One of the most annoying things about CSR and sustainability as a career line is, having to explain to people what you do for a living. Ahhhh….the blank stares, the ubiquitous confusion with “Customer Sales Representative” and the unsaid stereotypes associated with all things social. There are times when I seriously consider lying about my profession just so that I don’t have to slice it up into bite-sized chunks for easy consumption.
Simply put, people are still not as aware of the term and that is exactly why I salute people who are making CSR knowledge easy, fun and accessible to everyone. They are smart, easy to read and absolutely marvellous at driving their point home. I can safely say that I have learned more from these amazing people than all the academic papers, journals and research articles combined (I am a subscriber to JSTOR and HBS database so that’s a LOT of stuff).
These people I call “CSR superstars” and in this post I want to talk about who they are and why I think they are superstars:
1. Elaine Cohen: The “Reporting Demigoddess” as we affectionately call her in our office, Elaine is possibly the most accessible resource out there for CSR reporting. Her easy going approach to the document much despised for its density, can convince anyone that it is worth a try. Her own company report by the way is a treat to read.
Why Elaine is a SuperStar: She makes it sound so easy and fun. Her Doctor Sustainability series is a satirical take on the whole CSR and sustainability agenda. It is a must read.
2. Aman Singh: I have been reading Aman since before she joined CSRWire. Some of her earlier pieces were more general but she now writes almost exclusively on CSR and related topics including social media, green business and CSR communication. Aman is a very visible presence on the CSR blogosphere and material coming from her whether under CSRWire through her own blog is always informative and cutting edge
Why Aman is a Superstar: Her style although journalistic is not only engaging but also thought provoking, you will find yourself pondering over her analysis long after you are done reading.
3. Fabian Pattberg: Based in Germany, Fabian has a human touch to his writing. From CSR/Sustainability to business intelligence to social media, his blog posts have an informal style but a lot of valuable information. He is also very active on twitter and shares fantastic content.
Why Fabian is a Superstar: His phenomenal success on social media (6,000+ followers, 12,000+ tweets) is a testament to his accessibility and readability. Fabian is doing a lot of “slicing into bite-sized pieces” action I talked about above.
4. Chris Jarvis/ Angela Parker: The blog is possibly the most comprehensive and hands-on resource on an often neglected area- employee volunteering. They approach it in a practical, DIY style which is both inspiring and great for creating awareness.
Why Chris & Angela are SuperStars: Because they are FANTASTIC at making the business case about employee volunteering. In an age where people rely more on empirical evidence than emotional reasoning, they are doing a great job convincing them through logic.
5. Leon Kaye: I got introduced to Leon and his website through twitter. His blog is updated daily and captures topics ranging from sustainable architecture to technology and politics. His recent visit to the Middle East was captured in the blog very effectively; you could actually see the sights and smell the air while going through his description of the city and landscape. I love that in a writer!
Why Leon is a Superstar: Because his blog is at the helm of CSR and sustainability agenda around the world. There’s always something new and though provoking and his tweets are always fun.
6. Chris Milton: Introduced through Twitter and forever indebted to him for his CSR around the World Series. This series of articles on CSR in various countries is a great resource whenever I need a quick reference check for CSR in different economies.
Why Chris is a Superstar: Because he has taken the path less travelled; most people prefer to write about things they already know and are comfortable with. Very few venture out into the uncertain areas and Chris is doing just that through his CSR around the world series and in the process making life a lot easier for you.
7. David Coethica: I am a long time reader of David and find his articles very refreshing. He also writes about a range of topics and his posts about small business CSR are a must read.
Why David is a Superstar: Because he writes about CSR and football….who would have thought! Oh and he has a tongue-in-cheek style that I adore. In this piece about Apple, he writes “ iCSR / iSustainability (or whatever über cool name they conjure up)” What a cool way to put it!
All of these people bring a part of their personalities of their blogs and that’s what I like most about them. They are not pages upon pages full of rhetoric that someone with short attention spans just cannot fathom. They are pieces that add to the collective knowledge while at the same time serve as a great accompaniment to the morning coffee. I hope you enjoy reading and following them as much as I do.