Maala Annual Conference 2008

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Ben & Jerry’s founder, Microsoft VP, biz, gov’t leaders question impact of financial crisis on corporate social responsibility in Israel
Tel Aviv, October 22, 2008 – How can the values of the firm be preserved during an economic crisis? * How can CSR be used to strengthen relationships with clients, employees and stakeholders during the economic meltdown? * What opportunities does the financial crisis bring? * Can sustainability be a basis for a profitable business model?

These are just some of the questions to be addressed by business, government and civil society leaders at Maala’s annual conference on Corporate Social Responsibility. Keynote speakers include Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder Jerry Greenfield, Microsoft Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs Pamela Passman and Israel Minister for Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog.

The conference will take place at the Hilton Hotel, Tel Aviv, 8:15 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday, October 28, 2008.

Marking ten years since the founding of Maala and CSR in Israel, the 600 conference participants will discuss what the business sector’s social agenda will look like in the next decade and how the financial crisis will influence CSR practices in Israeli companies.

Discussions will be led by President of Bank Hapoalim Zvi Ziv, BDO Ziv Haft Managing Partner Dan Margalit, Chairman of Bank Leumi Eitan Raf, CEO of Standard & Poor’s Maalot Dorit Selinger and CEO of Partner Communications David Avner.

Other participants include Toys R Us, Intel, Orange, Cellcom, Motorola, Globes, Strauss-Elite and Aroma.

According to Maala’s founder and CEO, Talia Aharoni, “More than anything else, the financial crisis is a crisis of trust – particularly in financial institutions. With that in mind, now more than ever, CSR should be utilized as a means to regaining that trust from the public and stakeholders and as an effective tool for risk management.”

Founded in 1998, Maala – Business for Social Responsibility in Israel is a non-profit organization serving as an advocate, consultant, educator and facilitator, encouraging corporations to identify opportunities for community involvement and promoting environmentally sound practices, social accountability and reporting.

Among its many initiatives is the CSR Index of corporate citizenship performance by Israeli companies, which is now listed and traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

To download the agenda click here (Word file)