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Posted by student TIM GIATTINA – As part of my International Public Service Project in Shanghai, China, I recently had the opportunity to attend the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Being Globally Responsible Conference 2008. The conference, touted as the largest student-organized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conference in the Asia Pacific region, brought together business leaders, academics, and students from around the world. For two days, attendees discussed how CSR should be integrated into the emerging business model of the 21st century global economy. For those unfamiliar, the host institution, CEIBS, boasts an MBA program ranked No. 1 in Asia and No. 11 worldwide based on rankings reported by Financial Times.
Throughout the sessions and speeches, the theme of “balance” was reiterated. How can the new business model reflect the optimal balance of creating profits while simultaneously promoting the common good? Clearly, there is no silver bullet, but it was encouraging to see so many current and future business leaders committed to working towards a more responsible global economy.
Strikingly, nearly all conference participants echoed that CSR, once viewed as detrimental to the cost structure and bottom-line of businesses, now represents a value-added asset that serves both shareholders and stakeholders. While recognizing merits of the Friedman model that prevailed to drive markets across the globe in the 20th Century, those at CEIBS continually stressed that the global business community is undergoing a paradigm shift. CSR is no longer just good public relations, but increasingly a necessity to running a healthy, profitable enterprise. Now more than ever, businesses must grasp the impact they have on all stakeholders and reflect this in their organizational framework.
The notion, once seemingly so foreign to capitalism — that business progress and social progress can exist symbiotically — is a refreshing prospect in the globalizing world. And with continued efforts from business schools and the corporate community, we can continue the progress toward making this prospect a reality.
Tim Giattina is a Clinton School student conducting a research project with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, China.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – The sudden and tragic death of NBC’s Tim Russert has added a new perspective to Father’s Day this year. Russert, one of the greatest political journalists of our time, was also a devoted son and a loving father. Both survive him as does his wife and three sisters. Countless numbers of people who watched him on television are grieving.
While one would hope everyone could have the same wonderful bonds of the Russert family, we know that far too many are alone, lost, sad, orphaned, estranged and without a dad or father figure in their lives.
If you’re lucky to have or have had a father/child relationship like “Big Russ and Tim” or a father/child relationship like “Tim and Luke,” then count your blessings. I count mine every day. But don’t ever forget there are many among us who have not or who, like the Russert family, are hurting over the loss of a loved one. There are many this Father’s Day who would very much appreciate a visit, a phone call or an email letting them know that someone cares.
Happy Father’s Day.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Ben Beaumont, director of communications for the University of Arkansas System and the Clinton School, is recognized in this week’s Arkansas Business as one of “Forty under Forty” for 2008. For each of the past 15 years Arkansas Business has recognized 40 young leaders under the age of 40 from all over Arkansas.
At age 26, Ben is the youngest in this year’s group and is one of the youngest ever selected over the 15 year history. He’s the first honoree from the Clinton School.
I’ve said on many occasions that Ben is the best young communications professional in Arkansas. I’ve had the privilege of having him in class at the University of Arkansas, working with him on the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library and recruiting him to join the Clinton School staff. But in addition to his professional achievements, he’s also involved in many civic and charitable activities–he is one of the founders of Movies in the Park, Little Rock’s free weekly summer movie series, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Arkansas recognized him as Big Brother of the Year in 2008.
The “Forty under Forty” recognition is richly deserved.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – Below are photographs of the many construction projects going on in the River Market and surrounding downtown areas. Click here for a story on the Clinton School web site about our new River Market campus and the growth surrounding it.
The Clinton School’s River Market Campus will be located on the third floore of the old Budget Office Building (left.) The rest of the facility will house the Arkanas Studies Institute.
A view from the west side of the Arkansas Studies Institute.
The River Market Tower is a 17-story condominium project going up in the River Market just west of the Clinton School.
A new Hampton Inn & Suites is under construction adjacent to the River Market Tower.
The Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center on the bank of the Arkansas River is set to open this winter.
*Photos by Clinton School interns Megan Bryant and Annie Zanobini.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – With our students currently completing International Public Service Projects in 15 different countries, Flat Stanley is taking his adventurous nature to a whole new level. As we’ve reported, Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe has sent Flat Stanley, the popular children’s book character, with the Clinton School students so that he’ll come back and share about his travels with Arkansas elementary school children. Here’s a photo update on Flat’s latest adventures:
Flat enjoyed the “Garden of Dreams” in Kathmandu, Nepal with Molly Brunkow. Molly is working with the Nabin School there.
Flat Stanley met this child at the Loreto Day School in Calcutta, India with Erin Jones. Erin is working with the oprhans, also known as “rainbows,” at the school to implement community service projects.
Flat witnessed history in Washington D.C. where he took in Hillary Clinton’s final campaign speech with Jose Guzzardi. Jose is working with the international development firm of McLarty, Kissinger & Associates.
Flat ate barbeque in Cape Town, South Africa with Ryan Lewis and Sanford Johnson. Both students are working with the South African Education and Environment Project there.
Flat met these children in Mamfe, Cameroon with Hunter Riley. Hunter is working to expand a youth soccer league there.
Posted by student SARA HIMELFARB – Today, I had the excellent opportunity of sharing Flat Stanley and his amazing adventures with the children of Prague. My host, Iva, is a well-known and influential painter, and she works with children on various projects ranging from sculpture to portraiture. After sharing the story of Flat Stanley with Iva, it was decided that I would visit her school and help create an art project based around Flat Stanley with some of her younger students. The school, Zakladni Umelecka Skola, is absolutely beautiful – an old villa that has been converted into an after-school center for visual arts, music and drama. Children ages 5 to 17 come to the school after finishing their daily studies and work on various projects that have city-wide recognition and national exhibitions.
I showed up at the school about an hour before class was to start and made 40 Flat boys and girls. The children arrived and after Iva announced that I spoke only English, giggling and whispering ensued and children were pushed forth by their friends to say “hello” and “where are you from?” in shy English. Though only two or three of the children spoke any English at all, after lots of smiles, goofy faces and sharing of red colored pencils, we were all good friends. Iva translated the story of Flat Stanley for them, and they were most enthusiastic about my Flat Dean Rutherford and Flat Eric Wilson, mainly because they thought it was funny that “Flat” was wearing a tie and carrying a cell phone.
After finishing their own Flats, the children and I ran around outside taking pictures of their creations – on the stairs, in the grass and especially in the trees. One student, Kristoph, climbed a 14-foot ladder to get his Flat in just the right spot. Iva didn’t seem concerned about lawsuits, so I just smiled and snapped the picture as quickly as possible. With about 30 minutes left, Iva sneakily said something to the children in Czech and we headed back to the room, where the children began drawing, coming up to me periodically to peer at my face and measure my eyes with their fingers. Each of them created a black and white portrait of me. I was amazed at how beautiful I looked in their pictures — until, of course, some of them started shading in my smile lines and wrinkles. However, the portraits are all quite memorable and I will cherish them for a long time to come. I was so happy to be in a classroom with such gifted and enthusiastic students and am so happy that Flat Stanley has so many new friends in Prague!
Sara Himelfarb is currently completing her International Public Service Project in Prague where she is helping Burmese diaspora who are living in the Czech Republic.
Posted by ERIC WILSON – Before ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff’s presentation on February 8, we “passed the hat” collecting funds to assist the tornado victims in Arkansas and help the thousands of Kenyan families suffering from the political strife due to the disputed December 2007 elections. Remarkably, we raised over $7,500 and split the money down the middle for our two causes.
Yesterday, the faculty and staff received an update from Clinton School alumna, Wambui Ngugi, who returned to Kenya after graduating in December. She reports that our donations went toward the Community Relief and Rebuilding Fund, directly impacting 44 families. If you were at Bob Woodruff’s speech and threw a couple of dollars in the hat, you helped provide food, clothing, medicine, cell phone credit cards and much much more.
Thank you for your generosity.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – One of Arkansas’s most generous and dedicated citizens, Charles B. “Charlie” Whiteside III, is thankfully on the mend after heart bypass yesterday. Charlie and I serve together on both the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Board and the Lyon College Board. Charlie’s philanthropic endeavors are legendary, and he’s a past and deserving recipient of the state’s “philanthropist of the year” award. He’s also very committed to his alma mater, the University of Arkansas and to his fraternity, Kappa Sigma giving both extraordinary amounts of time and resources. There’s even a street named for him in Fayetteville. In addition, he’s a fan of the Clinton School as well as being a trusted advisor and personal friend.
A longtime Merrill Lynch executive, Charlie knows “numbers” better than anyone I’ve ever been around. His charts and graphs with noted points of inflection are legendary. His presentation to college students about “real life” financial management and planning should be a graduation requirement. For fun, in addition to spending time with his family, he is an avid sportsman, enjoys tinkering with his 1961 car, spends time at his getaway retreat in Dewitt, Arkansas, and grows tomatoes in competition with his next door neighbor, Dorsey Jackson.
A mutual friend, Jim Johnson, has been drawing “Charlie” cartoons for years and these are distributed among his family members and friends. The cartoon series is so popular because Charlie is so popular. I’m told a new one will soon be in circulation.
Get Well Soon CB3. There are too many of us who need you.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – This Wednesday, Movies in the Park will show Sylvester Stalone’s 1976 classic boxing film Rocky at the Riverfest Amphitheater. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy a movie under the stars. The film starts at sundown. Click here for more.