Posted on April 05, 2016

Social Responsibility took a giant leap forward in the region with the recently concluded Conference held under the auspices of Al-Faisal Social Responsibility Center. It was indeed inspiring to witness the overwhelming response from all participants with an invitation for government and private agencies to join the cause.The international event attracted a cross-section of audiences including prominent ambassadors and over 40 researchers representing 14 countries.

Significantly, the proposal submitted by the Media Department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Qatar; and Al Faisal Center for Social Responsibility received wholehearted approval to organize the Second International Conference. The subject of the next Conference will be‘Corporate Social Responsibility -- risks and challenges’ and will be held in the period from 28 to 29 March, 2017. On behalf of the conference researchers Dr. Mohammed Saleh Ayyash, Senior Training Specialist at the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) / Islamic Development Bank Jeddah,offered his grateful thanks to Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, and the organizing committee of Al Faisal Social Responsibility Center,  for organizing the conference and offered his unreserved support to make it an on-going success.

Following the event Shaikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani said “The unique conference signals a new era in social responsibility and we feel privileged to act as the flagship for such a vital initiative. The absorbing deliberations have thrown new light on the subject and consequently have led to some practical steps that need to be taken to ensure that this filters through all segments of government organizations and private sector companies.” During the closing ceremony, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani, and a big number of the audience signed the “Al Faisal Social Responsibility Agreement”, which has received a significant support from the audience and the conference’s participants. And all the participants and speakers and sponsors were also honored during an award ceremony for their generous support to this conference.

Moreover, an exhibition featuring companies, centers and individuals active in social responsibility initiatives accompanied the conference. After three days of intense discussions and observations the conclusions of the researchers have led to the following recommendations:

- Efforts to be made to integrate social responsibility in the mission, vision, philosophy and culture of the institutions, into the principles of private and governmental institutions.

- Promote the spirit of social responsibility amongst leaders in the various institutions and adopt it as the responsibility of the executive management. This should be brought under the supervision of the management plans in the institutions aligned to the Qatar National Vision 2030.

- Formulate a national and institutional legal structure that acts as the official and independent umbrella in partnership with private sector organizations and the civil society to organize legislation and determine the priorities and needs of the social responsibility programs.

- Raise community awareness of social responsibility issues through official media; and train and educate public through the integration of the social responsibility values in public education and university courses. Additionally, establish a funding resource and research centers dedicated to social responsibility.

- Create a proposal that embodies a forward-looking concept for a comprehensive Arab initiative on Social Responsibility led by the Arab League, in partnership with its affiliated institutions, and in cooperation with all the relevant international organizations and institutions.

- Initiate the expansion of a general framework for corporate social responsibility incorporating the standards of responsible governance. In addition,set the benchmarks and principles that promote social responsibility through the adoption of a set of performance measurement tools and neutral evaluation references in order to make the institutions commit to that responsibility.

- Stimulate Interest in corporate social responsibility tools through sustainable projects; and simultaneously prevent the abuse of social responsibility practices by private and public entities.

- Establish a committee to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of the First International Conference on Social Responsibility, headed by Ms. Mubarka Al Marri, General Manager of Al Faisal Social Responsibility Center.

“It was indeed heartening to see the tremendous response from the wide-ranging audience including: academics, researchers, graduate students, training institutions, media and marketing experts, opinion leaders in the community and civil society organizations.  Their involvement has contributed immensely to the subject of social responsibility and our consequent recommendations,” said Ms.Mubarka Hamad Al Marri, Al Faisal Social Responsibility Centre Manager. “We are confident that with the interest shown in the subject of social responsibility it will become an integral part of organizations throughout Qatar and run parallel to our National Vision 2030,” she added.

Mr. Ali Talal Al Mar’e, Executive Director of the ALF Foundation was quick to expand “The conference acted as the ideal showcase for the Social Responsibility Center which is the first of its kind in Qatar and the region. It provided the perfect opportunity to present and share the vision and objectives of the Center with all the participants with a view to creating a new belief across the region.” The integration of social responsibility with business and industry is vital in championing the cause of healthy ethics and sustainable development across communities for the greater good of all,” he added.

The 3-day conference covered a wide range of subjects including: Main platforms for Social Responsibility, Social Responsibility in Education, Social Responsibility and the private sector, Social Responsibility from the legal perspective, Experiences and Practices of Social responsibility in the Energy Sector, The reality of social responsibility, amongst others. The conference was enhanced by the exhibition featuring companies, centers and individuals active in social responsibility initiatives and drew a lot of interests from the visiting delegates.