In the last few days Trump has signed an executive order that blocks entry into the US citizens from seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The whole world has been reacting through protests, rebellions and petitions, standing up for freedom, equality and human rights. Among these reactions what I find interesting is the important and never before seen role played by the companies. We have seen companies such as Google, Uber, Airbnb and IKEA standing up and raising their voice in support of the ideals they believe in.
The US big corporates are answering to Trump ban and they have sent a clear signal. We have seen Google creating a 4 Millions Dollars (2 Millions of which through private donations) fund dedicated to immigrants. Airbnb promised to offer free accommodation to those who might be affected by the ban. Starbucks wrote a touching letter to their employees announcing that they are going to hire 10,000 immigrants. Starbucks manager, Schultz, also made a tribute to all of those who were supporting the US army as interpreters, saying how unfair this ban could be for them. We have seen Uber offering psychological and legal assistance to their employees/drivers who may be affected by the ban. Then Ikea, who has reminded how this is going in a different direction from the company’s values, strongly stated how important dignity and rights for everyone are for a company who has always been symbolized by diversity.
We can clearly see how business and life merge together, how they influence each other contributing to build a better world.
That’s also CSR, isn’t it? But there’s more...
We are experiencing companies raising up the conscience of everyone and appealing to those values of equality, democracy and dignity that we have been told in the last decades. We can see now CSR in action, taking the lead and becoming global.
Maybe, for the first time ever, we are facing an upside down situation. Companies are appealing to those values that were promoted by Governments and associations and that governments and associations encouraged the companies to pursue. We are experiencing the force of capitalistic values in business and in everyday life which stands out as an ethical law involving everybody. We are experiencing a common set of values and CSR strategies concerning democracy, freedom, equality, dignity and safety. This is not just about CSR, this is much more, this is how “we the people” - the consumers, businessmen, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, employees, unemployed – see and want to see the world. How powerful it is!