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Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics

General Description

Although not new in the developed part of the world, the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ethical leadership are making first steps in gaining popularity in developing countries, with Armenia being not an exception. Nowadays many Armenians can hardly explain what constitutes to be a good corporate citizen, which is quite often confused with engaging in charitable activities. It is obvious that any for-profit entity is mainly concerned with earning and accumulating wealth, but the current worldwide trend is that this is not the only determinant of their existence and long-term success. More and more businesses realize that they do not operate in a vacuum; continuous interaction with different stakeholders is critical, with serious considerations for the environment, economically vulnerable populations, and the society as a whole.

In light of the above, it is therefore paramount to raise ethical competence and integrity standards of local managers for them to succeed in today's competitive and highly demanding world. With this in mind, the given training is aimed at familiarizing the audience with the theoretical framework for corporate social responsibility and business ethics, addressing the issues of its practical application, and exploring its contributions and limitations to the society.

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Լավագույն փորձի հետքերով և ՔՀԿ-ների իրավական միջավայրի գնահատում քննարկումներին մասնակցելու հրավեր

Թրանսփարենսի Ինթերնեշնլ հակակոռուպցիոն կենտրոն ՀԿ-ն Քաղաքացիական զարգացման և համագործակցության հիմնադրամի, Ժուռնալիստների «Ասպարեզ» ակումբի, Հետաքննող լրագրողներ հասարակական կազմակերպության, Բազելի կառավարման ինստիտուտի և Ոչ առևտրային իրավունքի եվրոպական կենտրոնի հետ համատեղ ԱՄՆ ՄԶԳ-ի աջակցությամբ իրականացնում է «Թափանցիկ և հաշվետու կառավարման խթանում` քաղաքացիական հասարակության մասնակցության միջոցով» ծրագիրը:

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Call for Essays

The SEVEN Fund is sponsoring a global competition inviting discourse on the morality of profit

During this yearlong program, we seek to assemble the definitive collection of essays on this topic.
Writers are asked to submit essays of up to 3,000 words. Initial submissions will be accepted through February 28, 2010. SEVEN will award top honors to three essays, with a grand prize of $20,000, a second prize of $10,000, and a third prize of $5,000. The best pieces will be collected into a manuscript, which is intended for publication, and the program will culminate with an international conference in 2010.

Join the Competition

A discussion of the morality of profit is timely. In the current global economic crisis, some critics have identified greed camouflaged as profit as the central culprit. This raises important questions such as:

* Are markets moral?
* Is profit a means, or an end?
* What is the relationship between greed and profit?
* Can the pursuit of profit be understood as a good in itself or a necessary evil?
* What are our core ethical responsibilities as we seek profits?
* What are the implications of the morality of profit to the cause of international development, and enterprise solutions to poverty?

The debate on profit is polarized along a spectrum, ranging from the pursuit of profit as the root of societal problems, to suggesting that profit is the only responsible measure of how to deploy resources and solve problems. In practical terms, we know that economic transformation requires invigorated markets that generate substantial profits. These tensions drive us to invite considered reflection on these issues. We are looking for submissions that examine all questions surrounding the morality of profit; that elevate the discussion; and that illuminate inflection points in the broader debate by exploring how this tension informs the key issues of our time (e.g. understanding the economic crisis, solving global poverty, stimulating entrepreneurship in poor countries, the environment, etc.).

SEVEN welcomes the submission of essays that explore the morality of profit through the lens of diverse cultural, religious, philosophical, and academic traditions.

What are we looking for?

SEVEN is seeking essays on the topic of the morality of profit. The model for these essays is the recently published “In the River They Swim: Essays from Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty” (Templeton Press, May 2009, www.intherivertheys wim.com).

Aspiring contributors to The Morality of Profit project are encouraged to review In the River They Swim, and in particular, the following essays:

* “The Backbone of a New Rwanda,” by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, for its moral authority;
* “A Mind for the Poor,” by Andreas Widmer, for its structure, and ability to move gracefully between narratives;
* “Locomotives, Needles, and Aid,” by Malik Fal, for its passion and intimacy;
* “That’s my Duck: The Case for Integration,” by Michael Fairbanks, for its integrative thinking;
* “Leadership, in Context,” by Ashraf Ghani, former minister of Finance of Afghanistan, for its paradigm flipping approach.

These essays are not meant to provide an exhaustive range of models. Rather, they display the kind of insight that we are seeking, and, together, they show the diversity that we are looking for in a similar collection on The Morality of Profit. We fully expect that some submissions to the project will be paradigmatic in fresh and unanticipated ways.

Submissions will be evaluated by an expert jury, in relation to the following criteria:

* an engaging hook or premise;
* a clearly defined agenda or thesis;
* emotional appeal;
* compelling data;
* well-crafted arguments;
* robust discussion; and
* a powerful close.

Pieces should be innovative and thoughtful in their approach; we are not looking for dry academic treatments of the topic, but rather engaging pieces that allow the author’s life and learning to unfold on the page as he or she explores key themes. For additional guidance and background on the essay form, aspiring contributors are encouraged to review the introduction of In the River They Swim, which is available online at: http://www.intheriv ertheyswim. com/sample- intro.html.

About SEVEN

S.E.VEN (Social Equity Venture Fund) is a virtual non-profit entity run by entrepreneurs whose strategy is to markedly increase the rate of innovation and diffusion of Enterprise-based Solutions to Poverty. It does this by targeted investment that fosters thought leadership through books, films and websites; supporting role models - whether they are entrepreneurs or innovative firms - in developing nations; and shaping a new discourse in government, the press and the academy around private sector innovation, prosperity and progressive human values.

Questions &Answers

What is the essay question?
We seek submissions that explore the morality of profit. We encourage essays that examine all aspects of the debate and address this question through the lens of diverse cultural, religious, philosophical, and academic traditions.

Who can participate in this competition?
The Morality of Profit project is open to all potential contributors internationally. We welcome authors from all fields, disciplines, and professions.

How do I submit my essay?

* Submit your essay electronically in an MS Word or PDF format only, using the submission form on SEVEN’s website. All information requested, including contact information, abstract, and essay should be included in a single document.
* The url is for submission is: http://www.sevenfun d.org/morality- of-profit/ join.php
* Every essay must, in addition to the actual essay, include a 100 word abstract at the beginning of the document.
* Along with the submission, please include the following information in the submission form, as well as on the first page of your submitted essay:
o Your full name and mailing address, a contact telephone number and your email.
o A brief paragraph biography of the author(s).

Why has SEVEN selected the short essay format for this competition?
We believe that the short essay format is a powerful and underutilized mechanism in development thinking. It is a versatile medium that requires succinct, insightful writing that can be published in multiple venues.

Does SEVEN have a preferred philosophical or scientific agenda? We see a number of experts who opine about poverty and prosperity: i.e., macroeconomists, businessmen, educators, political scientists, social scientists, etc. We rarely see enough integration, where the experts of one domain borrow insights from another, and attempt to create an even more robust intellectual framework. We strive to foster this kind of integration, at the level of thought leader and practitioner.

How long should the essay be?
Essays should not exceed 3,000 words and must be written in English. Do not forget that you must submit an abstract along with your essay.

How will essays be judged?
All essays that comply with the call for essay rules will undergo a competitive process of a confidential jury review. Expert SEVEN Fund jurors will evaluate and rank the essays according to the criteria described in the call for essays. The winning authors will be required to enter into a contract with SEVEN prior to final award.

What is the prize?
We will award three essays with a grand prize of $20,000; second prize of $10,000; and third prize of $5,000. In addition, a selection of the best submissions will be collected into a manuscript intended for publication, and those authors will be invited to participate in an international conference on The Morality of Profit in 2010.

Can I submit multiple essays?
No, each author may only submit one essay.

Can I collaborate with another author?
You may submit an essay together with another author, but the prize awards are per essay, not per author. SEVEN especially welcomes teams from different disciplines, as we believe that integration across domains provides the greatest insight into complex global problems.

What if I am unable to submit my application electronically? Only applications submitted through this form on our website will be accepted. If you encounter problems, please contact SEVEN at info(at)sevenfund.org.

How is SEVEN financed?
This call for essays is supported initially by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

What sort of legal organization is SEVEN?
SEVEN is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What if I have additional questions? You may send your questions to info@sevenfund.org.

Important Dates

* Program Announcement: August 2009
* Deadline for Submissions: February 28, 2010
* Selection of Finalists: May 1, 2010
* The Morality of Profit Conference: Summer 2010
* Announcement of winning submissions will be made at the Morality of Profit Conference

Terms & Conditions

 The SEVEN Fund has sole and absolute discretion to determine which submission entries, if any, merit an award. The SEVEN Fund reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to change, modify, extend or reduce the terms and conditions of, or to suspend or terminate, the competition without prior notice. SEVEN will endeavor to inform participants of any such change, modification, extension, reduction, suspension or termination, as the case may be, through any media outlet deemed appropriate by SEVEN in its sole and absolute discretion. SEVEN further reserves the right to nullify and/or cancel any part or all of the competition if it appears that any fraud or malfunctions have occurred in any form whatsoever. Each participant undertakes to indemnify and keep SEVEN harmless from and against any loss, damage, claims, costs and expenses which may be incurred by or asserted against SEVEN as a result of such participant's participation in the competition. SEVEN reserves the right to edit, copyedit, or modify any submission. Submission of an essay comprises permission for SEVEN to publish the contents in any form it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, its website, newsletter, manuscripts, conferences, and other publications. Authors will receive proper attribution. It is SEVEN’s intention that the collected essay manuscript will be published, but SEVEN does not warrant that the manuscript will be accepted or that any specific essay will be guaranteed publication.

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This web page was made possible by the support of Counterpart International’s Civic Advocacy Support Program (CASP), and the generous support of the american people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. 111-A-00-04-00056-00. Content, views and opinions expressed herein are those of the Civic Development and Partnership Foundation, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Counterpart International, USAID or the United States Government.