His Royal Majesty King Adedapo Adeen Aderemi (right) and Jing Zhao Cesarone, the Executive Chairperson of the Conference and CEO of Global CSR Foundation (left) listening to the speakers
October 15th, 2019, the Permanent Mission of the African Union to the United Nations, New York, hosted a high-level conference with royalties, diplomats, corporate leaders, and academics to observe and assess the state of Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as they coincide with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event was conducted as an official observance of the International Day of Rural Women.
The Conference, titled, Dignity of Rural Women and the Social Responsibility of Global Corporations, took place from 1pm-6pm inside the Nelson Mandela Conference Room at the auspice of the Mission of the Federal Republic of Sierra Leone. The purpose of the conference was to recognize the critical role and contribution of rural women in enhancing educational, cultural, and rural community development, improving food security, and eradicating rural poverty. The conference was structured to assess and recognize the contributions made by global corporations towards this goal. The conference was organized by the Global CSR Foundation in partnership with African Views Organization. The Executive Chairperson of the event was Ms. Jing Zhao Cesarone, CEO of the Global CSR Foundation. The Executive director and producer of the event was Dr. Wale Idris Ajibade, Executive Director of African Views Organization.
Twenty-nine speakers shared first-hand experiences and perspectives on how businesses and institutions worldwide can effectively continue to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ SDGs. Among the invited speakers were His Royal Majesty King Adedapo Adeen Aderemi, the Convener General of Council of Traditional Leaders of Africa (COTLA).
The event opened with the African Union anthem, “Let Us All Unite and Celebrate Together”, and United States National anthem performed by Florence Troutman. Dr. Hongkai Zhang performed the anthem of the People’s Republic of China, “The March of the Volunteers.” China’s anthem was observed in honor of the Chinese private corporations and state-owned enterprises developmental support of Africa and the rest of the world.
The first panel “Empowering Rural Women and Girls” was moderated by Dr. Linda Stillman, Founder of Young Global Leadership Foundation and keynoted by Leng Jing, CEO of Aikucun. Panelists included Tara Abrahams, Senior Advisor at Arabella Advisors, He Daofeng, Former President of China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, and Antoinette Ashong, Founder and Chairwoman of the Montessori Foundation of Ghana.
The second panel “Health and Natural Resources” was moderated by Padmini Murthy, Professor and Global Health Director at New York Medical College and keynoted by Charles Bao, the General Manager of BGI Americas. Panelists included Merav Cohen, Manager at Hazon Seal of Sustainability, Peter Fusaro, Chair of Global Change, Master Hengshun, President of China Temple Fair Culture Association, and Stephen Markscheid, Board Member of Global CSR Foundation.
The third panel “Corporate Social Responsibility” was moderated by William Verdone, Chair of African Views Organization and keynoted by Wang Xiaoguang, Director of the CSR Promotion Center of the China Federation of Industrial Economics. Panelists included Chris Deri, President of TENEO Digital Advisory, Dr. Mao Daqing, Founder & Chairman of Ucommune, Mary Snapp, Vice President and Strategic Advisor of Microsoft, Paul Washington, Executive Director of ESG Center at The Conference Board, and Wu Ting, Founder of Jiabin University.
The fourth panel “Facilitating Global Partnerships in Sustainable Development” was moderated by Bruce Knotts, Board of Directors of NGO Committee on Sustainable Development and keynoted by John Allen, Founder of China Investment Group. Panelists included Professor Dwight Hopkins, professor at the University of Chicago, Reta Jo Lewis, Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Priscilla Lu, Head of Sustainable Investment Funds-Asia for DWS, Wang Maolin, Founder & CEO of Kim Dai Intelligent Innovation Tech and Yan Wanchun, Vice Director of Creative Cities Assessment Center in China.
An Award and Charity Dinner followed the Conference, where fourteen companies, institutions, individuals and one city received awards for their outstanding accomplishments in “incorporating corporate social responsibility into core business practices and accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.”
The COO of the Global CSR Foundation, Zhu Sha and China social innovation leader, Hong Liang served as emcees. Hollywood stars Jenn Gotzon Chandler, Jim Chandler, Jacqueline Phillips and Aleksander Janik announced the awards, which were:
• Global Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award- He Daofeng
• Global Outstanding Think Tank Award- Beijing Rongzhi Corporate Social Responsibility Institute
• Global Outstanding NGO Social Responsibility Award – SEE Conservation
• Global Sustainable City Award – Qingdao City
• Global Outstanding Impact Investment Award – Priscilla Lu
• Global CSR Innovation Award – Dr. Mao Daqing
• Global CSR Award – Aikucun
• Global CSR Health Advancement Award – BGI Genomics
• Global CSR Leadership Award – Wu Ting
• Global CSR Technology Advancement Award – Wang Maolin
• Global Outstanding Women Leadership Award – Dr. Li Hong
• Social Impact Leadership Award – Jin Jun
• Global Youth Leadership Award – Huang Sichen
• Global Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award – Master Cheng Yen
“We are practitioners, not just advocates,” said Jing Zhao Cesarone, “When we set our hearts on taking actions to ensure a more sustainable future for mankind, we started to see like-minded people everywhere.” She further recalled that when the Global CSR Foundation was created, it was positioned to be a platform for deeper conversations and result-driven actions. Mankind is faced with enormous challenges, and the solution lies in connecting East with the West, past with the future, and tradition with innovation.
During the award dinner, GCSRF declared the start of fundraising for three charity programs, including “One Village, One School” Daliang Mountains, Soccer Program in Kenya and YOUniversity. During the awards dinner the Foundation also received in-kind donations by the World Association of Chinese Studies, the NYC Kids Club and traditional Chinese artworks.
The China Press: http://ny.uschinapress.com/spotlight/2019/10-16/173491.html
World Journal: https://www.worldjournal.com/6566889/article-%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B%E5%A5%B3%E5%89%B5%E6%A5%AD%E5%AE%B6-%E8%81%AF%E5%90%88%E5%9C%8B%E8%AB%87%E5%A5%B3%E6%80%A7%E5%89%B5%E6%A5%AD%E8%87%B4%E5%AF%8C/?ref=%E6%8E%A8%E8%96%A6%E9%96%B1%E8%AE%80