Understanding future leaders is key to effective CSR, Hilton VP tells

Christian Grage, Hilton’s Vice President, Operations, Arabian Peninsula, said one of the ‘key challenges” companies can face is developing practices and initiatives that are truly relevant to business objectives and local community needs.

“For us at Hilton Worldwide, a key aspect of overcoming this is to focus on young people and ensure that they have the right skills to enter our industry and that we are attractive to the best and brightest,” he declared. “Understanding these future leaders is a solution to ensuring CSR initiatives are implemented positively in the future.”

Grage, the opening keynote speaker at the four-day CSR Summit taking place at The Address Hotel in Dubai Marina, focused on business-driven responsibility and how it creates a shared value for society, the environment and the bottom line to a captivated congress.

He is among a high profile line-up of more than 25 international and regional experts who will be sharing latest developments, challenges, and impactful CSR success stories with more than 170 delegates from around the region.

Intel is using the event to discuss who should lead CSR initiatives – consumers, employees, governments or citizens.

Part of Intel’s innovation initiatives for the Middle East also includes the Intel Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge, an online competition encouraging young people to turn ideas into innovative business.

The competition focuses on helping students acquire 21st century skills like communication, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Intel also hopes to inspire the next generation and build a pipeline of world class talent through its promotion of the Science Technology Engineering and Math “STEM” initiative which partners with governments, education institutes and NGOs.

The official event charity is Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), the breast cancer awareness and screening campaign which has seen 21,000 females and males screened between 2011 and 2013, with 14 positive cases being detected.

Multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, the official healthcare sponsor of the summit, have made great strides with the Pink Caravan Campaign, a CSR initiative raising cancer awareness in the UAE.

“There is generally a lack of awareness of CSR and a mix between CSR and philanthropy,” Mokhtar said. “The lack of dedicated resources and budget is also one of the hurdles we have to cross. However these issues can be overcome by creating awareness of employees and stakeholders and explaining our approach.”

More information about the Middle East’s foremost CSR event is available at: www.csrsummitdxb.com.

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