This post explores the explosion of social media as a new platform for communication, stakeholder engagement and transparency. It examines how it is a double edged sword for corporations. On the one hand it has to some extent taken the ability to shape the message out of corporate control as the viral nature of the media can quickly spread and corporations can find themselves in a sudden maelstrom as events get out of their control. Social media has also made corporate actions face increasing scrutiny. However social media also presents a big opportunity, enabling small suppliers and traders to promote greater equity in the supply chain for example. It goes on to suggest how the corporations notion of what accountability entails needs to evolve in order to be able to take advantage of the new environment imposed by the rise of social media.
The recent swings in the spot price for crude oil — especially in light of the currently rapid rising spot prices are cause for alarm. Noting that the current run up of prices looks a lot like period leading up to the sudden price spike that occurred in the summer of 2008. It goes on to argues that the global economy needs a better market regulating mechanism that can help manage these swings and reduce their amplitude so they become less damaging to the world’s economies. The energy business — whether it is alternative energy or oil, gas or coal exploration and development — has huge up front capital needs. This needed capital is much harder to raise in a climate of such extreme near term price uncertainty.
It’s been a big year for corporate responsibility. A huge oil spill, continued ructions in the financial sector, landmark decisions in the courts, and a new dawn for online companies around human rights issues are among the top CSR stories of 2010.