I have to admit, I’m always learning that I don’t know what I don’t know. When it comes to the exponentially expanding conversation about Corporate Social Responsibility, it is almost impossible to keep up. In order to avoid spending every waking hour combing through countless articles, blogs and press releases, I decided to get help.
And not just any help.
The miracle of social media has allowed access to the best of the best. With it, I’ve enlisted the aid of experts in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. In turn, I’ve been able to make contributions from my own area of expertise, Corporate Volunteering.
I figure you might want in on the game. Here’s a list of the sites I find the most beneficial:
JustMeans is one of the best sites I’ve seen for direct interaction with companies on the topic of CSR. You’ll find Campbell’s Soup, Hewlett Packard, Seventh Generation, Timberland and many more. The site has a decent global perspective with 40% US & Canada, 35% UK, and 25% other. JustMeans boasts over 500,000 unique visitors in 2008 and 1.9 million page views per month, ensuring diversity of perspective and experience. With so many companies and experts participating regularly, JustMeans is also able to provide significant helpful information in the editorial section.
In my opinion, the best feature is the staff. Highly interactive and proactive in facilitating connections, the JustMeans staff are key to optimizing the site. Co-founders, Kevin Long and Martin Smith, give it that vibrant and effective edge that really makes it stand out.
This is one of the first sites I joined when looking for conversations about CSR. It’s a Ning site, which allows you to create a fairly robust personal profile to share. DevelopmentCrossing has an international flavor, and provides solid information regarding events and career opportunities. I’ve made a number of fruitful connections here, and have found the discussions and blogs not only useful – but interesting!
If you’re looking for a site to discuss ideas and strategies for utilizing CSR to combat poverty, then you need to join businessfightspoverty.com. Just over a year old, this site has grown quickly, and offers both good information and a proactive membership. One of the more interesting tools is the clickable map with case studies for utilizing business models to fight poverty. You’ll also want to subscribe to the provocative Event Series podcasts.
This site has a youthful feel, but all ages are welcome to join in the conversation. TakingItGlobal is in fact, very global, with almost 250,000 members, in 269 countries and 1169 schools. You can even interact with the site based on a regional orientation; Europe, Asia, Africa etc.
The site is chock full of features. You can create your own page, access resources, sign petitions, download action guides, join others in making lifestyle resolutions, utilize educator resources, or access how-to guides for policy makers and community organizers – whew! If you’re a student, or are interested in sustainability, activism and global issues affecting the environment, politics and society at large, then this site is for you.
This is the official site for CSR International, founded by Wayne Visser. Wayne just launched the site a few months ago, but he brings years of experience and dialogue with him. You’ll be able to find good information, helpful links and a list of formative bloggers on the topic of CSR.
If you’re interested in the actions to accompany the issues, these sites may be for you:
MySocialActions.com will help you find and share opportunities to change the world by collecting information from other sites, and then letting members promote the ideas they like best.
Change2.net offers something similar to Socialactions, but with a distinctly Australian perspective. You’ll want to check out the Resources section to get some very practical help in figuring out how to make good purchasing decisions, and to understand ‘green marketing’.
United.myimpact.org is a site born out of President Obama’s call to service. This is a very new Ning site, which again offers members the ability to create profiles and connect with other people committed to impacting their communities for positive change.
GetInvolved.ca For Canadians, this is a site that just keeps getting better. A project of the TVO television series ‘Get Involved’, this site aims at mobilizing Canadians by creating a ‘lively socially conscious networking community for individuals, not-for-profits, charities and community organizations’. Stay tuned for further developments on this increasingly user-friendly site.
Finally, one of the largest sites around for activism has got to be Idealist.org. The site provides excellent resources and helpful links. It boasts over 200,000 members from all over the globe. It is, however, difficult to use, and offers little opportunity to create a personal identity. In fact, it may prove to be more a resource than a site for reciprocal interaction.