Philanthropy in China. Will Skepticism Impact Awareness? Transparency?

With the last 2.5 years being the most active time in China's recent history of citizen-based philanthropy, it has become clear that the lack of transparency in the system has become a real issue for some.  That while the historical system of donations, largely fuelled by corporations looking to leverage their donations into something else, benefited from a level of opaqueness.  the current system…

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Learning to Ask NGOs the Right Questions

Looking back 2 years ago, in the aftermath of the 5.12 Sichuan earthquake, it was clear that something had changed.  That, through this experience and the millions of donations, another step forward for civil society awareness and participation had occured. It was a process that was largely controlled at the central level, and primarily benefited a small group of organizations.  Which lead to a…

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The More You Travel, The More You See, The More You Give

Recently, while reading Philanthro-capitalism, the author made brief mention of the fact that successful business people who took the time while traveling to get out of their hotels and have real experiences tended to give more thought to the role in their own communities. It was a point that, like Marketing 101 terminology, I already knew, but the way the author threaded the two issues, the mo…

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Labeling China’s NGOs

In the recent Ethical Magazine article, NGOs and activists - Zealot, hypocrite or genuine article?, Brendan May writes out his thoughts on the various species of NGO that exist in his world. The tunnel-visioned zealot The hypocrite The angry activist The smiling salesman The overfed giant The genuine article The critical friend Doing a good job to highlight that there is…

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Shaping Your Future as a Responsible Leader

With building the capacity of students being one of our core focuses, and great joys, I was privileged to once again be invited to speak in front of 150 AIESEC students as part of their Shaping Your Future Conference. As an organization that I think has one of the strongest communities of students, students who are socially minded, being in front of them for an hour an a half (speech, panel, and w…

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Creating Buy-In for Sustainability and CSR

For many managers who are looking to build a CSR or sustainability platform, creating the internal buy-in necessary to support the goals of the program can be a significant hurdle to overcome.  That, regardless of program strength, moving the proposals up the chain of command and across business units can be THE hurdle that will determine how its funding gets allocated, whether or not it receives …

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How Would You, How Do You, Categorize a Social Enterprise?

As part of our first official discussion in the Social Entrepreneur committee, and one in fact that is often had in the wider community, we began a process of finding a way to put our finger on how to categorize a social enterprise vs. an NGO. Clearly, it was a conversation hat was not going to be solved by the 8 of us, and clearly it is a question that will only be answered in time, however to h…

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How Google’s Structure Supports Putting Ethics Before Profits

Why shouldn't one expect to see more companies follow Google's lead? simple.. The people who runs the worlds largest firms are by and large not invested in their firms beyond their pay package.  Executives are commodities whose decisions are made by the short term equation that with profits comes opportunity (for them), and is not about building companies.  On the whole. That, for all the argum…

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Looking for China’s Green Bloggers? Here is a list

Went through my inbox this weekend and came across an email from a friend who had sent along their list of preferred China environmental bloggers and sites,  and thought I would pass it on to you.  A few of them I frequent, but others are new to me, so proceed with caution. If you have others that you feel are worth mentioning, please let me know in the comments section. English Sites/ Blogg…

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New Regulations Governing Overseas Donations to Chinese NGOs

Late last week, when the State Administration of Foreign Exchange released new regulations (right click to download here) governing how China based NGOs register their inbound donations, several media outlets (AP, SF Examiner, and SCMP) put out coverage that would leave many to believe that this new regulation was going to have an immediate and negative impact on NGOs operating here: "China has s…

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The Responsibility of Management Schools to Develop Responsible Leaders

This weekend, while attending the Three on The Bund Sustainable Business and Society Event, I knew that it would be one that I would be interested in, as at the top of the ticket you had thee leaders of business management schools talking about sustainability. Moderated by PhD Lu Xiongwen ,Dean of Fudan University's Business School, the main event was really when Prof. Richard Locke got up to s…

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Building Capacity Through Students

If there is one thing that I run into, and get frustrated by, it is the fact that many of the "solutions" to issues we face are always too big for the average person. That, while we can all certainly recycle and buy organic clothing, the rest of it should be left to new technologies.  Technologies who will be subsidized by large organizations, developed by people smarter than I, and whose impact…

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Torana House Presentation: Moving from Chemical Dyes to Natural Dyes

Last year, I watched Chris Buckley from Torana speak about the process of moving his production of rugs from chemical based dyes to natural dyes (see interview here). Chris Buckley is an Oxford science graduate and PhD, who has lived and worked in Asia since 1994. He worked as a product development specialist for a multinational company before leaving to pursue a new career in handmade textiles…

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The Importance of Design, and the Designer, to Sustainability

While the focus of sustainability is closely linked to "energy usage" and waste, the conversation on the role of design & designers has yet to take center stage. The recent article Design is an Avocado: The Layers of Green Design by Brian Dougherty (an excerpt from his recent book Green Graphic Design) though does a great job of introducing the role that designers can play: 1. Designer A…

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Jennifer Turner of the China Environment Forum (Interview)

Jennifer Turner has been the director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson Center for 16 years where she creates meetings, exchanges and publications focusing on a variety of energy and environmental challenges facing China, particularly on water, energy and green civil society issues. She leads the Wilson Center’s Global Choke Point Initiative, which together with Circle of Blue,…

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