With corporate conduct making headlines of late, executives from companies large and small are becoming increasingly aware that the business of doing business is as much about giving back to the community as it is about driving growth and profits. This growing sense of corporate responsibility actually has parallels in some of the ancient values deeply embedded in the Jewish tradition, namely, “Tikun Olam,” or “Repairing the World.” Indeed, this traditional call for righteousness and justice has helped inform many of the core principles of the modern Jewish State throughout its 70-year history – so it’s hardly surprising that in the business world, the idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) comes naturally to so many Israeli companies.
At the forefront of Israel’s CSR movement is Maala, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 which gathers socially-minded executives and innovators from around the globe.
The organization is hosting its third international conference, in cooperation with the Responsible Business Conduct Unit at the Foreign Trade Administration in the Ministry of Economy and Industry, from November 28-29 under the theme Innovation for Good Life. The conference, held in Tel Aviv, is welcoming 800 participants from around the world for two days of discussion, debate and learning. At the first day of the event, thought leaders and top business executives will offer presentations touching on some of the leading topics in CSR, from sustainable growth to workplace inclusivity to impact investing. The following day will feature field tours of Israeli companies and research centers leading the way toward sustainable solutions to some of the world’s toughest issues in a wide range of sectors and issue areas, including food-tech, agriculture, urban renewal, healthcare, and minority entrepreneurship.
Companies representing one-third of Israel’s GDP, with combined annual sales of $94 billion, will take part in the conference. Among Maala’s 120-member companies are local and global industry leaders such as P&G, Intel, Unilever, SAP, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Strauss Group, SodaStream, Osem-Nestle Israel, Adama, Shikun & Binui, and many more, with speakers hailing from a variety of roles within many key industries including tech, finance, food & beverage, and more.