Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The SEER Certificate & My personal SEER efforts

Today I attended the SEER certificate information session. For those who don't know, the SEER certificate is a brand-new program specific to Graziadio that focuses on certifying that those who complete the coursework are Social, Ethical and Environmentally Responsible (SEER) individuals who will be applying that psychology to their business lives.

The program is not derived solely from coursework. Besides needing to take 3 electives which are deemed SEER relevant, there is also a SEER capstone course which focuses on tying all this learning together. Coursework is not enough to be truly SEER. There is a service component that is extremely important. Without applying this learning, what's the point? This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, which is the amazing part. It can be certain active levels within Challenge 4 Charity, Values-Centered Leadership Lab, or, the club that championed this certificate, Net Impact.

As this program is still in its infancy, it will continue to change and evolve. As someone interested in consulting, how does this program apply to me? This is not just for those 'greenies' who want to change to planet one pretty green leaf at a time. This program focuses on the lesser discussed ethical repercussions of doing business as well as the social rights and well-being of employee relations and social justice. This "Corporate Social Responsibility" focus is growing with consulting as each company realizes that securing greater employee loyalty and increasing profits is dependent largely upon CSR. Consultants are constantly being hired not only to evaluate sustainability practices but also to look at smaller efforts that could improve the business model through social re-structuring.

On a personal level, I have always recycled, even going so far as to now have a compost bin on my balcony. I feed my worms with food waste and junk mail and friends say, "ew" but I do it anyway. I have always had an affinity for the greater good but knew that beyond that, I wasn't sure how I would impact the world. My social values are much stronger than my 'green' planet values, and now I feel like I have a way to implement them into the path I am already on. I encourage the SEER program for people in all industries. Dig a little deeper. This may be the way of the future.

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