Mutual interests - Mutual benefits. A focus on RRI and CSR by Reyes Castillo
EBN participates to the European Social Responsibility Days (Brussels, 9-10 November 2017), a two day event aimed at promoting social responsibility within the frame of the European Institutions, within civil society organisations and the private sector, in Universities and HEIs. At the event, EBN will present the relevant experience gathered in RRI Tools and COMPASS projects.
On this occasion we propose and share with you a valuable insight on CSR and RRI by Reyes Castillo, a professional Corporate Social Responsibility, Migration, Social and Integration Policies, Asylum and Refugees, International Human Rights Law Consultant.
"Mutual interests – Mutual benefits " by Reyes Castillo (Social and Funding Consulting)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to companies taking responsibility for their impact on society (EC 2011). CSR is explained as acting for the interest of the society apart from the interests of the companies themselves and those of the general economy. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and its simplified term Responsible Innovation looks for solutions to contribute to the problems of society.
RRI is based upon the production and use of scientific and technological knowledge through the questioning of their responsibility and their ethical and social aspects. It´s led to a possible new contract between science, technology, innovation and society to address the so-called grand societal challenges. CSR acts as a management model for companies that beyond a business profit allow to detect opportunities in addition to generating a social impact.
RRI evolves in line with the need for most research and development activities to be closer to market. The social impact of research and innovation needs to be more predictable. Research needs to move from the traditional early technology readiness level. RRI keys’ dimensions (gender, ethics, open science, education to science …) need to attain a better uptake by industrial actors. CSR nowadays seeks to reach beyond the confines of any industry. Business industry needs to respond to today’s growing citizens’ demand to play a more active role in solving the social challenges.
The interaction with several social actors drives both concepts. The RII Vilnius Declaration (2013) stated that “a resilient partnership with all relevant actors is required if research is to serve society”. CSR nowadays seeks a wider cooperation with other societal actors rather than the traditional economic actors.
Innovation activities should be acceptable and socially desirable. Sustainable innovation puts technology at the service and in the creation of new products and services with profitability and a positive impact, but also companies´ processes that improve the efficiency and productivity. It makes a positive net contribution to sustainability function (economic, social and environmental factors). Innovation linked to CSR is a key factor for business competitiveness. Companies nowadays question their capacity to innovate and propose the development of concepts such as the Innovative Value Chain, where innovation will leave a mark along the entire process of a value chain (idea generation, conversion, and diffusion).
CSR does count on its experience working for a systematic innovation as part of a strategic policy and a continuous improvement of its management systems. CSR counts on a wide geographical coverage dissemination. CSR integration of good RRI practices for businesses won´t be a panacea but could be aligned towards a strategic approach to innovation, reaching processes, outcomes and social consequences, reinforcing the European competitiveness as well as achieving a major impact for sustainable innovation.
ABOUT the EU Social Responsibility Days 2017
The event is organised by the European Network of Social Responsible Universities in collaboration with the European Parliament, the Social Responsibility Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (ORSALC), belonging to UNESCO, the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in the Kingdom of Belgium, and the ULB.
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