Stories

Business Education activism and the common good – a reflection on the UN PRME Forum

 ‘Business as a force for good’  was a key phrase at the recent gathering of the UN Global Forum for Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) in New York http://www.unprme.org/news/index.php?newsid=363#.VZqnbXnbLtx . The notion of ‘good’ seems to represent here a newly introduced set of  17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its over 160 targets (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgsproposal).

johnlannon's picture

Does undoing social problems lead to creating social good?

A friend recently posted a link to an article about a movement formed to combat the proliferation of drugs in an inner city community in the 1990s. It was a mobilisation of working class activists with limited education and almost no resources, and they were responding to the local community’s disaffection with government failure to take action to address the drugs problem. The community based movement was successful insofar as the tragic litany of deaths linked to drug addiction finally started to diminish.

katiecollins's picture

For the good of whom?

Every time I see the phrase social good I take a breath and prepare to give the benefit of the doubt. Doubt? Yes. Because all too often, the ‘social good’ seems to be invoked by people who live comfortable lives free from oppression or discrimination, as a reason why those who don’t have such an easy time ought to change something about themselves; their behaviour, their emotions. 

Pinning down social good!


I have been struggling to clarify for myself what I understand by "creating social good". However, each attempt to do so leaves me more frustrated in my inability to express clearly what I feel I understand deeply.
 
Perhaps I am trying too hard to state definitively a notion that owes its power not to precise definition but to its relevance in specific contexts and instances. A notion more at home in stories and testimony than in criteria, rules and algorithms.
 
Might it be that creating social good, like friendship and joy, can not be reduced to definitive criteria or universal rules but only becomes evident in concrete circumstances?

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