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“Revolution Through Social Enterprise” at the Graziadio Executive Center at Pepperdine University | Symposium Article

“Revolution Through Social Enterprise” at the Graziadio Executive Center at Pepperdine University | Symposium Article

Clam Lorenz: “First of all, thank you all for having us and for inviting me and MissionFish to be a part of this. I think what I’ll do is break the question up and give everyone else a chance to chime in. When I think of corporate social responsibility—and there are a ton of definitions out there—to me, it boils down to, what do we as a society expect of our businesses, what do we expect from companies? Companies are fundamentally social creatures. They are started by people; people work for them; they interact with customers and vendors, and their partners at other companies. And so at the end of the day, it is all about the expectations of those interactions that we have. As I sit up here, interact with other panelists, talk to you, I have expectations of what you’ll do, what I’ll do and how it will go. And the same is true when I go to buy a burrito tomorrow for lunch, I expect certain things that the servers there will do; I expect certain things of the food. So, if you take those and multiply it by everyone in this room, by everyone across the country, that collective expectation is, I would say, corporate social responsibility. For me, I kind of put that into three main categories. The first one is the things that we insist that companies must do. We insist that they do things like follow the law, honor their contracts, perform the financial reporting that we require. The second category are the things that companies really ought to do: treat their employees well, treat their customers well. And then the third category are things that we as a society like our companies to do: support good causes, be socially responsible and find a way to benefit society from their business. I think of those three things as a continuum, and where a company falls on that continuum is how we decide whether they are more socially responsible or not.”

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