The 4th Youth CSR Conference Outcome Report
This conference was organized to promote the value of UNGC so as the youths who will become future leaders can gain a broad understanding of CSR and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and actively participate, while creating a discussion platform about sustainable businesses and society. In addition, 17 university students who are interested in the issue have been working as committee members to proactively participate in the entire planning and operation process such as selection of topics, speaker liaison, and promotion activities.
This year, the conference comprised of ‘Dialogue with Business Leaders, Special Lectures, Breakout Sessions, CSR Strategy Proposal Contest Awards Ceremony, Dialogue with CSR Experts, and Adoption of Manifesto.’
First, Lee Dong-kurn, President of the Global Compact Network Korea said in his opening remarks, "Company's complying act of social responsibility will build a foundation for a sustainable future. It is important for young people to share and discuss new epochal values."
Followed by a welcoming speech by Yonsei University Vice Dean Min Dong-jun, he stated, “Companies should no longer be an independent party but a ‘corporate citizen’ to achieve a common good that society demands. SDGs, which are recognized as essential elements of corporate management, are necessary and sufficient condition for creating a sustainable society in the future.”
H.E. Ban Ki-moon, the 8th UN Secretary-General and Honorary President of the Global Compact Network Korea, emphasized in his video message that "It is crucial for the youths to recognize the indispensable role of companies in solving the difficulties faced by the society such as gap between rich and poor, corruption, and climate change. I hope that the conference will provide an opportunity to form a bond of empathy regarding such epochal demand, discover fresh and innovative ideas, and cultivate upright entrepreneurial mindset.”
Next, Professor of the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies at KyungHee University, Oh Jun (former UN Ambassador) gave a special speech on a topic of ‘Sustainable Development Goals and the Role of Youths.’ Professor Oh passed along a request stating, “We need to realize ‘a world of togetherness (leaving no one behind)’ using SDGs as a compass for globalization, and youths as ‘global citizens’ need to respect universal value and diversity.”
Dialogue with Business Leaders〉 session was proceeded by Cho Joo-hee the ABC News Director, with participation of Choi Kyu-bok the CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly, Chung Tae-young the Vice President of CJ Logistics, Kim Jung-tae the MYSC Representative, and Hu Mi-ho the Weenu Representative where they introduced each company’s CSR strategies and corporate culture, continuing the lively conversations in regard of the corporates’ role in promoting more inclusive and warm society.
First, Choi Kyu-bok explained, "We are working to create values not only in areas such as environment but also low fertility rate and aging society issues with pilot projects on senior job, smart work for work life balance, and education on women's leadership.” Chung Tae-young the Vice President mentioned that “The poverty rate of the elderly in Korea, which is 48.8%, is much higher than that of the OECD average, 12.1%. CJ Logistics has started ‘silver delivery’ business to incorporate its staple business areas, logistics and courier services, into CSR, and has already expanded to more than 1,300 silver delivery men across local regions.”
The MYSC Representative Kim Jung-tae introduced his experience of starting his first career at UN and being captivated by ‘social entrepreneurship’ that realizes actual changes while he was contemplating about whether the goals of UN can be accomplished through business. He also shared various social innovation activities that have been realized such as ‘Books International, Design Thinking Project, Sunshine Cinema’. Representative Hu Mi-ho said, “We want to create a sustainable ecosystem and environment by exposing creative productions of Korean artists to the society and to expand the impact by creating artistic contents that contain social issues, and that is, 'Social Art'.”
In particular, this session introduced 'real-time SNS service', enabling active communication and Q&A between the speakers and audiences.
In the afternoon, breakout sessions were held to discuss major social issues and roles of corporates that are closely related to the lives of youths by following, 〈Sustainable Urban Ecosystems and Firms〉, 〈The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Corporate Sustainability〉, 〈Social Impact through Business〉, 〈Climate Action of Enterprises〉, and 〈Sustainability Management and University Education〉. In each session, experts of the field and university student panels participated generating more lively discussion and debate.
The first session, 〈Sustainable Urban Ecosystems and Firms〉 was about youth housing deprivation, job creation, and urban regeneration strategy with the participation of Seongnam Development Corporation, LH, Hankook Tire Foundation, and Min Snail Union. In the second session, 〈the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Corporate Sustainability〉 KT, Kakao Ground X, UNWFP, and Medibloc shared various practices of technological innovation from different industry groups. In the following session, 〈Social Impact through Business〉, Lotte Group, Impact Square, and Dot presented examples of creating social impact, and Seoul Social Economy Center shared status of government supports for cultivation and activation of social enterprises.
The fourth session, 〈Climate Action of Enterprises〉, observed climate action strategy of DGB Financial Group and LG Electronics with WWF-Korea and CDP Korea Committee presenting dialogue regarding climate change and direction for companies. Lastly, in 〈Sustainability Management and University Education〉 session hosted by Yonsei University Business School, exemplary cases were presented regarding measuring social impact and improvement of labor environment for the disabled along with active expert discussions.
In the second special lecture after the breakout session, Park Jae-min, an actor who is actively engaged in various activities such as Olympic commentator and b-boy, delivered a passionate message for challenge and pursing dream for the youth. He emphasized the importance of 'growth' through competition with oneself by saying, "Never give up if you want to achieve something, and face all the challenges like a professional."
The awards ceremony of the 〈CSR Strategy Proposal Contest〉 which was held for the past three months followed. Additional to a commentary by Park Suk-bum, Secretary General of the Global Compact Network Korea, proposals by top-prized teams were presented – “A More Step for Menopausal Women" and the "Recycling Waste Tires for Constructing and Installing Ramp".
Lastly, as the ending of the conference, there was the adoption and reciting of Manifesto, and the end of the conference was decorated with a nonverbal performance, a drawing show and a raffle prize.
We will publish and share the results of the 4th Y-CSR Conference in the near future. Thank you to all university students, speakers, sponsors and corporate employees who participated in this conference.