Learning the basics

On the 9th of March our team of the Sustainable Startup Program will be hosting CSR Hub NRW — a series of workshops about the basic elements of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Factory Campus in Düsseldorf.

The event is especially interesting for startup entrepreneurs (to be) from various industries and people with an interest in sustainable business. What to expect — a practical introduction to topics related to social, ecological and responsible entrepreneurship as well as innovative business models.

kerbholz_madeincologne_wearecity_koeln-17During the workshop Moritz Blees, co-founder of the successful Cologne based startup Kerbholz will share his insights into their Business & Revenue Model (they make wrist watches and sunglasses out of wood) and our team will moderate a topic about the Sustainable Business Model Canvas. We will elaborate on the canvas building blocks social costs and social benefits — an interesting theme for my next post. I’m also very excited that we managed to join forces with the CSR Hub — an initiative of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP). In 2016 I had the opportunity to work with CSCP during the Sustainica conference.

I believe that the workshop offers a great opportunity to get familiar with the CSR-basics and is free of charge (taught in German). And our team has the opportunity to advocate sustainable business practices among startup entrepreneurs in the region. Feel free to join us on the 9th in Düsseldorf!

A matter of attitude #1

This month’s Blog is an introduction to a series of Blog entries I’d like to write. I look closer at the added value of conscious entrepreneurs and their behaviour towards decision making, why I believe this is so relevant for the community and how you can be part of it.

We go to work to make money and it is just about making money. We then try to balance our lives in the little time we have left after work by doing other things that are purposeful, healthy, socially responsible, and spiritually fulfilling. On the other hand we have a desire to connect with something larger than ourselves and to live from a higher sense of value and purpose. Does this sound familiar? The question we ask ourselves — is making money and consciousness related?

It might sound like that it doesn’t. But the truth is that these elements actually support each other. I believe that a more responsible way of entrepreneurship and doing business is in fact intertwined.

For many of us live is about accumulation as much wealth as possible with all that it entails, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But we can do better. What if you as an entrepreneur have the capacity to evolve and progress to a more balanced relationship between purpose and profit? I think this is the key to do business fundamentally different — and more sustainable.

I’m talking about building a business that is honest, value-and performance driven, and responsible — often known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) publication “CSR: Meeting changing expectations” has the following definition: “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large.”

colorado-rocky-mountains-national-park-nature-pathIt sounds idealistic but basically it is about making responsible decisions in which you, others, the society including the environment flourish as an outcome of your company fulfilling its objectives and mission.

In my next article I will write about the principles of CSR and why it is relevant to (startup) businesses. Stay tuned!