Net Impact 2010 Conference Kick-Off!

The Net Impact 2010 Conference Kickoff keynote was fantastic.  The Ross School of Business is a beautiful setting, and the discussion filled the wonderful space appropriately.

The title of the talk was “Corporate Responsibility 2020: The Future of Sustainable Business,” and I feel that the panel was designed and moderated in a way that gave a pretty good vision of what that actually might look like – no small task.  The panel consisted of Susan M. Cischke, from Ford Motor Company, Aron Cramer from Business for Social Responsibility, and Rose Kirk from Verizon.  It was moderated by Liz Maw, ED of Net Impact – and she did a fantastic job moving the conversation along and reigning the questions in – no easy feat.  Aron brought what I would consider to be the more widely held sustainability lens to the conversation, and Rose and Susan brought the more traditional corporate lens.

The Net Impact Kick-Off Panel - Liz, Rose, Susan, and Aron

This was not a hard-core deep green panel, with Aron representing the most traditional (interesting to use that term in this context!  Shows how far we have come in trying to implement social consciousness into the biz world.  Good stuff!) view of CSR and responsibility.  His comments all were in line with what I would have expected him to say – preaching modesty and moderation, and urging people to think about the deeper systemic issues and challenges that we are facing.

The surprising part of the panel?  Just how impressive Rose and Susan’s points were.  They demonstrated deep knowledge of the systemic issues that we are facing. They clearly understand the pragmatic implementation of CSR into traditional corporate culture.  Both talked about the importance of having the backing and vision of their leaders at the C-level, and I think that Rose and Susan are living that vision.

You can read my mindmap of the conversation below.  The questions and Susan’s comments are in blue, Rose’s comments are in green, and Aron’s are in orange.

Click to Embiggen!

I was inspired.  Check out the mindmap and let me know what you think.

Where do you think sustainable business is heading in the next decade?