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Corporate Social Responsibility - Paper 2

  • Date Submitted: 03/14/2013 01:51 PM
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Corporate Social Responsibility, Education and Technology Background Paper Saswati Chanda Moderator, Session-II

“Corporate executives have an obligation as global citizens to play a role on the world stage, but they should understand that this role requires them to balance two, extremely delicate, sets of responsibilities: they must address the urgent issues of our times, without overstepping the boundaries of democratic legitimacy, and they must contribute to the public welfare, without neglecting their primary role as generators of private wealth. We are both leaders and statesmen. Although there are those who would like us to be neither." James D. Wolfensohn, President, World Bank, Washington DC.

“What is so thrilling about our time is that the privilege of information is now an instant and globally accessible privilege. It is our duty and responsibility to see that gift bestowed on all world’s people so that many may live lives of ‘knowledge’ and understanding”.
Kofi Anan, United Nations Secretary General.

Introduction The journey of ‘Knowledge’ from the Socratic dictum ‘Knowledge is Virtue’ to Michael Foucault’s post-modernist understanding of knowledge as ‘Knowledge is Power’, has not only been interesting but has also generated a large number of interpretations as to what constitutes knowledge? What is the role of knowledge in society? Whether knowledge has the momentum of its own to obliterate the existing asymmetries, namely the digital divide in different nook and corner of the world? Could knowledge be a viable instrument to reduce and finally mitigate the divide? Does socio-economic conditions help shape knowledge? And last but not the least, how is knowledge produced and what role do governments and business play in the production of knowledge? Such questions become more pertinent when one comprehends the fact that the world has traveled a tortuous trek from the Greek ‘City-State’ to the present day ‘KnowledgeSociety’. Knowledge, thus has...

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