Archive for the ‘Development’ Category


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
Tomorrow I will be fortunate enough to be traveling to Antarctica, taking part on a once in a lifetime opportunity, The Expedition Antarctic 2009. This is an 11-day student and change makers expedition to Antarctica led by the polar explorer Robert Swan, OBE; the first person in history to walk to both the North and South poles. The Expedition is sponsored by BP and 2041. The team is composed of 63 people from 15 countries and 30 universities and includes experts like Peter Senge or Vivienne Cox, Executive Vice President and CEO of Alternative Energy at BP.
The conversations that will take place on the journey relate to climate change and its relationship with other key challenges such as the provision of energy, water, food, etc. But most importantly, it represents an incredible opportunity to make of this life changing journey the first chapter on a collective conversation, one which explores collaborative interventions and projects which will help us take global actions at a local level.
(Motivation Video before the Expedition)
Upon our return, and while sharing our experience with others, it will be difficult to go beyond the initial perceptions of the penguins, the cold, the clothing gear, which for a Mexican is, not surprisingly, a first time experience. But how can we go beyond this noise, certainly necessary and a “must” introduction to the people back home, but with whom we are obliged to go a step further, and share the moments, the conversations and the magic we are to live in the days to come.
In order to do that, we will begin by sharing the experience “live”. I will be blogging, together with a team of 8 people, on a daily basis from Antarctica. You can follow the conversation, interact and know our exact location during the whole Expedition at Expedition Antarctic 2009.
You can also have a view of the Expediton through Google Maps.


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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Acumen Fund is now offering summer associate positions for Portfolio Associates, Knowledge and Communications and Business Development in New York, Pakistan and India. Aplications will be accepted until Februrary 20th.
We worked this past LAUNCH with Rob Katz in a workshop devoted to the Base of the Pyramid, where we envisioned creative and innovative BoP solutions/products for the world’s poorest. Now you will have an opportunity to dive deeper into the conversation, an opportunity you should not miss.
Acumen Fund is global philanthropic venture capital fund that seeks to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor at the base of the pyramid. Be part of the conversation!
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Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
For third straight year, the Social Responsibility Forum will be taking place at IE Business School, November 14 and 15. This is our annual main event which brings together experts who engage in social and environmental issues, be it through corporate social responsibility, starting their own social enterprises or through business endeavours in the environmental arena. Led by IE Students, this years program is fantastic! From social entrepreneurs such as Jonathan Robinson, Barry Colemand and Dr. Andreas Heinecke, who design novel business ideas to tackle social and environmental problems, to trendsetters who work inside today’s mature companies as advocates of policies that take into account the whole range of stakeholders and the environment.
This year we will welcome Mr. Jeremy Legget, chairman of Solar Century and climate change specialist as our keynote speaker.
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See the full program.
See the list of speakers.
Take part on the career fair and networking event on Saturday.
Compete at the Social Entrepreneurship Buiness Plan Competition, by Sumaq.
Save your spot! We have limited capacity and it promises to be a blast.


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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GE has taken a proactive stance on Corporate Citizenship with initiatives such as ecomagination, which brings together needs from society with their core business. They have now a new site dedicated to reporting their commitments to corporate citizenship, as well as the steps they’re taking when “integrating their business strategies with today’s major trends in world development”. They include an interactive citizenship matrix which explores the areas which meet the priorities of both society and their company.
What’s most interesting is that they also bring to the conversation different perspectives from global stakeholders in relevant issues like energy and climate change trends, supply chain management and labor challenges worldwide. One of these perspectives is from Sean Ansett, Founder of At Stake Advisors, an international expert on the matter.
“Companies with global supply chains face significant challenges in order to ensure that their suppliers make safe and quality products and that they are produced on time and at competitive prices. In addition, stakeholders increasingly expect companies and their business partners to respect and implement national and international labor and environmental standards in their workplaces. This challenge becomes even greater when companies source suppliers from countries without adequate government enforcement.”
It is when bringing multi-stakeholder perspectives from around the globe in order to analyze our most pressing problems, and linking them with our core competences, that we can come to collaborative and much more ambitious actions and solutions.


Measuring Impact

Written on August 29, 2008 by Max Oliva in Corporate Responsibility, Development, Environment

Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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The WBCSD has developed a new tool in order to assess the social impact of business. Through a stakeholder engagement framework, it follows four steps in order to have both, better relations and make better decisions. These four steps are: Setting boundaries, measuring direct and indirect impacts, assessing contribution to development and prioritizing management response.
It looks very interesting and has both content, contribution from various stakeholders, and practicality, which allows it to be accessed by different companies in order to engage on the conversation.
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The WBCSD measuring impact framework can be used across sectors, by operations in different settings and environments and can be tracked overtime. It offers an analysis on governance & sustainability (including corporate governance and environmental management), assets (infrastructure, products and services), people (jobs, skills and training), and financial flows (procurement and taxes).
It certainly deserves the time to understand the framework, go through the “easy to use guide” and use the excel model, which allows to implement the model according to your company’s specific needs.


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
The Economist is holding an online debate on Corporate Sustainability. The main question their asking is weather outside pressure is required for companies to take meaningful action on sustainability. The debate will be held during this week and until June 27th.
On the Pro side, Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, comments on her opening statement the following:
“Outsiders—investors, environmentalists, public interest groups, other industry experts—have an essential role in pressuring companies on their handling of environmental and social threats. They should be asking tough questions; they should be offering creative, out-of-the-box ideas; they should be demanding real action; and they should be holding companies accountable.”
On the Con side, Björn Stigson, President of the WBCSD opens with the following statement:
“The resolution puts the relations between business and the rest of society into unhelpfully antagonistic terms. Business, in the black hat, is the recalcitrant offender, with no internal motivation to do the right thing while outside parties are the good sheriff, enforcing meaningful action on sustainability in an otherwise lawless frontier.
The resolution implies the following:
1. External influences are the main motivation for corporations in addressing sustainability issues.
2. Pressure is the best description of the relations between stakeholders and business.
3. Corporations always resist external accountability.
4. External pressure is both necessary and sufficient to get corporations to take meaningful action on sustainability.”
Where do you stand on this debate? Take part on the conversation at the Debate Hall.


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
This year’s Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation has been awarded to the organizations leading the fight against malaria in Africa, which are: The Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre (Tanzania), the Malaria Research and Training Centre (Mali), the Kintampo Health Research Centre (Ghana) and the Manhiça Centre of Health Research (Mozambique).
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I had the opportunity to spend a week at Ifakara visiting the Centre there, while doing a case study on how Novartis has been integrating corporate responsibility to the core of their strategy. There, we went more in depth on their Malaria program, supported by the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, and it certainly was very interesting to see the work being done in regards to its prevention, through social marketing and others, viewing their access to effective treatment of malaria, attacking the mosquitoes, the parasite, etc.
My most sincere congratulations to the people who have been working for the past years on this project. There’s certainly still a very long way to go but it is fundamental that their work is recognized and we can focus more our attention to the problem and its solutions.

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Joaquín Garralda, Vice Decano de IE Business School, Director del Centro PwC & IE de Responsabilidad Corporativa
Ayer asistí a un taller sobre la Iniciativa de Transparencia de las Industrias Extractivas (EITI en inglés), en el que la doctora Karl, profesora de la Universidad de Stanford, mantenía que la causa de la pobreza e inestabilidad social de la mayoría de los países que son ricos en recursos naturales, en especial en petróleo, no se debía fundamentalmente a que los gobiernos fueran corruptos – que lo son a menudo y que es la parte visible del iceberg en muchos casos -, sino porque se había truncado la relación “natural” entre los ciudadanos y el estado.
Históricamente el estado va creciendo a partir de las aportaciones que hacen los ciudadanos con sus impuestos; sin embargo, en el caso de muchos países ricos en petróleo, el estado puede crecer mediante las transferencias de recursos de los demás países, sin tener que apelar a las rentas y ahorros de sus ciudadanos. Esta diferencia, tiene varias consecuencias. Por un lado, el estado, al no pedirles nada, no necesita tenerlos de su lado o aprobar sus proyectos. Por otro, al tener una fuente de ingresos que no está sometida a un intenso escrutinio por los ciudadanos, suelen utilizar los recursos de una manera arbitraria, favoreciendo a unos grupos frente a otros. Estos grupos favorecidos, suelen estar elegidos por el líder político de tal manera que le deban todo – como ya recomendaba Maquiavelo en su obra “El Príncipe” – lo que les hace ser profundamente fieles – en formas y conductas – a quien les ha favorecido. Para tratar de evitar la más mínima posibilidad de que el poderoso albergue una ligera duda de su lealtad, que le indujera a cambiar de colectivo favorecido con la misma arbitrariedad con la que les benefició en su momento, sus comportamientos son radicales y repetitivos. La consecuencia lógica de esta situación es que los líderes que alcanzan el poder cuando el precio del petróleo está alto, permanecen en él durante un período mayor que la media de los países, siendo además muy posible que el sistema político degenere en una dictadura deshumanizada.

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Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects, Social Impact Management
IE Business School is pleased to announce a new “Training and Mentoring Program for Women-Led Business”, as developed by Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) together with the Center for Diversity in Global Management and the Department of Entrepreneurial Management at the IE . Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) is an African NGO working to foster peace in Africa. Since its inception in 1996, FAS has striven to strengthen and promote the leading role of women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the African continent.
This Training and Mentoring Program is generously sponsored by the Government of Spain (AECI). Its aim is to assist 25 entrepreneurial women who have established business enterprises with strong growth potential in Liberia, DRC, Rwanda, Senegal, Mozambique and South Africa. Once identified, these 25 female entrepreneurs are paired up with one or two volunteer International MBA students who, over the course of the summer, will 1) meet them in person in Madrid during the women’s on-site training; 2) visit them for 2 to 4 weeks in their respective countries and give them personal assistance for their business locally; 3) continue their business consulting over email. Of the 25 candidates, 10 will be selected after the summer to present their business plan to a panel of investors in Geneva in October. Some IMBA students will have the opportunity to accompany their business mentee to Geneva.

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Seguridad Energética

Written on April 28, 2008 by Max Oliva in Development, Environment

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Manuel Rincon, PhD, Knowledge Management Officer, United Nations ESCAP
La Seguridad Energética (Energy Security) está en muchas de las agendas de discusión de Asia y del resto del mundo. Este tema interdisciplinar nos interesa desde una de sus perspectivas, las oportunidades de negocio que está generando para el sector privado, las ONGs y los gobiernos de países desarrollados y menos desarrollados.
Los 62 países de Asia Pacífico están reunidos en la sede de Naciones Unidas de Bangkok para definir el conflicto y proponer medidas. Están buscando estas oportunidades en toda la cadena de valor del sector energía, desde la generación hasta la atención al cliente, pero las más claras las ofrece la financiación e inversión de la infraestructura y la provisión de nuevos servicios energéticos.
La Seguridad Energética se define de la forma más simple como el conjunto de medidas para la protección contra la falta de fuentes de energía a precio razonable, que para los países importadores de energía significa la búsqueda de oferta externa garantizada. Pero el concepto cobra toda su dimensión cuando se refiere a los más desfavorecidos. Así el objetivo de la Seguridad Energética se establece como la garantía de acceso a energía para los pobres, así como la promoción de energías sostenibles.

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