ASEAN CSR Fellowship kicks off with 16 Fellows from business, civil society and government sectors
Singapore - 9 January 2017 – Responsible Business Conduct and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is gaining traction in ASEAN. Sustainability Reporting (SR) has increasingly gained recognition from countries in ASEAN. It forms a core component of businesses’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice that discloses non-financial information about their business operations and practices. An example is Singapore whereby the number of companies to do so had raised steadily over the years and come end 2017, SR will be made mandatory through a “comply or explain” framework for Singapore Exchange (SGX) listed companies. As this gains traction, so must there be a need to groom CSR leaders to push the agenda of CSR in businesses forward. Particularly in ASEAN, which is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world, it is important to promote responsible businesses so that they can be held accountable and has ethical behavior towards profits while respecting social and environmental stewardship.
It is with the above in mind that the concept of the ASEAN CSR Fellowship programme was developed. The ASEAN CSR Fellowship is launching this week to work with the younger generation of business leaders. This programme will help to deepen cross-border perspectives and build up the next generation of CSR leaders for responsible business in Southeast Asia, harnessing the potential of the people, private and public sectors to address key regional issues in anti-corruption, environmental degradation, poverty and human rights.
The first phase of this programme will begin in Singapore from 9 – 13 January 2017 and it will include lectures, site visits, presentations, panel discussions and workshops, concluding with a closing dinner with Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, former Secretary-General of ASEAN. A total of 16 ASEAN CSR Fellows were carefully selected amongst close to 70 applicants to participate in this programme. Hailing from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, the Fellows are mid-career professionals with backgrounds related to responsible business. They come from a range of organisations which include the people, private and public sectors.
The ASEAN CSR Fellows will be travelling over each quarter of 2017 to countries in ASEAN to gain both a broad and in-depth understanding of responsible business practices. After which, the Fellows will be traveling to Indonesia (April 2017) and Myanmar (July 2017) before completing the Fellowship at the Business & Investment Summit in the Philippines (November 2017).
As a prerequisite for the Fellowship, Fellows are required to implement a CSR project relevant to their context, thereby presenting an opportunity to apply the key learning objectives acquired during the Fellowship. All Capstone Projects will be hands-on with clear measurable outcomes and relevant for their own context. It will be executed in their home countries during the breaks between each module. There will be an option of independent or group work (with other Fellows from the same country), and it will be implemented either in their own companies, organisations or independently. The top Capstone Project will receive a grant ofSGD$10,000as seed funding to empower its expansion.
After the Fellowship, ACN will remain in touch as an alumni network of ASEAN CSR Fellows, a community of CSR practitioners who will continue to support each other when they return to their respective countries to work on transforming our ASEAN landscape in Southeast Asia into one that recognise not just profits, but also people and the planet.
This programme is made possible by the funding from the Government of Sweden and other support rendered by various partner institutions.
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About ASEAN CSR Network (ACN)
In line with the achievement of an ASEAN Community, the ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) was established in 2011 through the ASEAN Foundation with a mandate to ensure that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was incorporated in the corporate agenda and contributes towards sustainable socio – economic development in ASEAN Member States. As a regional organisation, the ACN provides a platform for networking and cooperation at the ASEAN level, supports capacity – building and training activities, helps catalyse collective action on key issues, and provides a link with regional and international bodies interested in supporting the advancement of CSR in the region. For more information, please visit www.asean-csr-network.org