I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi
The importance of lifelong learning has been championed by great iconoclasts from Gandhi to Picasso. Through their own curiosity and desire to make things different and better, these people changed the world and the way that subsequent generations think about everything from art to citizenship. In many ways, the work of our members at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is similar. Bringing the assets of business to the table to solve some of our most intractable environmental and social problems demands new ways of thinking about the world.
As corporate citizenship professionals, you have the unique task of helping the companies in which you operate reach new frontiers for products and performance ethically and sustainably. To be effective, you need to stay abreast not only of the guidelines, innovations, challenges, and opportunities affecting the profession, but also of the many internal and external pressures that are driving progress in your companies. These are important and weighty tasks. It’s impossible to do it all alone. We all do plenty of learning by doing. It is also important for all of us to carve time out for refreshing our knowledge and sharing what we have learned along the way. This investment is key to advancing corporate citizenship.
So where can you get that extra boost to keep yourself informed and energized? At the Center we are working continually to develop information assets and professional development opportunities to support you on your journey. From primary research materials derived from our own studies—and digestible summaries of key findings from the most reputable academic journals—to courses designed to offer effective tools to help navigate emerging topics, our mission at the Center is to arm you with the materials you need to know more, do more, and—ultimately—achieve more through your corporate citizenship program.
As valuable and necessary as our work is here at the Center, it is matched many times over by the great work that corporate citizenship practitioners are undertaking in the field, and—while there is a great deal you can learn from us—I know you can learn as much from each other. In our upcoming magazine—due out later this month—we have highlighted the unique ways member companies are operating more transparently, the importance of data in tackling crises throughout the world, and the executive perspectives that are driving today’s corporate citizenship.
As you continue your work, do not forget that a mission as lofty as creating a better world—in which to do business, and in which to live—can only be achieved by people that are daring, passionate, thoughtful, and informed. It is my hope that the insights offered by the Center—and found in our network of more than 420 member companies—will inspire you to consider new ways of thinking about your important work.