Next Generation of CSR Digital Leaders in 2017

As co-founder & CEO at Skyline and Trustee at Harrow Carers, one of the questions I’m asked the most is “how can I get a role in corporate responsibility and sustainability (CRS)?” Organisations from across the public and private sectors should do more to expand the capacity of corporate responsibility and sustainability job markets, by looking beyond graduates and in-house employees to broaden engagement and leadership skills even in small businesses like ours.And that should be our focus in 2017.
Green apprenticeships
That was the unanimous conclusion of a panel convened by the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS), which met in London (September 15, 2016) to discuss whether CSR was becoming “another elite” job role that failed to diversify its workforce and focus solely on post-graduates. Despite calling for the integration of a diverse workforce that tackles ethnicity, gender and social upbringing, the panel agreed that CSR requires sharp minds and a broad understanding of common sustainability issues.
Lead from where you are and determine where you want to go
As a digital leader, I find, our profession is, by many standards, still “new”. It’s evolved over the past 20 years from its early days of digital innovation, Internet of Things disruption and leadership contribution, into a complex, strategic function that speaks to the very purpose of an small organisation’s being.
Bigger CRS teams are not the answer
Positive change is happening within even small organisations because of the success CRS professionals have had, and continue to have, in influencing those around them to consider corporate responsibility and sustainability in their all range of decision-making. From finance to marketing, HR to PR and everything in between, we will have succeeded only once we have convinced people throughout the small organisation to bring their passion and their commitment to making a positive difference in whatever work they’re already doing.
Making small changes happen
Encouraging a greater focus on more responsible and sustainable small business practices is something that we can all do, using our values and those of the stakeholder organisation’s we work for as a guide. So, as we move into a fresh new year, I’d encourage anyone wanting to find more purpose in their work, perhaps those weighing up a further in-depth research, to also consider the ways that they can lead from where they are.

Chandreyi Saha is Co-founder & CEO at Skyline

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