Col­lec­tively ad­dress­ing so­ci­etal chal­lenges

NZ Business - - INBOX -

An in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tist says New Zealand can solve many of its so­cial prob­lems by en­cour­ag­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween gov­ern­ment, lo­cal char­i­ties, and the pri­vate sec­tor, and is well po­si­tioned to pro­vide a greater role in emer­gency re­sponse and spe­cific health chal­lenges in the Pa­cific re­gion.

Dr Lisa Bon­adonna was in New Zealand to brief CEOs and Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters on the ben­e­fits of col­lab­o­ra­tion in solv­ing a range of health, ed­u­ca­tion and so­cial is­sues.

Bon­adonna says there is a body of ev­i­dence glob­ally which sug­gests one sec­tor on its own can­not ef­fec­tively ad­dress these so­ci­etal chal­lenges, some­thing re­flected in the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals call for cross sec­tor part­ner­ships. She says New Zealand cor­po­ra­tions can adopt a ‘shared value’ strat­egy by recog­nis­ing busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in ad­dress­ing so­cial prob­lems.

“While tra­di­tional phi­lan­thropy and cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity ef­forts em­pha­sise ‘giv­ing back’, the shared value ap­proach fo­cuses busi­ness lead­ers on the com­pet­i­tive and sus­tain­able value of solv­ing so­cial is­sues. “In col­lab­o­ra­tion with gov­ern­ments and NGOs, com­pa­nies can use their par­tic­u­lar ex­per­tise and scale to im­ple­ment real change in so­ci­ety,” she says in a state­ment.

The eco­nomic ben­e­fits for the cor­po­rate sec­tor in­clude tal­ent re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion, open­ing of new mar­kets, ac­cess to new cus­tomers, more rel­e­vant in­no­va­tion, as well as brand recog­ni­tion for their ef­forts.

Dr Bon­adonna, is em­ployed by GSK and leads the global part­ner­ship with Save the Chil­dren with the ob­jec­tive of help­ing to save the lives of one mil­lion chil­dren with ac­tiv­i­ties in 41 coun­tries – in­clud­ing some in the Pa­cific Is­lands.

She de­liv­ered a brief­ing out­lin­ing a struc­ture un­der which co­op­er­a­tion can be ef­fec­tively fa­cil­i­tated across key sec­tors in an econ­omy in­clud­ing ways in which cor­po­ra­tions can help in the so­cial sec­tor and how glob­ally, busi­nesses are us­ing their re­sources to help achieve so­cial out­comes.

Dur­ing any nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, con­flict or emer­gency set­ting it is the chil­dren who suf­fer most. “One way we help Save the Chil­dren is to pro­vide the re­source they need to be able to de­ploy within the first 72 hours – the crit­i­cal time phase if lives are to be saved.

“By pre-ap­prov­ing emer­gency re­sponse funds in ad­vance, and sup­port­ing the estab­lish­ment of Emer­gency Health Units, those on the front line are bet­ter pre­pared and have more im­me­di­ate ac­cess to the re­sources they need to do their job,” she says.

Bon­adonna says along­side dis­as­ter re­lief, health and nu­tri­tion, train­ing, and ed­u­ca­tion are all key ar­eas where it makes sense for Gov­ern­ments, NGOs and pri­vate com­pa­nies to come to­gether and col­lec­tively solve prob­lems in a more sus­tain­able way.

Dr Lisa Bon­adonna

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