— Lyn Stoesen, News Staff
NASW representatives attended a recent summit that drew more than 800 association and nonprofit leaders to explore their role in creating a better world and using social responsibility to build healthier, successful organizations.
The “Global Summit for Social Responsibility: Leveraging the Power of Associations for a New Magnitude of Leadership” was held in May and was attended by NASW Special Assistant to the Executive Director Rebecca Myers and NASW Manager of Credentialing and Continuing Education Stephanie Chambers. The summit was sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership.
“We brought the NASW and social work perspective” to the summit, Myers explained. “Social work is a profession based upon social responsibility and social justice. Having that in our Code of Ethics was of great interest to other participants.
“We brought our perspective about infusing social responsibility into the work of associations and also learned from many other groups and leaders about what they are doing to further social responsibility,” Myers said.
“We also advanced the idea of looking at corporate responsibility broadly as including all the impact on a community,” she continued. “Many people think of social responsibility as dealing with environmental issues only and don’t consider the full impact their actions have on communities.”
The event took place simultaneously in many sites across the United States and internationally. It utilized a system of “appreciative inquiry” with four iterative steps: discovery (looking at strengths, innovations and association assets), dream (exploring opportunities and images of a better world), design (utilizing brainstorming opportunities and developing rapid prototypes) and destiny (examining results, innovations, and learning).
Participants joined working groups during the summit that explored the goals developed during the event. Myers is on the Guiding Principles for Social Responsibility group and Chambers is part of the Branding and Social Marketing group.
“This event was an important step in leveraging the knowledge and skills that NASW and other associations have to offer for responding to the complex challenges of the 21st century,” Myers said. “NASW has long been a strong voice for social responsibility, and we look forward to continuing collaborative efforts to promote these values.”