Just before the Thanksgiving holiday week on Nov. 18, a number of CEOs, executives, social responsibility professionals and other thought leaders gathered for a breakfast meeting at The Westin Indianapolis hotel with a singular focus: How can business be used as a force for good?
More specifically, how can companies:
- Become more inspired to new ways of thinking about the importance of community engagement within their organization;
- Build revenue while also making communities statewide more vibrant;
- Engage alongside Indiana’s business community as it becomes a national leader in using corporate social responsibility principles to attract and build businesses, retain high-quality talent and strengthen communities.
Co-hosted by the Indianapolis Economic Development Corp. and the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Engage Indiana corporate social responsibility event — with a little help from Innovate Indiana — also was attended by about 20 Kelley School of Business students from the marketing classes of senior lecturer Kimberly A. Donohue.
“The students were attentive, interested and impressed with the level of social responsibility demonstrated by individuals who are so successful in their chosen field of business,” Donohue said. “While all of these students are pursuing business degrees, there is usually some trepidation regarding the ethics of businesses and if the student will be able to benefit the community once they are entrenched in their careers. This conference showed that it is not only possible but it is encouraged and respected.”
“Overall, the Engage Indiana event represented a tremendous real-world learning opportunity for our students,” said David Gard, IU’s assistant vice president for economic development. “We appreciate the IEDC and IBJ enabling our students to participate in the event and to learn more about how leaders are successfully integrating principles of corporate social responsibility into their business practices here in Indiana.”