My first week at Taproot was an amazing experience. Never before have I received so much input in just 5 days! Taproot is a leading thinker for social change. Doors have already begun to open before me and it’s my turn to step through. This week, I have gained insight into what makes a successful alumni network, and into the world of Business Social Responsibility (BSR).
Building a professional alumni network is critical to my work as a Taproot & BMW Foundation Global Fellow, and will set the stage for successful international collaboration. Reading a McKinsey survey, I was struck not only by the duration and intensity necessary for strong alumni engagement, but by the role of the organization as a whole. A strong alumni network requires organization buy-in from day one, long before any “alumni” even exist. The idea to create such a network must be center-stage from the start of the planning phase through the launch and execution of a program.
BSR, furthermore, is an exciting organization, working to develop socially and environmentally sustainable business strategies and solutions for companies internationally. Working with businesses as a strategy to create a just and sustainable world is something fairly new to me. In Germany, businesses are often stigmatized as a source of injustice and exploitation. I look forward to diving deeper into this debate in weeks to come.
About Armin Pialek
Armin Pialek is a Taproot Foundation Fellow, on loan from the BMW Foundation in Berlin. For six months, he will assist Taproot with its burgeoning international activities, while conducting reconnaissance on pro bono service. He will bring this research home to Germany first – taking the first step toward building a global pro bono marketplace.