What are some practical examples and lessons from business contributions to peace?


(Jessica Leish) #101

I attended the Business and Peace Conference that was held here at Indiana last week and was very fascinated by some of the general topics addressed. The importance of promoting business in poverty stricken areas really is key to avoid frustrations with these regions, whose populations are 60-65% citizens under 30 years old. These young people have the same desires and dreams as us in the US, and need to be given the opportunity to be able to do so to avoid these people dealing with frustration in violent ways.

One story I really enjoyed was of a young woman who created an app similar to Uber but for war torn areas, like Ghaza where the woman was from. She was given the opportunity to come to the US and attend a peace conference where she was able to sit next to Vice President Biden and share her ideas.

Stories like these give me hope that there are efforts out there to promote economic opportunity and prosperity in all countries. However there is still an enormous amount of work that needs to be done in this area, and I believe that the US has the means as well as responsibility to accomplish this work.


(Andrea JoAnne Brockman) #102

In a perfect society, we wouldn't really have to have this conversation because everyone would be working toward a common goal, which would be peace. However, as it stands, stakeholders not only have different definitions of "peace"; they also have different goals.I think the best way for stakeholders to work together would be to understand each other's definitions of peace, decide on a definition that everyone agrees on, and then map out how each stakeholder can work to uphold that concept of peace.

However, I do realize how impossible that is.

Xiuyuan Yang said:

Though individual entities can contribute to peace by different approaches, it is everybody’s job to make peace for the sake of the development of the society. Moreover, it is surely doable for different stakeholders to work together in pursuit of peace. In other words, businesses can contribute to peace by stimulating economics like creating jobs, businesses can also contribute to peace by interacting with government. To specify, government can create peace by preventing corruption from happening through regulation and internal control. On the other hand, in order to make peace, businesses need to follow the rule of law and cooperate with government’s regulation. So by working together, we can make peace in a faster and more effective way.

Anyways, I think that no matter for different entities to work together or individually to make, keep or build peace, the most important thing is that people need to have the right ethic about peace and the awareness of the significance of peace. Under this premise, we will be a lot more effective in the process.

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great discussion. Let's move onto our final question:

Q3: How can different stakeholders, from business, government and civil society best work together in pursuit of peace?


(Hendry Halim) #103

There are several different ways in which stakeholders, government and civil society best work together in pursuit of peace. One way is to start reflecting ourselves that we currently only have one mother earth to live in. With this in mind, we have to come up to the realization that we need to protect our natural environment instead of massively destroying it for personal gains. As a human being, we need to limit our desires in order to be less greedy and work together to achieve a state of peace. For businesses, they should be socially responsible for their actions or they would face tremendous amount of negative repercussions from the government. For example, an acid manufacturing company can find ways to limit the waste products and research possible ways to turn their waste products into greater goods. Government should create policies that is fair and smart in order to restrict company's negative actions and results and also, find a win-win solution to promote economic growth. For a civil society, they should be able to do 3Rs (Recycling, Reusing, Reducing) on a consistent basis. Recycling can be performed whenever we drink a bottle and throwing it to a recycling bin instead of throwing it to a waste bin. On the other hand, reusing plastic bottles by refilling it in a water fountain is another way of helping our natural environment. Furthermore, businesses and individuals can also donate to our local communities that "needs" our help in order to achieve a greater state of peace. People who doesn't have their needs fulfilled tend to cause chaos in the environment by different types of ways and to prevent this from happening, we can simply help them by donating, and thereby avoiding those negative consequences. By doing things that protects our natural environment from harm, limiting our desires, and donating money we can achieve a better state of peace.


(YIJING WANG) #104

Business can use the business to let the government, stakeholder, and civil society participate into the business. Using the business to link everybody together. For example, many businesses will link their business product to the charity. When customers buy each one of their product, the company will notice customers first and take one dollar from their purchase to help the society. This is a win-win situation. This will also help boost company business because customers think they help the society at the same time when they purchase the item. The company can also use this to build real trust, like company goodwill, reputation and so other soft items.


(YIJING WANG) #105

I agree with xiuyuan, having the right ethics about peace is important. The first thing is that company should have awareness of what is the right ethics and which one is most concerning nowadays. The second thing is that doing is better than saying. If a company just say we will build peace without doing something real things. Customers, government will lose confidence on them. Otherwise, This would not help the business peace anymore.



Andrea JoAnne Brockman said:

In a perfect society, we wouldn't really have to have this conversation because everyone would be working toward a common goal, which would be peace. However, as it stands, stakeholders not only have different definitions of "peace"; they also have different goals.I think the best way for stakeholders to work together would be to understand each other's definitions of peace, decide on a definition that everyone agrees on, and then map out how each stakeholder can work to uphold that concept of peace.

However, I do realize how impossible that is.

Xiuyuan Yang said:

Though individual entities can contribute to peace by different approaches, it is everybody’s job to make peace for the sake of the development of the society. Moreover, it is surely doable for different stakeholders to work together in pursuit of peace. In other words, businesses can contribute to peace by stimulating economics like creating jobs, businesses can also contribute to peace by interacting with government. To specify, government can create peace by preventing corruption from happening through regulation and internal control. On the other hand, in order to make peace, businesses need to follow the rule of law and cooperate with government’s regulation. So by working together, we can make peace in a faster and more effective way.

Anyways, I think that no matter for different entities to work together or individually to make, keep or build peace, the most important thing is that people need to have the right ethic about peace and the awareness of the significance of peace. Under this premise, we will be a lot more effective in the process.

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great discussion. Let's move onto our final question:

Q3: How can different stakeholders, from business, government and civil society best work together in pursuit of peace?


(Hendry Halim) #106

In my opinion, I think the "share a coke" campaign was solely for the purpose of attracting more customers and increasing sales revenue. Blending it with different cultures coming together was their tactic to make people believe that it was about promoting peace instead of the "real" purpose. Everyone believes in peace, it is what their actions that matters. I agree with you that advertisements like that subliminally affect the way people think and make us more exposed to the ideology of global peace.
Varun Alse said:

I agree with Paula that marketing can be an effective measure to promote peace. Beverage industry giant Coca Cola operates in over 200 countries and has done a great job of portraying this message through its advertisements. One recent example being its "Share a Coke" campaign, where the company encourages sharing Coke products and peace with other parties. Although this campaign is a more abstract signal of peace, Coca Cola has made it clear that they believe in peace on a global level. They have had many TV advertisements and billboards that show different cultures coming together around its product. Specifically, there are billboards displayed with the hands of people of different races holding a Coke bottle cap together. Yes, this could be seen as a ploy to exploit consumer behavior since consumers value companies that benefit the community. But my understanding is that whether we like it or not, advertisements like these do subliminally affect that way we think, and in this case, make us more exposed to the ideology of global peace.

Paula Gutierrez Perez said:

Thinking on the trends that are right now, I think business can contribute to peace in a lot of different ways. I think using marketing and social media to promote peace to people and share different positive and peaceful advertising campaigns will be a really good idea. Then, companies should start giving incentives and rewards to intercultural practices and activities, BMW is doing this right now. Lastly, I would say that increasing the diversity in the company will be a good idea to start promoting peace.


(Keyin Chen) #107

Business can contribute to peace in many different ways, either explicitly or implicitly. Thinking about current trends, I believe one of the most effective ways for the company to contribute to peace is to encourage workforce diversity and promote equality in the workplace. To give an example, if a company protects and promotes gender equity within the firm, it will create a great corporate culture and inspire its employees to treat others equally with respect. It may also encourage and urge other firms in the society to do so. In this way, the company that advocates diversity and equality will foster peace and stability within the entity, and even in the whole society as well.


(Han Thazin Tun) #108

Regarding how different stakeholders, from business, government, and civil society can work together for peace is to keep doing the small things they do that will add up to a significant amount of peacefulness. As mentioned several times by my colleagues throughout various discussion threads, businesses are gradually shifting from pure shareholder value to “shared” value for all stakeholders. This establishes good trust in addition to real and hard trust between businesses, governments, and the community as a whole. Companies are giving back to their own local communities and also internationally which help strengthen relationships with various governments. The active role of NGOs plays a big part in the smooth exchange of help provided between different international communities. Our society is at the starting point of distributing peace through the globe but as The San Diego State University Lavin Entrepreneurship Center stated in their article, “peace is a process, not an end in itself--it needs constant nurturing,” we should not stop our efforts nor slow down our initiatives. We need to keep doing them and encourage each others’ little successes in helping distribute peace no matter which organization, government, company, or society we are in.


(Han Thazin Tun) #109

I agree with Yijing about the importance of the right ethics and peace. I also agree with Andrea's statement that we need to define the collective definition of peace since it can have different meanings to various people even if they're coming from the same cultural and social background. Just like the old woman/young woman illusion picture we talked about in our ethics class, one party might see the old woman whereas the other party will see the young woman. If we never sit down to talk about why we see what we see, we will never come to a conclusion and could let to more disruption than there is in the world.

YIJING WANG said:

I agree with xiuyuan, having the right ethics about peace is important. The first thing is that company should have awareness of what is the right ethics and which one is most concerning nowadays. The second thing is that doing is better than saying. If a company just say we will build peace without doing something real things. Customers, government will lose confidence on them. Otherwise, This would not help the business peace anymore.



Andrea JoAnne Brockman said:

In a perfect society, we wouldn't really have to have this conversation because everyone would be working toward a common goal, which would be peace. However, as it stands, stakeholders not only have different definitions of "peace"; they also have different goals.I think the best way for stakeholders to work together would be to understand each other's definitions of peace, decide on a definition that everyone agrees on, and then map out how each stakeholder can work to uphold that concept of peace.

However, I do realize how impossible that is.

Xiuyuan Yang said:

Though individual entities can contribute to peace by different approaches, it is everybody’s job to make peace for the sake of the development of the society. Moreover, it is surely doable for different stakeholders to work together in pursuit of peace. In other words, businesses can contribute to peace by stimulating economics like creating jobs, businesses can also contribute to peace by interacting with government. To specify, government can create peace by preventing corruption from happening through regulation and internal control. On the other hand, in order to make peace, businesses need to follow the rule of law and cooperate with government’s regulation. So by working together, we can make peace in a faster and more effective way.

Anyways, I think that no matter for different entities to work together or individually to make, keep or build peace, the most important thing is that people need to have the right ethic about peace and the awareness of the significance of peace. Under this premise, we will be a lot more effective in the process.

Zahid Torres-Rahman said:

Great discussion. Let's move onto our final question:

Q3: How can different stakeholders, from business, government and civil society best work together in pursuit of peace?


(Han Thazin Tun) #110

Daimler, the company that produces Mercedes-Benz, started its MobileKids traffic initiative in September 2001 as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum, kids would learn road traffic rules and signs and then put them into practice through electrically-powered models of SLK Roadster and buses. Primary schools are slowly incorporating the MobileKids school days and the “Way to school training” school material into their curriculum. Daimler is successfully protecting and educating children, parents, and teachers in road traffic. This corporate social responsibility of Daimler might come off as a fun event for many but it has a significant impact on peace and well-being of our future generations.


(Han Thazin Tun) #111

According to the current trends, businesses can effectively contribute to peace through its marketing efforts in social media by talking about taking positive contributions to peace such as the Coke Small World campaign where they connect people in India and Pakistan through their Coca-Cola vending machines live video cameras. Another way that business can contribute to peace is by supporting small social entrepreneurs. For example, The San Diego State University Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and the Fred J. Hansen Institute for World Peace collaborated with the Palestinian Center for Agricultural Research and Development and the Peres Center for Peace in Israel has allowed for the production of a "blended Israeli-Palestinian" olive oil that can be sold in the U.S. markets. Although this act is in itself a peace building act, the program also help provide jobs and income for entrepreneurs and farmers in Israel. The other ways are to establish reward systems for intercultural understanding within the company, and to keep diversity in mind when hiring employees. Companies also have to keep in mind how to best boost diversity and inclusion between their employees. These are some examples about how businesses can contribute to peace.


(Keyin Chen) #112

I agree with you that marketing and social media will be one of the most effective ways to promote peace. Peaceful advertising campaigns can bring people with different experiences and backgrounds together. It will promote understanding and integration. Just like Coke’s “Small World Machines” campaign, it provided a live communication portal between people in India and Pakistan. This marketing campaign not only brought benefits to the business and the society, but also promoted the cultural understanding across the border.

Paula Gutierrez Perez said:

Thinking on the trends that are right now, I think business can contribute to peace in a lot of different ways. I think using marketing and social media to promote peace to people and share different positive and peaceful advertising campaigns will be a really good idea. Then, companies should start giving incentives and rewards to intercultural practices and activities, BMW is doing this right now. Lastly, I would say that increasing the diversity in the company will be a good idea to start promoting peace.


(BENEDICTA NANYONGA) #113

Looking at the current situation in sub-Saharan Africa especially in Uganda, many families are in constant wrangles within and are breaking up due to persistent poverty in the home. Some cultures do not allow women to work and fend for the family like men. This leaves the family with only the man as the sole provider of income in a home.

With organizations like Kinawataka Women Initiatives in Uganda, women are trained in various income generating activities like making handcrafts out of used straws and other materials which is locally available in the country, so it is easy to access and start without huge capital.

Their products are sold thus generating more income to the family. This reduces the dependence burden of the family on the man which has really brought peace in the family and reduced the separation in the family.


(Moises Diaz) #114

That's a great point Keyin! Creating a strong corporate culture of diversity and equality is a must for many corporations nowadays but I believe that what is still lacking in many is actually honoring their mission statement and instead of just having it written down, they also have to encourage it everyday and enforce them. Sometimes it's very easy to say you are doing something but honoring your word becomes hard with rules and internal hierarchies. Companies that can successfully do this, they will impact their communities in a positively way.

Keyin Chen said:

Business can contribute to peace in many different ways, either explicitly or implicitly. Thinking about current trends, I believe one of the most effective ways for the company to contribute to peace is to encourage workforce diversity and promote equality in the workplace. To give an example, if a company protects and promotes gender equity within the firm, it will create a great corporate culture and inspire its employees to treat others equally with respect. It may also encourage and urge other firms in the society to do so. In this way, the company that advocates diversity and equality will foster peace and stability within the entity, and even in the whole society as well.


(Xiuyuan Yang) #115

To keep up with the conversation, another point that come to my mind is that I think it is a business’ responsibility to make contribution in peace no matter in what industry. Also, money is not the only thing that a successful company will pursue. I think the most important mindset for business to have is to balance among making money on behalf of shareholders, facilitating people’s lives and contributing to create a better society and a better world (peace). And by learning shareholders’ theory, I believe that all of these factors are in the interest of shareholders in the long term.


(Qiming Liu) #116

One recent example is the Apply versus FBI on the encryption issue about a potential terrorist's iPhone. Since Apple actually refused to do so and this would impact the other innocent people life, we need to be aware the conflicts between company values and social welfares. Apple did not prepare better solutions for a situation like this in advance and may be not fully aware how their products will impact the world peace in this way.

Charity is a common way to relieve the poor people so that their life are secure and there are fewer attacks because of income gap. Alternatively, media company could leverage their huge audience to post more initiatives that promotes world peace, for example, on the World Peace Day. In this way, people will see the information repetitively and take more actions following the campaigns.

I think a channel for discussion in terms of current social issues related to world peace needs to be extended to more companies. With more conference, business and governmental organizations will be able to understand each other’s problems better. In addition, they could utilize their resources in a better place. But before these communications, there are common grounds necessary to be established to improve the quality of communication and make sure both party are heading to the right direction. That is mutual respect, patience and attitude to seek for solutions and other important things.


(Qiming Liu) #117

It is surprising to see the initiative Daimler are doing to take social responsibility. I think it is a good way for a large company to start from it own industry sector, to really think about how they could positively impact the world and build its reputation at the same time. Oppositely, Tesla may not be a very good case since they come up with the innovative self-driving vehicles but yet to have more initiatives to make sure other drivers are safe on the road. I further believe that the difference between two companies is partly due to their mission statement and leadership which thus become more important in enhancing the world peace. We should pay attention to these dimensions closely.


Han Thazin Tun said:

Daimler, the company that produces Mercedes-Benz, started its MobileKids traffic initiative in September 2001 as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum, kids would learn road traffic rules and signs and then put them into practice through electrically-powered models of SLK Roadster and buses. Primary schools are slowly incorporating the MobileKids school days and the “Way to school training” school material into their curriculum. Daimler is successfully protecting and educating children, parents, and teachers in road traffic. This corporate social responsibility of Daimler might come off as a fun event for many but it has a significant impact on peace and well-being of our future generations.


(Han Thazin Tun) #118

What Keyin and Moises are saying brings me back to step 7 of the Decision Making Model where we decide on the best way to incorporate the "good" decision into the daily corporate culture. The mission, vision, and regulations for employees can create hard trust and the corporate social responsibility of companies establish real trust. But, it is necessary for people and companies to keep in mind that we need to bridge real trust into good trust. That is how we can successfully create a strong corporate culture.

Moises Diaz said:

That's a great point Keyin! Creating a strong corporate culture of diversity and equality is a must for many corporations nowadays but I believe that what is still lacking in many is actually honoring their mission statement and instead of just having it written down, they also have to encourage it everyday and enforce them. Sometimes it's very easy to say you are doing something but honoring your word becomes hard with rules and internal hierarchies. Companies that can successfully do this, they will impact their communities in a positively way.

Keyin Chen said:

Business can contribute to peace in many different ways, either explicitly or implicitly. Thinking about current trends, I believe one of the most effective ways for the company to contribute to peace is to encourage workforce diversity and promote equality in the workplace. To give an example, if a company protects and promotes gender equity within the firm, it will create a great corporate culture and inspire its employees to treat others equally with respect. It may also encourage and urge other firms in the society to do so. In this way, the company that advocates diversity and equality will foster peace and stability within the entity, and even in the whole society as well.


(Moises Diaz) #119

Absolutely agree. Many companies whether big, medium or small, many times pursue a strategy that gives good compensation for their employees and good working conditions which is the key to their success (specially in manufacturing companies). I'm also a strong believer that if you do good with the society and treat your employees and everyone with respect, money and success will follow as part of your good actions. And like you said, in the long-term, it will benefit the shareholders and everyone that is somewhat affect by the product or service of such company.


Xiuyuan Yang said:

To keep up with the conversation, another point that come to my mind is that I think it is a business’ responsibility to make contribution in peace no matter in what industry. Also, money is not the only thing that a successful company will pursue. I think the most important mindset for business to have is to balance among making money on behalf of shareholders, facilitating people’s lives and contributing to create a better society and a better world (peace). And by learning shareholders’ theory, I believe that all of these factors are in the interest of shareholders in the long term.


(Michaela Hillman) #120

In addition, I believe companies can hold others in their industry accountable when it publishes it’s standards and their progress. Or, when a company holds a public event and invites the community to participate. For example, Accenture is the first and only consulting firm that published its diversity breakdown. Many other firms actively say diversity is part of their business model, and that very well may be true, bUT places yourself on a level of accountability by the customers is admirable. It essentially says, we are doing exactly what we should be doing, are you doing the same? We are not at the point where we should be, but don’t worry, we are aware and are improving. Or, we are a leader in our industry, and we invite our competitors to do the same time better the field as a whole as well as benefit good people.