The second edition of quarterly business series highlights the importance of driving innovation.
On 9 June, Emirates Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation set up by the Abu Dhabi Government to facilitate public-private partnerships for empowering youth across the UAE, held the latest edition of its quarterly Business Breakfast Series under the theme, “Integrated Sustainability 2020 – Driving Innovation. The event sparked debate about how organisations in the UAE are managing their sustainability strategies.
Held at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre yesterday, the event provided a platform for panelists to share practical and empirical examples of sustainability strategies, assess how Dubai Expo 2020 provides an opportunity for disruptive ideas that can drive sustainable business practices through innovation and discuss how social organizations can develop a sustainability agenda.
Launched in 2012 as a platform to deliberate upon and enhance the participation of businesses in social investment, the panel session was led by Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of the Emirates Foundation, with interjections from three key panelists – Ellen Sandberg – Director of CH2M Foundation, Gus Schellekens – PWC ME Sustainability Leader and Kathryn Wightman-Beaven, Corporate Responsibility Director, DP World.
“As the ‘Father of Sustainability,’ John Elkington, says – there needs to be a breakthrough in the way companies look at sustainability,” said Woodcraft-Scott. “In this regard, Emirates Foundation has been regularly engaged in discussions around the importance of integrating sustainability into the corporate agenda rather than considering it as an adjunct.
Sustainability is at the core of Emirates Foundation’s business model and following a restructuring in 2012, the organization is now solely focused on a single area – youth development. This has made it easier for the Foundation to track and measure its social impact and has so far impacted more than 40,000 youth in UAE.
Emirates Foundation’s Business Breakfast for Social investment is a quarterly event that unites representatives from various organizations, to discuss opportunities and support young talent in the UAE. It focuses particularly on its corporate partners and assesses the needs of the business sector in relation to youth development.
Members of the forum include public and private sectors institutions from across the UAE interested in furthering their social investment or CSR activities. The audience is drawn from multiple sectors and comprises EF corporate partners, local government representation, local academic representation and social entrepreneurs.