Recent blog posts by natematias

Craig Watkins on Innovative Youth Education Programs


S. Craig Watkins joined us for lunch today to talk about learning environments which cultivate critical social vision.

Social Responsibility in Family Business, Christian Microcredit, and Monster Shops

This is the third page of livenotes from a panel I was on in Elizabethtown College on Corporate Social Responsibility. You can find the main index here:

I was a speaker on the second panel, which focused on more intimate, and in my case, scrappier organisations. Cristina Ciocirlan, a business professor at Elizabethtown College spoke about the role of family owned businesses in society. Then, Jeff Rutt of Keystone Custom Homes spoke about Hope International, a Christian microfinance organisation.

Cristina pointed out that there's a gap in the CSR literature, which tends to focus on fortune 500 companies. People often assume that family businesses can't have the resources or the ability to develop a socially responsible strategy. Data is also hard to collect. Cristina wants to disprove the naysayers and encourage us to pay attention to family businesses.

New Trends in Corporate Social Responsibility

The first panel today included Patrick Jinks, President and CEO of United Way Lancaster County, Sanjay Paul, economics professor at Elizabethtown College, Henry Yaeger, director of corporate strategy for the Hershey Company, who has played a foundational role in Hershey's corporate social responsibility.

Patrick Jinks, United Way Lancaster County

Patrick started by talking about common themes that United Way cares about when they think about the common good. They are a worldwide network of local autonomous organisations focused on supportingeducation, income that leads through retirement, and good health. Typically, United Way has raised funds to pass on to other nonprofits, a "community chest" for a region. That's changing as United Way is trying to be more strategic about their work.

Muhammad Yunus on the story and values of microcredit

Today, I'm a panelist at the Elizabethtown College Carper Memorial Lecture, which is on the topic of Ethics, Business, and Society. The headline speaker is the Bangaladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, creator of microcredit.

When I was an undergraduate at Elizabethtown College studying literature and the arts, I never expected that I would be coming back to speak at a business event. It's a delight to reconnect with my alma mater today. I'll be sharing blog updates throughout the day (Live etherpad notes here), starting with the talk by Dr Yunus:

Five Tech Ideas for Explanatory Journalism

How can technology help journalists make sense of complex issues and explain them to the public in a clear, understandable manner?

Last year, Jay Rosen's journalism students spent an entire semester researching and making explanations in partnership with ProPublica, a non-profit newsroom which focuses on investigative journalism. The class did amazing work to highlight notable examples and develop their own explainers. One of my favourite examples is this project from 2011, where students redesigned the same ProPublica background article as a video, a podcast, and an FAQ.