As the first decade of the 21st century comes to an end, it is time to reflect on the leadership and CSR trends that have shaped the economy, global business, and our society in this tumultuous time. Amid high unemployment, foreclosures, and low national confidence, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has launched into the stratosphere as companies integrate socially responsible practices directly into their core mission. Socially-minded capitalism is red hot, and companies are achieving their business goals while improving society and the environment.
We also reached a level of mainstream awareness for CSR in 2010, and it’s exhilarating to see that the media spotlighting socially conscious companies for the impact they are having on the world. Pioneer companies like Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Body Shop, Timberland, StonyField Farms, and Tom’s Shoes have all been recognized as successful businesses that incorporate giving back directly into the bottom line. Other companies are following this lead.
Socially Responsible Investments (SRIs) are also thriving. Financial assets using sustainable investing strategies are growing faster than traditional investments. This promises to upend the financial market in the decade to come. Mark Zuckerberg was named Time Magazine Person of the Year, and raised the bar on philanthropy by committing to give away the majority of his wealth through the Giving Pledge. The newest breed of social entrepreneurs is demonstrating that with great wealth comes great responsibility.
Aside from big business, big media, and big investors, there was also a groundswell of voices building to a crescendo about the importance of maintaining a Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet and Profit. As homage to those tireless voices, I present BRANDfog’s 2010 CSRTree, designed to recognize some of the great thought leaders in Corporate Social Responsibility for 2010.
Thanks to you all, and Happy Holidays!