The substantial part of the conference began in the beautiful town of Sintra, in the Museu de Artes. After the great speech held by Fernanda Freitas about her social commitment for many years, we started to work in eight parallel group sessions, with topics ranging from Impact 2030 and how to align companies and their employee volunteer efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals to Venture Philanthropy + Pro-Bono to promoting social Intrapreneurship through pro-bono work.
Multi-National Pro-Bono Workshop
Tanja attended the session on Multi-National Pro-Bono, hosted by Andras (Volunteering Hungary) and Ms Kinga Recsetar (General Electrics Global Operations) who also man
ages their volunteering efforts across several countries in Europe. The discussion centred on the potential of the network to build multi-national programs that a single corporate could opt into across multiple countries.
It was heartening to hear from the companies (GE and GP Morgan) in the room that they would see great value in such a program as they too move to run
standardized leadership and volunteering programs in multiple markets. Multinational corporations wanting to grow pro-bono program in several locations concurrently can benefit from working with the international members of the Global Pro-bono Network by producing a larger effect on the internal structures and the external impact.
As the discussion developed into a deep-dive of the challenges and opportunities, several pertinent questions were explored:
- How can the various Global Pro-Bono Network members provide similar services while meeting proper quality standards?
- What can be the main value proposition of such a program, and how such a cooperation can be best realized and leveraged?
- What preparation work is needed on both corporate and network members?
- How can organisations balance both ensuring a similar experience while giving room to customize the program and activities to the local cultural context?
After 2 hours of intense discussions, in the spirit of optimism, innovation and a commitment to bring this to life and to not leave it as a theoretical exercise, the working group developed an ambitious plan. The action plan consisted of doing a market study amongst the network members, bring a pioneering corporate on board and run a pilot of a Joint Multinational pro bono event in 2018. Just experiencing the energy in the room and the can-do spirit embodied by my fellow Global Pro-Bono Network members, there was no doubt that we would develop a truly global way to serve our partners and advance the global pro-bono movement.
After a hard working day at M.U.S.A., we left by bus to the evening event at the beautiful Palacio Nacional de Queluz.
What a privilege it is to be at the forefront of social innovation and what joy it is to be amongst a community of equally committed people.