Can NGO’s be the only organisational thought leaders in the CSR / Sustainability field?
The social media / tech world was taken by surprise last week when Techcrunch (one of the largest tech / social media blogs globally) announced that it has been acquired by AOL. Immediately the future editorial independence of Techcrunch was questioned now being a part of the AOL empire. Rightly so in my view.
Here is a thought. So what if this kind of acquisition would be happening in the CSR / Sustainability business sector? What would happen what would happen to their credibility?
I think this question is impossible to answer at this point due to the lack of examples (to my knowledge their have been no acquisitions of this kind as of yet) but thinking about it brought up another issue I never really thought about before.
The question is: Are all organisations that are so called thought leaders in the CSR / Sustainability sector all NGO’s or government funded?
Or lets put this another way: Can we have genuine organisational thought leaders in this field without them being NGOs or government funded? Lets not talk about individuals but focus on organisations that are being seen as thought leaders.
My thoughts on this:
The problem is that all profit driven organisations which are intending to be thought leaders in the CSR / Sustainability field will always try to sell their product in some shape or form. This is the nature of our free market economic system unfortunately in this case. As far as I am aware there is no organisation out there that are thought leaders, not trying to sell a product / service and are not an NGO or government funded. I also doubt that these organisations can ever exist as every organisation needs to pay their bills and earn a decent living for their founders and employees in order to carry out their work.
I can only therefore conclude that NGO’s are and can be the only real thought leaders in the CSR / Sustainability field.
This is my conclusion. What is yours?