If you are in Berlin, Germany today and tomorrow you might be interested in the annual international CSR conference called »CSR – Social Responsibility in International Dialogue« organised by the German government. This is the Twitter hashtag if you want to follow some tweets about the conference: #CSRGermany.
A few weeks ago I discussed the value of this conference with a CSR friend of mine and to my astonishment we agreed that it would be necessary to attend, but only really if you are looking to do business in the CSR sector. The continuing conversation made it very clear that it would be incredibly boring and useless to go for anyone not part of the CSR business community.
What is the purpose of a CSR conference?
Hang on I thought. But is that really useful? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Surely every normal citizen should be the target audience for this kind of CSR conference. And certainly the conference should not be a gala for companies working in the field and the so-called CSR specialists looking to network and to acquire new business. CSR in my view is for everyone not just the people that work in the field.
But the sad reality still is that CSR continues to be a topic for specialists and not the main stream stakeholders.
This also shows that CSR in Germany is still a topic for the specialists and these specialists seem to want to stay amongst themselves as well……. Normal stakeholders still do not seem to show an interest in the CSR topic. Maybe this is an indication that the way we communicate CSR is still wrong? But this is a topic for another post so lets get back to the topic today.
What value do you see in visiting conferences in the CSR sector? Would you go even if you where not working in the sector or would this put you of?
My wish for CSR conferences in the future, is that they should be open and more importantly interesting to anyone working AND wanting to know more about CSR and the role of business in making the world a better place. Is this just wishful thinking and am I being just too idealistic?