We all know that trust in business has fallen steadily in recent times. Scandals and economic crises have raised questions about the role that corporations play in our society. Yet, at the same time, we are seeing many in the private sector making good progress adopting more socially responsible practices, and businesses are being called upon to do more in support of broad community initiatives. The disasters in Haiti, Chile and now the Gulf of Mexico are examples where business leaders are working in partnership with government and development agencies to not only help with the relief and recovery efforts but also to invest in the economic revitilization of the impacted regions.
As I take on the chairmanship of the Board of the Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, I want to reflect on the progress the BCLC has made. In both Haiti and the Gulf Coast, BCLC has emerged as a trusted partner for government and non-profit agencies that are responding to these issues. So far, BCLC has played a very specific and limited role. However, with each success we are being asked to take on more responsibilities, not as an organization but rather as a representative of our member companies. While attitudes toward business over the past several years have suffered, BCLC is a vehicle for all of us to rebuild trust and to show how business contributes positively to society.
The only way we can succeed is to continue to make the right and effective investments in the community while partnering with government and service delivery organizations such as NGOs so that we can be strategic in our approach and collaborative in our efforts, achieving impact in the areas of greatest need and at the maximum possible scale.
I believe that the BCLC plays a very important role at the intersection of business and society, helping companies to think about how they can use their resources to have a positive impact in a responsible manner. That's a great opportunity and one that will benefit everyone.
Follow Akhtar Badshah on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msftcitizenship