For many startups organizations, particularly those in the non-profit sector, finding support from volunteers can be vital. Website developers working in their spare time... An accountant to help close the monthly books... an HR Director willing to help develop HR structures and hiring practices... are all (at times) necessary engagements that can have a profound impact on the success and stabilit…

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