YLP launch in US draws corporate interest

By GIFT

Cheris Lee Yuen Ling and Johnny Kwong Kwing Lam were with Chandran Nair, founder and chief executive of the Global Institute For Tomorrow, and Bill Lorenz, YLP director for the USA, at the BSR 2006 Conference in New York on 8 November 2006.

The theme for this year’s conference, “Innovative Strategies, Measurable Impacts”, aimed to provide an engaging forum to discuss the hurdles and rewards of incorporating CSR into core business strategies and operations. From 7-10 November the BSR conference showcased in plenary and breakout sessions the most current business sustainability thinking and practices.

The YLP is designed by the GIFT and developed with BSR, Business for Social Responsibility. They launched the innovative executive education programme in Asia this year to foster social enterprise development while delivering a unique learning experience. The YLP provides intensive field experience that marries business experience with development needs being addressed through social enterprises throughout Asia.

The US launch of the YLP came at a break-out session on 8 November. With the title “Lessons To and From the Field: The Global Young Leaders Programme” Ms Lee and Mr Kwong presented what they and other company participants learnt on the first YLP project, which was held in Yunnan province, China, in August.

More than 125 content experts spoke in 38 breakout sessions during the conference. The event ended with a closing plenary featuring Victoria Hale, founder and chief executive of the Institute for OneWorld Health, the first non-profit pharmaceutical company in the US to develop safe, affordable and effective cures for neglected diseases affecting the world’s poorest.

Other plenary speakers were Majora Carter, Neville Isdell, Amory Lovins, Richard Parsons and Daniel Vasella. Ms Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 to provide solutions for urban problems and climate change; Mr Isdell is chairman of the board and chief executive of the Coca-Cola Company; Mr Lovins is chief executive of the Rocky Mountain Institute; and Mr Parsons Time Warner chairman and chief executive; and Dr Vasella is chairman and chief executive of Novartis.

The BSR Annual Conference serves as both a construction site and an exhibition hall for the work of building a more just and sustainable global economy; it offers the opportunity to learn about the best practices in corporate social responsibility (CSR) today – and to see what lies ahead.

BSR and GIFT are partner organisations.