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CORPeration Commons: central arena for sharing and awarding businesses generating sustainable value

A central community with multiple wings, including an annual conference and a magazine that collect stories and tips about social business initiatives, and a website that shares these initiatives and where the public can comment and vote on them.

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15 20

Written by DeletedUser

The surfacing, sharing, and awarding of business initiatives (or any initiatives) are more likely to attract participants and gain public value if there is a vibrant community that cares about, supports, and promotes such initiatives. Currently, such a community is lacking in the field of businesses generating sustainable value (NetImpact is a strong player but doesn't quite have sufficient reach and scope, although it could be a good partner in this concept). 
 
This community — via an open, collaborative, and crowd-sourced model of operating — could
(1) collect stories of effective socially-conscious business efforts, 
(2) develop platforms and venues for sharing these stories, 
(3) award effective business initiatives (and organize against businesses that actually damage their social environment),
(4) share tips, best practices, and ideas around designing and implementing social business initiatives, and
(5) further enhance social-business-initiative ideas via a crowd-sourced model (similar to how ideas get developed and improved on OpenIDEO). 
 
Furthermore, if this community is able to establish sufficient public credibility and support, it will be able to sway larger public opinion about the relationship between businesses and society, resulting in some businesses proactively seeking out recognition from this community and thus an increased number of socially-conscious business ventures (think: grape retailers and consumers starting to buy only UFW-approved grapes in the 1960s).
 
This community (which I'm tentatively referring to as CORPeration Commons to tap into the interplay between "corporation" and "cooperation" in this concept) could achieve the above goals through a variety of methods, including:
* Interactive website, where the community collects and shares ideas for socially-conscious business initiatives. Companies are also allowed to submit their ideas and initiatives. This website is also a place where the community can comment on and vote on their favorite business initiatives, similar to how OpenIDEO itself functions.
* Annual conference, at which business representatives exchange stories, ideas, and best practices around initiatives that generate sustainable value. This could be both a working conference (where ideas get shared, developed, and enhanced in a collective setting) AND an awarding conference (where the best ideas are recognized publicly — "best" could be determined by the community via the website mentioned above and/or via a judging panel).
* Quarterly magazine, which shares news, stories, trends, and tips in the field of socially-conscious business ventures.
* There might be other methods/venues for the CORPeration Commons community to achieve the above goals too. I encourage the OpenIDEO community to add them.
 
Community members could be individuals or organizations.

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

The CORPeration Commons community will benefit tremendously from a dedicated central team (paid, voluntary, or a mix) — especially in the beginning — focusing on doing solid community management and PR. The success and scalability of this concept will depend especially on: * Making sure the community atmosphere is friendly, fun, interactive, welcoming to newcomers from different walks in life, and encouraging of community participation in a variety of ways. It is also important to maintain and support diversity — in terms of race, gender, nationality, occupation, and viewpoints (so, as one example, making the website multilingual would be beneficial to building a global community). * Getting the word out about CORPeration Commons as the new central community and arbiter for socially-conscious business ventures; generating significant, positive public attention; and getting people to participate. * Creating ample opportunities for community members to take on leadership roles, to create a network of decentralized leadership (which makes a community more sustainable and scalable) and increase community engagement.

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This is a nice and well built-up idea, but to me it sounds just like TED in terms of it's content and structure, but with a focus on recognizing businesses who innovate for world benefit.

Given the huge world awareness of TED how about influencing them to run this as a theme for a year, much in the same way that they focused on City 2.0 recently?

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