The Middle East University of Jordan was visited today by Drs Daan Elffers, Founder and CEO of EMG CSR Consultancy (www.emg-csr.com), the international consultancy for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is based in the Netherlands.
Drs Elffers’ visit to Jordan coincided with a number of conferences organized by the Vision Institute for Civil Society & Good Governance Studies (www.vicss.org.jo) in relation to a project on leveraging the potential of CSR in Jordan which is an initiative of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Amman.
Engaging Arab Youth
Drs Elffers first spoke with a group of some 50 students with a major in marketing on the topic of ‘sustainable consumerism’, and the trillion-dollar market opportunity behind the performance economy as announced earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Covering a diverse range of concepts from planned obsolescence to greenwashing, he encouraged students to re-evaluate today’s marketing models entirely, and discussed how vast business opportunities can be created by designing things differently.
Subsequently Drs Elffers lectured to approximately 150 business majors on the principles of sustainable development. He gave powerful examples as to why the global implementation of CSR and sustainability is of critical importance for our survival, but explained how these challenges can also be turned into most attractive business opportunities. “Designing for positive outcomes in the areas of economy, but also for society and ecology, is a choice. Contrary to what many people think, these aspects are highly compatible, and all it requires is thinking about what it is you really want to achieve and starting to design things with the end in mind.”
Prof. Maher Salim, president of MEU, stated that it had been an excellent opportunity to invite Drs Elffers, an expert on CSR, to the university to discuss such an important topic.
Consequently the MEU was very grateful to Drs Elffers for presenting the topic of CSR – a topic which has been a particular concern of the management for more than two years. ‘We were impressed with Drs Elffers’ insight,’ said Prof. Salim. ‘The presentation was clear, with many examples, and it was valuable not only to the students and academic staff but also to the university as a whole.’ The attendees, staff and students all enjoyed the information provided as well as the presentation style. Moreover, Prof Salim stated that the university would like to expand its relationship with EMG in the near future and encourage the students to consider this topic as a priority for their projects and theses.
Finally, Prof Salim promised to consider the inclusion of Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the undergraduate Bachelor programs.
Drs Elffers expressed his gratitude to the Middle East University for their warm welcome. ‘It was a most enjoyable opportunity for me to meet with so many members of the university,’ he said. ‘It’s very encouraging to see so many positive aspects of cooperation which can undoubtedly lead to a more sustainable, prosperous future through the commitment of the next generation.’ He looked forward, he said, to expanding the working relationship between the Middle East University of Jordan and EMG.
EMG CSR Consultancy works with businesses, governments and non-profit organizations worldwide, helping them to become more prosperous through sustainable development.