On 26th February 2019, at the Global Summit on corporate Volunteering, over 100 delegates from more than 30 of India’s leading companies, together with leaders of volunteering from 23 countries from Peru in the West to Japan in the East and almost every major economy in between, deliberated on subjects critical to practice of Corporate Volunteering with the goal of maximising community impact. To ensure a focused discussion the Summit, curated and hosted by Points of Light Foundation and iVolunteer, particpation was by invite only. Brief:
Gared Jones, Chief Networks Officer - Points of Light, set the Summit rolling connect the global contect of corporate volunteering with the 1st Global Summit being held in New Delhi as he passionately recalled his own tenure living & working with social entrepreneurs in India; Mr Shalabh Sahai, Co-founder & Director - iVolunteer welcomed the international and Indian delegates with an overview of the present status of volunteering in India and iVolunteer's services and experience instituting and supporting employee volunteering with leading companies in India. Natayle Paquin, President & CEO - Points of Light, connected her own experience of leading and nurturing volunteering in America with the continued vision of servicing the societal needs and of providing support through Points of Light across the globe.
Mr Rakesh Thukral, Managing Director - Edelman India, presented India specific findings from The Edelman Trust Barometer - an annual trust credibility survey - offering insights on behavioural notions that affect the businesses and communities operating in any nation. For example, did you know that while Indian talent is well recognised globally, Indian companies face extremely low awareness. Or that the Trust in the employer is the highest compared against the NGOs, government, media or businesses in general and 85% of Indian employees agree that its critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times. And these employee expectations include societal change.
The discussion on trust as a common factor affecting business, governannce and social development set the context for the following session where industry leaders discussed what does it take to build social purpose at the heart of business. From sharing personal examples of how Mr Pravin Gandhi, a leading Venture Capitalist, engages with NGOs through iVolunteer’s Whiteboard program to Mr Anupam Singh, Founder & MD - Shared Reach, sharing his journey of leveraging volunteering to support his team’s overall development, the discussion delved from idealism to pragmatism at the same time.
The mid afternoon panel with heads of CSR & volunteering from Tata Communications, Cognizant, and Brillio Technologies along with the Executive Director of Hong Kong’s leading volunteering service provider shared insights into how the leading businesses were deepening employee engagement. Cognizant and Brillio Techologies had been winners of 'Leader in Employee Volunteering' category at iVolunteer Awards. The next panel Targeting ‘Deepening Community Impact through Pro Bono’ Tata Group and Paypal presented how different skill based models had evolved to fulfill the varying needs of the company, employees and communities in varying contexts. Empact Consulting, a specialist pro bono service provider provider based in Singapore added using their experience from several regions in South East Asia while a leading executive coach and organisational consultant offered the corporate Whiteboard model he’s helped iVolunteer execute in partnership with Bosch and Titan in Bangalore.
Thereafter, the delegates took a deeper dive grouped into topics of mutual interest. Each group was led by a global leader from Points of Light, Chicago Cares, HandsOn Bay Area, and HandsOn Hong Kong.
"Amongst the insightful discussion I found myself most energised by the free flow of thoughts and sharing of best practices, while delegates and speakers continually challenged each other to bring out the best for all " recounted Mr Shalabh Sahai.
And just when everyone at the Summit thought that they had spent a good day with the some of best in volunteering across the globe, they engaged with the leading volunteers and volunteer engaging organisations from India - the finalists of iVolunteer Awards. Joining the leaders from the community organisations, civic leaders, media representatives and champions of volunteering, almost everyone in the audience of the grand ceremony of iVolunteer Awards were in the awe of the inspiring stories from ground up. The guests were blown away as much by the large scale campaign on plastic recycling by Volunteer Hero Shishir Joshi as by the fiery attitude of Youth Champion Manju who spoke in Hindi yet captured the heart of leaders from 23 nations present there (as refered personally by several international delegates). eVidaloka’s leading model of engaging volunteers digitally to mentor underprivileged children and Mahindra & Mahindra’s sheers volume of employee volunteers got them the honours.
Held in Delhi for the 1st time, the 7th edition of iVolunteer Awards, took the lofty ideal - 'Mission Every Indian Volunteers’. Special guests Anshu Gupta, Venkat Krishnan and Natalye Paquin challenged every notion of volunteering. Natalye, on being quizzed ‘Has this happened anywhere else in the world’ quipped ’No, but if it were to, it will be most likely be here, in India.’
Next Global Summit on Corporate Volunteering will be announced shortly. Keen on partnering to leverage volunteering? Get in touch.
We look forward to our journey of volunteering together!
Points of Light is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service and mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year.
iVolunteer is the largest social enterprise enabling volunteering in India. Founded in 2001, it directly engages over 15,000 volunteers every year, and works with 350+ credible NGOs in a range of causes across India. Its known for its ability to create distinct programs suited to different volunteer profiles and choices. It also has the unique distinction of being the only Indian initiative sending volunteers to serve in other developing countries. It has more than a decade of experience engaging employee volunteers from leading Indian businesses and multinational companies with large Indian presence.