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Birmingham’s leading businesses to pioneer new models for community relations in the 21st Century

Aston Business School

10 June 2013

Aston Business School hosted Birmingham’s annual corporate social responsibility summit to discuss new models of CSR relevant for the 21st Century on Friday.

This year the BCBE (Birmingham Centre for Business Ethics) at Aston Business School and Thrive presented "Beyond Philanthropy" as the summit theme.

The region’s leading businesses and key representatives from the public and voluntary sectors explored how traditional concepts of corporate social responsibility – such as staff volunteering models and corporate giving – are outdated.

Participants explored pioneering new models for CSR based on the idea of active corporate participation in building sustainable community-based enterprise. 

The opening keynote speaker was entrepreneur, investor and social activist, Professor Olinga Ta'eed. The programme also included three “C Suite Perspectives” presented to the plenary session by Senior Executives from West Midlands business including Simon Price & Denise Brosnan from national law firm, DWF.

The final keynote and call to action was given by Wade Lyn, CEO of Cleone Foods and Board Member of Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Summit was presented by Carole Parkes BCBE at Aston Business School and Nick Venning of THRIVE.

Commenting, Carole Parkes, Co-Director Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Aston Business School, said: “The public is too clever to be fooled by businesses bolting-on corporate social responsibility. Businesses and their leaders need to be socially responsible and sustainability literate – from root to branch. The impact that corporate social responsibility and business ethics has on businesses at the local to international levels has increased significantly in recent years and is likely to expand further in the future. Business schools need to ensure they are training the future leaders of our companies to reflect this new reality. Aston Business school was one of the first UK Business Schools to sign up to the UN backed ‘Principles of Responsible Management’(PRME) and we continue to work with a range of businesses and local groups on these issues. Events like this are a great opportunity to discuss the future of Birmingham’s business-to-community relations.”

Simon Price, Associate at DWF, commented; “DWF is a values based law firm and one of our core values is that we care about our community. Our community engagement is very much focused on helping people develop their own personal narrative as a blueprint for their success. DWF programmes such as 5 STAR Futures and The Modern Lawyer enable the next generation of leaders to celebrate their own personal narrative and develop the resilience to navigate the competitive world of work.”

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For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk