CSR: A Strategy and Leadership Course, Dubai

Date: 11 – 12 June, 2012

As part of its efforts to advance the sustainability agenda in the region, Arabia CSR Network conducted a two-day training event on CSR Leadership and Strategy at the Millennium Plaza Hotel in Dubai. This training aimed to build the capacity of CSR teams to incorporate sustainability strategies into their business in an innovative way.

The training was conducted by Dr. Gracia S. Ugut who is currently the Associate Dean of the Executive Education and Life Long Learning at the Asian Institute of Management. Prof. Ugut holds a Doctor of Philosophy in International Finance from the Vienna University of Economics, Austria (1995).

“In a climate heightened by economic crisis and political turbulence, the call for enhanced corporate social responsibility and corporate oversight places greater pressure on many companies in the region. To position their organizations for success, CSR departments must ensure the integrity of their strategy and plan and their execution will be done in alignment with the company’s corporate strategies and benchmarking with the world standards.” This was stated by Ms. Habiba Al Marashi, President and CEO of the Arabia CSR Network during her opening note at the training.

The CSR Leadership and Strategy course was attended by 14 training participants from various organizations and sectors. Some of the participants came from outside the UAE, such as from Egpyt and Oman. The Training course included an examination of CSR theory, case-studies and exercises which sought to help participants acquire an in-depth understanding of the process of developing and implementing a comprehensive CSR strategy and policy framework.

Though created for CSR managers and officers, this strategy and leadership for CSR series of program was designed to also benefit planning and development officers, chief financial officers and board members who work closely with corporate sustainability issues.

Through training courses, workshops, seminars and networking opportunities, members of the Arabia CSR Network and other corporate organizations are exposed to a unique platform where they can share CSR experiences and seek sustainable solutions in a rapidly changing world. In this regard, the CSR Leadership and Strategy training played a very valuable role in the exchange of sustainability related values and ideas, sharing of knowledge and best practice amongst a diverse and critical mass of CSR professionals.

Dr. Grace Ugut’s research focus is on the incorporation of the CSR to the corporate strategy and on performance metrics of social and environmental performance. Prof. Ugut is also currently working on research on strategic risk and its link to the corporate social responsibility practices, particularly for mining and pharmaceutical industries. She has been associated with the Arabia CSR Awards since its inception in 2008 and was the head of the jury in the second cycle of the award.