The SERAS 2012

Theme: The SERAs 2012 Creating Shared Value In A New Economy Pushing Back The Frontiers.

The world is at a crossroads. For developing countries battling hydra headed development challenges posed by poor governance structures, increasing poverty, high unemployment, energy crisis and compounded by political / civil upheavals . Unrest is spurred by frustrated and impoverished populations with no solution in sight; and who have lost all hope in leadership.

They have witnessed the collapse of socialist and communist systems; the only alternatives they had to capitalism. Now capitalism symbolized by Wall Street also appears to not offer much in terms of hope and a better life.

“What is the way forward”, is the general outcry. There are no easy answers. Some are looking in the direction of business entrepreneurship as the dim light in a very dark tunnel. So, What do we have here? A form of enlightened self interest that says okay, the die is cast, we must do business in a responsible way if our business must survive and make profits. They say, okay, we admit that we made a lot of mistakes in the past when we conducted business as though the earth’s resources are inexhaustible; when we did not care that all around us everything was ebbing or dying save for our business ventures; while we pursued profits unrelentingly.

Enter the new economy, driven by entrepreneurs set to turn the world upside down and chart new ways to understand the role of business. They are problematizing, revisiting the whole concept of creating and sharing value; in more sustainable ways. In other ways, exploring how to create and share wealth in a responsible yet beneficial manner.
Africa enjoys an enviable position in this new economy – the quest to harness and take pleasure in nature’s resources in a responsible manner. The continent has a wealth of virgin land, untapped mineral and human resources and a mind-boggling creative potential which if well-tended can catapult the continent to a position of global leadership. But does the continent possess the will, commitment and the necessary skills to navigate the new path successfully? What will it take Nigeria, Africa to achieve this; or to start the journey at the least?

It now all depends on how business and political leaders as well as other segments of the economy (even the man, woman, boy and girl on the street) can apply to the business of living and survival the hard lessons learned from a past; a past that threatens the very existence of human kind.

There is hope if we retrace our steps, count the cost of our selfish past and put sustainable systems and structures in place to stem the fast and awesome decay that is engulfing all of us.

The 2012 SERAs – Nigeria CSR Awards, will explore issues pertaining to how businesses share and create value in a new economy which thrives on doing business with minimal harm to the environment.
In the context of the increasing demand on organizations to conduct business ethically with minimal harm to the environment and people, the onus is therefore on enterprise managers to commit to sustainable business practices which transparently benefit stakeholders.

The SERAs – Nigeria CSR Awards has been designed to provide a popular and respected platform for Nigerian companies to showcase beneficial stakeholder engagement which attracts social capital to the said companies.