More than 200 communication and corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals attended the 1st German CSR Communication Congress last week in Osnabrueck. Due to management academic Dr Tim Breitbarth’s involvement in initiating, organising and moderating this successful event, BU was recognised as one of its academic partners.
This first congress was based on a collaboration between the German Public Relations Association (DPRG), the European Business Ethics Network Germany (DNWE) and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). Dr Breitbarth is a founding member of the CSR working group within the DPRG.
Welcoming speeches (e.g. from a representative from the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs), the keynote (from the editor-in-chief of a well-known business magazine), the panel discussion (e.g. with the director corporate sustainability of Tchibo and a board member of Transparency International Germany) and special workshops of the 1.5-day congress revolved around the rising relevance of internal and external CSR communication – e.g. in the context of increasing pressure to report on CSR; the need for constructive stakeholder dialogue; and in order to manifest internal support for sustainability strategies. Dr Breitbarth moderated the workshop on social media and online communication.
Mainly, attendees came from large firms like Aldi, Audi and German Telecom; internationally successful SMEs; leading sustainability and communication agencies; and influential civil society organisations. Reviews of the congress are widely available in respective German media. Feedback from participants very much suggests that the event built-up specific knowledge, provided inspiration to solve individual challenges and helped to create valuable business contacts. The second congress will be held in 2017.