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Last Saturday evening, at the Crossboundaries office, Beijing based Grade 1 Teacher Kavita Tanna was met with applaud when she shared her conclusion to the discussion on how businesses can incorporate sustainability and that we can be held accountable by our children for the impact we make.
Following a morning of toy swapping, the afternoon’s discussion with Soledad, Jade and Lotta boiled down to some simple facts. Whilst governance can command change we as individuals have a collective power to drive it. Whether on a global context or in China, solutions to circular consumption, sustainability and children’s rights can be led by us.
Reflections on the discussion: Kavita Tanna, Grade 1 Teacher at a PYP accredited international bilingual school.
“Soledad, Jade and Lotta reminded us that we can instill socially responsible behavior in our children from a young age and, in turn, they can hold us accountable. They explained how problem-solving entrepreneurs can be the solution to directing businesses away from focusing only on the bottom line of profit; they can also be held accountable for the way they treat people and the planet.
“All 3 speakers demonstrated a deep understanding of the fundamental concept that underlies in all successful human interactions: connection. For our children, the future generation, to be able to live in a world that can meet their basic needs of food, water, clean air and a place to live, people need to connect their everyday consumer choices to their individual and social values.
“As long as people and companies continue to place a higher value on the disenfranchising concepts of money and profit rather than meaningful, connected and sustainable relationships with living things (people, plants and animals), we are reinforcing to our children that they do not need to make conscious, socially connected and responsible choices.
“More and more it seems that parents are depriving their children of a naturally social childhood where they can form ideas of expectations, respect and responsibility. Instead parents are dedicating themselves to meeting all of the child’s money-driven wants in a digital world without balancing this with a structure that gives children real motivation or inspiration to value and appreciate the goods they receive.
“This sense of entitlement means that the fundamental principles of social responsibility are being undermined as children do not understand the responsibilities attached to receiving a thing of value that has been brought to them by the social construct of business. We all need to be held accountable for the choices we make.
“What’s next to consider is how to transform awareness into action. With the support of the government and industry, leaders can demonstrate accountability to people in all their guises-as consumers, stakeholders in business and human beings on our beloved planet, Earth. As a teacher, my inspiration is the benefits to children; my core values are aligned with making these connections. As a member of this global community, my goal now is to become a more purpose-driven, conscious consumer.“
Thank you to all who participated, especially to the Swedish Embassy, Retoy, Gung Ho! and Pursuit Education.
Photo left to right
LottaLiljelund, Counsellor and head of the CSR-centre, Embassy of Sweden in Beijing.
Soledad Piñero Misa, CEO and founder of Retoy and Social Mission Manager at Ben & Jerrys Nordic.
Jade Gray, co founder of Gung Ho! Ventures, a registered B Corp.
André Mkandawire, First Secretary and Head of Public Diplomacy, Press & Communication, Embassy of Sweden in Beijing.