CSR and a World in Crisis

by Ross Jackson

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been around for many years without making any major impact. The general public remains rather skeptical about the phenomenon, observing that in the vast majority of cases, CSR is nothing more than “greenwash” to give the impression of corporate concern about the environment and the social consequences of their corporate policies, when the reality is that maximising shareholder value is the name of the game, and other stakeholders can take it or leave it.

However, there are exceptions—progressive corporate leaders who can see that if we, as a society, do not take drastic action in a time of major threats to our civilisation, like runaway global warming and a record high level of species extinction—then the corporate world will go down in flames with the rest of society. These leaders are the few that the general public must encourage to continue their lonely battle against the ever-powerful “corporatocracy” that, in effect, runs this world. The reality—especially in the USA—is that a very small number of the wealthiest families—also known as the 0.1 %—now control the political system, which has mutated into a plutocracy (government by the wealthy). This plutocracy is the “elephant in the room” that no one wants to talk about, let alone acknowledge, if they are even aware of what is going on, since most of us are indirectly supporting the status quo by doing nothing. Anyone in doubt should read Noam Chomsky’s most recent book, “Who Rules the World”, a shocking (for most people) and well-documented description of the new reality.

So I take off my hat for those few corporate leaders who take CSR seriously. They realise that if the corporate sector is not a part of the solution, then there will be no solution.


Ross Jackson will hold a webinar with Jonathan Dawson, moderated by Naresh Giangrande, on 7 March 2018. Entitled ‘Pathways to Prosperity: Turning Around the Global Economy’, it is part of our free Glocalisers Webinar Series.

The Economic dimension of Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability online course will start on 19 March 2018. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to re-design dysfunctional economic systems, based on already tested alternatives.


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