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


(Korena Lin) #141

Following my comment above, we, as ordinary people hardly see the story behind a product, behind a company how they trade with others. We hardly see the ethics behind a product. However, there do have some business that contribute to the world peace, or at least the peace in the community. Companies who value ethics most will do a series behavior to contribute to the peace.They spent time and money on doing volunteering or helping behind the scene to foster peace in the war area or related. Companies could be bad or they could choose to be good, ethically.


(Monica Zaknoun) #142

Recently in class we talked about companies that have had very bad effects on peace, such as Exon with the oil spill. This made me think of companies that have taken stands to help issues such as this. For example, Proctor and Gamble owns the dish soap brand Dawn, which is supposed to be very tough on oil and grease. After the BP oil spill, P&G launched a new Dawn campaign called "Dawn Helps Save Wildlife" where hundreds of volunteers used the product to help clean wild animals that were coated in the oil. They also consistently donate a certain portion of Dawn proceeds to efforts that support wildlife and other environmental factors affected by the spill. This is a perfect example of how a company can contribute to peace.


(Monica Zaknoun) #143

I think another factor that can affect business and peace outside of the four that you mentioned is investors. As time goes by, we are consistently seeing more and more socially responsible investors, that can also influence a company to act ethically in order to attract their investments. Consumers don't always take into account the ethics of a company when deciding what company to give their business to. For example, consumers will always choose the lowest gas prices, whether or not they believe the company is ethical. The real pressure to act ethically for gas companies comes from the socially responsible investors they are trying to attract, and also the talent that they want to hire that also care about social responsibility. We explored this topic thoroughly in the class G202.

Lauren Kaindl said:

In regards to question three, I think it is important to have open communication between each player in the economy, the consumer, the business, and the government. Each entity needs to not only speak up about what issues and topics are important to them, but also be open to hearing what the others' have to say. It is often easy to get caught up in what works best in your self-interest, but opening the barriers of communication to start those important conversations can lead to significant improvements that could benefit everyone involved.

(Maria Heryanto) #144

I agree with your opinion. Although they have been facing a lot of criticism from public regarding their action in donating most of their stocks in Facebook, I feel that sharing profits that from business activity is one of the way to enhance peace in this society. Companies should not be greedy on keeping the profits in order to make the shareholder happy. They should not forget that they have different stakeholder including their worker, consumers, and society as a whole. Therefore, the act of giving back to the society is one of the way for a company to show that they actually care for most of people around their business, not only one segment in general. Hence, the company will find more balance in maintaining happiness of different stakeholder and creating peace.

Xiyu Zhang said:

The first question reminds me of the contribution made by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan that they have pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to the cause of human advancement and are planing to donate billions to fight diseases. What they have done and what they are going to do is profound and a wonderful example to show how a great entrepreneur and a great company can do to build peace, to create stable environment and better society beyond only focusing on profits.


(Marissa Sinai) #145

I agree that much of the world would benefit from having something to distract them from things such as violence. If this thing could be business it would not only help people have something else to focus on or do, but would be bettering local economies and the lives of people in the community, along with the many benefits to the people engaging in business activity themselves.

kalilou Dama said:

Empowering young people and women with Entrepreneurship skills is allowing them to avoid rebels groups in Mali. YES Inc MALI is doeing so for 4 years in a PPP contxt with Mali Government. Making busy people through BUSINESS can contribute to Peace


(Marissa Sinai) #146

I agree that peace can result from the ethics instilled in businesses via rules, guidelines, goals, etc. I think that if society in general acted with the same standards that businesses are held to, our world would have much more peace and prosperity. You would think that the laws of governments would create such peace, however, it seems that the backbone of laws isn't always enough to encourage people to act justly.

Frans Tjandra said:

I agree with your statement, it is correlated with real trust, how the company keeps its promise of their contracts, regulations, and corporate cultures to the employees. By maintaining fairness and truth in the company, employees will be satisfied which lead to more peace. Instead of jumping to the creation of new regulations, guidelines, and acts, we have to guarantee first that the existing standards have been fulfilled. If we failed to do so, then there are no benefits to add more regulations, guidelines, and acts since they will be violated too.


Xiao Chen said:

There are many different ways for companies to contribute to peace. I feel like business do not need to purposely seeking peace. Peace is strongly related to ethics. Such ethics as gender equity, property and contract rights, and corruption play big roles in peace building. If a company can have a good control of these issues and each employee in the company is satisfied with the outcome of these issues, then there will be less conflicts occured in that company. Thus it own the peace. My personal opinion is that more satisfactions toward moral issues lead to more peace.


(Marissa Sinai) #147

I think that business is one of the best ways to instill peace. When countries make an agreement to trade or do business with one another, they are instilling peace between their two countries. Look at what happened recently with Cuba. Now that the U.S. and Cuba have agreed to participate in business together (also by allowing citizens to travel there), there is vastly increased peace between the two countries.


(Maria Heryanto) #148

PT. Djarum is one of the largest private company in Indonesia. Djarum has been well known by its clean operation of their business and also their huge care of the country and people around their business. In 1963, Djarum established their foundation that focuses on different aspects such as sports, culture, environment, social, and education. Djarum funded a great amount of Indonesian athletes especially Badminton athletes. They cover all the athletes' expenses including training fee, education, and living cost. Aside from that, Djarum has also provided scholarship for more than 500 students across the nation. Those two are only small examples of what Djarum has done for Indonesia. They successfully maintain the balance between the profits for the company and also the well being of people surrounding the company and the country. As far as I know, I barely heard any problem associated with the company. Their workers are happily working with them as the company has helped to develop the environment where they live by opening a clinic and market to fulfill the worker basic necessity. Djarum has successfully notice and distribute their profit equally to different stakeholders, and hence, they have maintained the peacefulness of people around them.


(Peilun Li) #149

Buy 1 get 1 free is not actually helping out the people in needed. As a matter of fact, TOMs Shoes is pushing its low-cost product to a market that needs more than just shoes. Also, it takes advantage of customers who wants to help people in those areas by selling high price. Customers are willing to pay higher because they believe their actions are making a positive impact. Yet because TOMs give shoes to the market, the local shoe makers are suffering. People needs to be benefited from a thriving market rather than companies give away and destroy the local market. Therefore, the buy 1 get 1 free model is not actually helping anyone rather than the big companies. However, this model does foresight some possible ways a company can help local market. For instance, they can help them build factories and basic infrastructure and found the basic market functions. From there, major companies can build peace in those markets by benefiting them economically and education.

Marissa Sinai said:

I agree that companies like TOMS Shoes are important in showing the way that companies can make a positive impact on the world. However, it is has been recently noticed that what TOMS is doing may be actually hurting the places it donates to just as much as it helping them. This article explains those reasons: http://www.whydev.org/some-bad-news-about-toms-shoes/. This makes me wonder if certain businesses are manipulating the public into believing that the one thing that differentiates them from competitors is their "good deeds". Like TOMS, these companies could just be using their good deeds to gain more business, even though what they are doing is not actually the best course of action possible. I do think though, that companies like TOMS who are willing to do anything at all to help the world prove to consumers and the rest of the population that businesses can and do try to give back and help. Even if there is more that could be done, or alternative options for helping their cause, at least these companies are doing something and are making a difference in the way that the world views large corporations.

John William Sances Machalek said:

TOMS Shoes has been able to make a huge stride in todays modern corporate era. Showing that a company can almost solely exist to help people around the world. Everyone needs shoes and TOMS has been a leader in social responsibility around the globe. Of course, they may not be the most profitable company and may not be the best company to invest in, but they are making a difference. However, this impact they are creating should allow them to receive certain subsidiaries so they can be more competitive in the eyes of investors. More and more companies are popping up that offer the promotion of "Buy a product, give a product." Ten years ago, this model would have never been successful, but this strong push towards helping everyone in the world and equality has allowed this business model to succeed in its earliest stages. There is a lot of work to be done to create a successful business model that can compete with for-profit organization, but I believe that people are starting to see the impact companies can make around the globe.


(Maria Heryanto) #150

In regards to question three, In order to maintain peace in the society, businesses should not lobby the government for their own profitability. There are many different cases when businesses lobby the government to obtain power so that they can get more profit or monopoly the market. If businesses wants to lobby the government, they should think about how can they benefit other people, the country, and the industry in general. The government itself should be able to make a wise judgement or decision in which they can benefit not only the company but also other parties if they grant the request from one particular businesses so that most people will receive the benefit.


(Claire Dillon) #151

I think a great example of businesses fostering peace was illustrated in Hamish Banks' article. Coca-Cola was able to bring together people from their 'enemy' countries. It's actually pretty remarkable. In most people's minds, corporations are seen as industrial, black and white, profit-driven corporate drones that do nothing more than take people's money. However, if the right business practices are implemented efficiently, its amazing the kind of things they can accomplish. Like in the Coca-Cola example, business can bring about peace in some of the most tumultuous situations.


(Claire Dillon) #152

I love this example! Framing these issues in a way that makes it more relevant and applicable really helps us younger contributors understand. A lot of us don't have too much real experience with business, let alone business and peace. But, relating it to something like this gives us all a better idea of how it would be applied and the impact that it can have.

Varun Alse said:

When thinking of a ways in which businesses, government, and civil society can come together in pursuit of peace, I like to reference my favorite TV show, Parks and Recreation. In this show fictional character Leslie Knope is a hardworking, driven, and passionate government employee in the Parks Department of Pawnee, Indiana and she does whatever it takes to make the city a better place. Whenever she or the department have a new mission or government project to pursue, they always host town hall meetings to hear out the recommendations, concerns, and complaints of the residents, or stakeholders, of Pawnee. Similarly, I believe businesses, the government, and society should all come together to come up with peace initiatives. When a project for peace is made, each party should discuss pros, cons, concerns, impacts, etc to best benefit the community. When conclusions can't made easily determined on decisions, then there should be a vote just how democracy is supposed to run. I understand that this makes it sound easier than it looks, but I think regular meetings with representative parties for all stakeholders discussing peace initiatives is the ideal way to pursue peace.


(Ruxu(Reese) lu) #153

I do agree with you. Now many companies are trying to giving back to society or charity to help improve their living. Here's a good example, Toms. They will give money out for every shoes they sell. In this way, they not only give back to the world, but also increase their company reputation. If we go to big companies' official website, we can see most of them has a section called "social responsibility" which shows how they give back and help.

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.


(Colin Ringas) #154

I agree with Chris that a business' primary reason for existence is not to enhance the community but rather being involved in their communities in order to understand a range of topics, including peace. United Airlines has a system in place that allows members with accumulated miles saved within their rewards program to donate any given number of them in times of emergencies due to natural disasters. These free miles allow volunteers wanting to offer assistance at emergency locations to travel to those destinations free of charge. Although United Airlines is not directly contributing to the community and peace by giving out free flights, they are providing a tool for the community to come together in a way to collaboratively fund volunteers helping around the world. In this case, the United Airlines "community" is a community not defined by a specific geographical location, but a global one since they operate on such a large scale.

Chris Preocanin said:

When it comes to business, government and and society working together in pursuit of peace, a strong starting place is deciding what a society's definition on peace is. Obviously people will look towards the government, as well as others notable figures in the community, to set the rules of what is allowed. It's up for the community to then accept those rules, or reject them by offering their own views on peace. Because these rule are usually set when a community is built, incoming businesses are supposed to come in and conform to those rule. As a few people mentioned in their comments, companies such as TOMS come into communities and exceed the expectations of "following the rules". However, I don't believe it is a business duty to enhance it's community because that isn't their primary reason for existence. I do believe though that business should get involved in their communities to understand what the community's beliefs are on a range of topics, including peace. Once these three pillars are established, they should interact as a system of checks and balances. Whenever one party acts, the other parties should share their opinions on the situation. Peace holds a different definition for each person, but if and when governments, businesses and societies are all acting within the best interests of each other, peace is sure to follow.


(Ruxu(Reese) lu) #155

I somehow agree with Xiaochen. If people have a job to make money and survive, they will not commit a crime. On the opposite, if people are starving and even cannot survive, they might rob others, steal stuff, or do something more aggressive. Therefore, the existing of business(companies) provide job opportunities that lead to peace without purpose. However, I think companies do need to seek for peace even they are actually doing it. Inside companies, they need to create an ethical working environment and culture. Outside companies, they also need try to do something to give back, like community service.

Marissa Sinai said:

I agree that peace can result from the ethics instilled in businesses via rules, guidelines, goals, etc. I think that if society in general acted with the same standards that businesses are held to, our world would have much more peace and prosperity. You would think that the laws of governments would create such peace, however, it seems that the backbone of laws isn't always enough to encourage people to act justly.

Frans Tjandra said:

I agree with your statement, it is correlated with real trust, how the company keeps its promise of their contracts, regulations, and corporate cultures to the employees. By maintaining fairness and truth in the company, employees will be satisfied which lead to more peace. Instead of jumping to the creation of new regulations, guidelines, and acts, we have to guarantee first that the existing standards have been fulfilled. If we failed to do so, then there are no benefits to add more regulations, guidelines, and acts since they will be violated too.


Xiao Chen said:

There are many different ways for companies to contribute to peace. I feel like business do not need to purposely seeking peace. Peace is strongly related to ethics. Such ethics as gender equity, property and contract rights, and corruption play big roles in peace building. If a company can have a good control of these issues and each employee in the company is satisfied with the outcome of these issues, then there will be less conflicts occured in that company. Thus it own the peace. My personal opinion is that more satisfactions toward moral issues lead to more peace.


(Frans Tjandra) #156

Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) always works toward peace. Its contribution creates a better living place for people. However, in my opinion, the effect of CRS is only temporary. The community mostly will heavily depend on the company then it will go back to the original condition after the company is done helping them. Making a sustainable action is necessary. For instance, BMW should start to focus on designing a public transportation which has zero emission, affordable, safe, and fast. lastly, I am confused with your statement of increasing the diversity will promote peace. I think a further explanation will help to clarify it.

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.


(Xiao Chen) #157

To response to the third question, I would say one of the important steps to let stakeholders from different areas work together is that one should learn to "hear from others". We should always respect voice from anyone. If everyone's ideas or thougts have been heard, the members or employees' satisfaction level will increase. Thus will automatically lead to a peace environment.


(Ruxu(Reese) lu) #158

Mengjin, I do agree with you. This issue with Apple is kind of controversial. Apple refused to provide customer private information because they were standing in the point of corporate ethic aspect. I think this is an good example of good trust as well. Apple thought this was the right thing to do, to keep clients' data security. As talking about FBI, they are standing in the point of country's security issue. From my knowledge, I believe that they have the technology to check people's data somehow. They should find out a way by themselves, rather than asking Apple to share their database.

Mengjin Sun said:

Qiming, the Apple and FBI example you mentioned here is great to debate on. I think Apple is standing from customers' perspective and is trying to make customer feel safe about Apple protecting their privacy. However, in serious situations like this, which could impact national security, I think government should enforce laws to give right to company to disclose customers' information. So companies like Apple can do the right thing legally without facing social dilemma.

Qiming Liu said:

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.


(Peilun Li) #159

I do agree with you that different parties need to hear from each other. However, hearing is only the initial step toward peace. Business exists because of profit. Government and Business should work together to find solutions on how to make first, the business profitable, and second, how to improve the economical state without harming mother nature. Business and Government need to think globally in terms of creating peace. Peace for one region should not be classified as peace since the progress might be the result of sacrificing other regions. Therefore, I believe business and governments around the globe should work as an entity to address peace. Improving peace cannot only benefit the business environment but also generate more ideas and the exchange of ideas. These will help improve the overall human development.

Xiao Chen said:

To response to the third question, I would say one of the important steps to let stakeholders from different areas work together is that one should learn to "hear from others". We should always respect voice from anyone. If everyone's ideas or thougts have been heard, the members or employees' satisfaction level will increase. Thus will automatically lead to a peace environment.


(Shengwen Liang) #160

There are many examples that corporates contribute to peace in the world. Similar to Coca Cola, which is mentioned before, its largest competitor PepsiCo also puts much effort on building the peace. For instance, PepsiCo launched a Mother Water Cellar project in southwest China. The volunteers in PepsiCo helped construct a water purification tower, which would benefit hundreds of children in the local school. Also, PepsiCo had a project called “Food for Good”, which served free and nutritious food to inner-city children in US. Pepsi donates millions of money on charity every year. The company contributes a lot on improving the communities and thus shows a positive brand image.


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.