While the financial and economic crisis has prompted much soul searching on the appropriate government and business boundaries and the right balance of regulation, it will be interesting to see how this filters down to emerging markets such as India and China -even at the local level there are now efforts to legislate for corporate responsibility.
The debate on the fate of corporate responsibility initiatives in the economic slowdown is already underway in a range of general business and specialist publications. It is falling into predictable lines. Friedmanites brand CSR as a dangerous distraction and an unaffordable luxury in these parsimonious times. Advocates suggest that is was precisely a failure to meet core responsibilities that helped create the current crisis, and so rebuilding public trust through responsible approaches is all the more important.
It will be intriguing to see how the global economic crisis impacts firms operating at the base of the pyramid.
If you've got some free time this afternoon, I highly recommend checking out an event being put on by CGAP on Mobile Banking for Poor People: Pioneer Perspectives. The discussion will take place between 2pm-5pm eastern standard time and will feature a star-studded panel, including Nick Hughes of Vodaphone and Brian Richardson of Wizzit.
I recently ventured that "real simple reporting" could be the killer app for development 2.0. At that time, I had project reporting to donors in mind. But what about corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting: Is there a role for web 2.0 there?