Planting Greatness: Organizations Accelerating Social Impact in the Philippines, a book that shows how change-makers solve the country’s problems, contains the stories of corporate executives, social entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders dedicated to social advocacies and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“Each of them differs in various ways, whether it’s in terms of size and scale, access to resources, or focus on impact,” said Jose Marcelo “Mio” F. Borromeo, the book’s editor-in-chief, at its launch on Monday. “We were adamant that the book captured this kind of variety if only to convince the reader that greatness does come in many forms.”
A common thread in all the stories featured in Planting Greatness is the dedication to help others through ingenuity and initiative.
Mr. Borromeo added: “My hope for the readers is that they come away with the same sense of drive and determination. If readers can take at least one story from it and share it with someone else, then we’ve crossed the milestone.”
The book also highlights that for innovative CSR programs to be sustainable, they will have to be built on relationships, partnerships, and a culture of sharing and caring, according to Jose Luis M. Oquiñena, chairman of the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation (GK).
“When we at GK sent out on our mission to end poverty for 5 million people, we knew it was impossible to do it alone. We had to work with others, to engage others,” he shared at the launch. “Ending poverty in our country is impossible for just one organization.”
Allan V. Barcena, assistant vice-president and CSR and public relations head of Energy Development Corp.n (EDC), added that both external stakeholders and employees within the company should be encouraged to participate.
Communication platforms like Facebook and Viber were used to engage everyone as well as virtually connect stakeholders and employees with the communities involved, “so they will know the stories and not just the products,” said Mr. Barcena.
“In this pandemic, where it’s hard to plant trees on a face-to-face basis, we also found a way to develop an app where they can participate virtually,” he explained. “And we encourage them to support our scholarship programs by donating. We made sure the donating platforms are easy, quick, and flexible.”
Meanwhile, for Carlo P. Carlon, founder of the Lend-A-Bike Project which kicked off as a form of assistance for frontliners during the pandemic, clear goals and sharing the outcome can really inspire people.
“From my experience, if you have the idea or if you try to implement the idea, it’s very important that you also share the results. Objective, goal, dream, then results,” he said. “People are more inclined, or are drawn to, concrete results.”
Today, the bike-sharing model pioneered by Mr. Carlon’s initiative continues to offer solutions to long-standing issues that plague Metro Manila, much like many other organizations’ projects featured in Planting Greatness.
EIC Mr. Borromeo shared: “It’s not about using all of the strategies [in the book], but determining which may be best for you.”
Planting Greatness: Organizations Accelerating Social Impact in the Philippines is available via Bookshelf PH.