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Until this day, ICPE remains the sole intergovernmental organization headquartered in Slovenia. More than 40 years ago, on 24 April 1974, ICPE was founded as the International Center for Public Enterprises in Developing Countries by the Government of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, following the initiative of the United Nations (UN) and with strong support of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and personal commitment of Academician Mr. Anton Vratuša, PhD, the then Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia.

It was a time of enthusiasm, emerging new states in the wake of decolonization and an orientation towards the “New International Economic Order”, which would strive to reach fair and economically balanced relations between the “developed” and the “developing” worlds. Strong and efficient public enterprises proved to be one of the key pillars of good governance and building of the economies in the relatively fragile and weak countries of the global “South”. ICPE grew on these ideas. Already in 1976, only two years after it was registered as a Yugoslav organization, following the expressed interest of many NAM members, ICPE was transformed officially to an intergovernmental organization of its member states. 30 states and 9 observers were present at the founding conference in March 1976. By the 1980, ICPE had initiated seven successful programs, research, seminars and trainings in the field of public enterprises, some of which were carried out comparatively in several member states and were financially supported by the UN agencies.

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Training programs

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ICPE provides training programs for government offices and different public sector institutions, as well as other interested institutions from its member states and beyond. With its vast experience in the field of training and strong connections with different academic, research and business institutions, ICPE is able to provide programs on the most diverse topics.

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ICPE has started the 40th Anniversary events by holding the conference on “Corporate Social Responsibility: the Good Outweigh the Cost”

Yesterday, 24 April 2014, the conference on Corporate Social Responsibility: the Good Outweigh the Cost was organized commemorating 40th Anniversary of the ICPE establishment. Instead of organizing a social event, it was decided to spend the Anniversary by organizing one of the events on CSR since the concept has been an integral part of the ICPE Activities in different forms.

The conference attracted participants from governments, business both public and private enterprises and academia establishing excellent environment for profound debate on the topic and diverse challenges that different stakeholders face implementing CSR in practice. The aim of the conference was to compare Indian and the European, particularly, Scandinavian model of the CSR. As the guest of honor, Ms Kusumjit Sidhu, State Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, and currently the ICPE Council President, emphasized, India is the first nation worldwide that passed the law obliging companies to spend 2 per cent of their profits on CSR activities which has to be reported. While such practices do not exist in European context, firms more and more face the pressure from its stakeholders and customers to engage significantly in CSR activities.

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Welcome Address by Mr. Janez Podobnik, MD, ICPE Acting Director General

 

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Welcome Address by Dr. Metka Tekavčič, FELU Dean

 

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Welcome Address by Guest of Honor: Ms. Kusumjit Sidhu, Secretary, DPE

The keynote addresses highlighted different aspect of CSR. Mr. Ashok Pavadia, Joint Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, as internationally respected specialist on CSR, drew participants’ attention on the three different approaches of delivering CSR, firstly as CSR as environmentally, socially and economically responsible conduct of a business, secondly, CSR by sharing value, and thirdly, CSR as a way to address social challenges. Mr. Pavadia highlighted that these approaches are not exclusive, yet complementary to each other and, therefore, can be implemented together, illustrating by numerous examples. The keynote address from practice was given by Mr Prasad P. Meharunkur from Tata Consultancy Services Italia, the biggest and the most valuable based on market capitalization Tata Group Company. The Tata representative emphasized how Tata pioneered in many of industrial practices since the very beginning of its existing by, for example, establishing free medical aid or schooling facilities for children already in the end of 19th century. Today CSR practices are built impact through empowerment based on three central pillars, namely education, health and environment through creating core competences, encouraging volunteering among employees, providing sponsorship for those in need and establishing synergetic partnerships with stakeholders. While last but not least keynote address given by Dr. Adriana Rejc Buhovac, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, presented world’s leading practices in implementing sustainability in practice and introduces how different companies worldwide address CSR in their day-to-day operations. Dr. Rejc Buhovac more in detail discussed aspects of leadership, organizational culture, sustainability practices, sustainability structure, performance measurement, compensation system, sustainability performance, stakeholder reaction and feedback loop of the Corporate Sustainability Model.

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Keynote Address by Mr. Ashok Pavadia, Joint Secretary, DPE

 

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Keynote Address by Mr. Prasad P. Meharunkar, TATA Consultancy Services

 

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Keynote Address by Dr. Adriana Rejc Buhovac, Associate Professor, FELU

 

The keynote addresses were followed by the panel discussion and forum debate discussing more profoundly theoretical concepts, trends and practices of CSR in Slovenia and worldwide. The panel discussion, chaired by Doc. Dr. Aleksandar Kešeljević, benefited from Sandra Damijan, Researcher at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Dr. Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen Co-Director at the BI Centre for Corporate Responsibility and Associate Dean for Customised program at the BI Norwegian Business School, DDr. Matjaž Mulej, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor, Ms. Maja Ilec, Corporate Communications Specialist at Si.mobil d.d., and Mr. Andrej Drapal, Consultant at Consensus, contributions.

The panel discussion was particularly valuable and interesting since it presented perspectives by business practitioners and academia and importantly what and how synergies can be created among two. Moreover, it was stressed that in order to succeed creating more sustainable world is not only business but also governments’ and individual significant contribution is required. Establishing right mechanisms and requirements, governments can particularly enhance practices and extent of CSR.

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Participants at the Panel Discussion

 

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Dr. Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen, BI Norwegian Business School

 

The conference was concluded by four workshops, namely Integrating CSR risks in capital investment decisions, Developing CSR performance metrics, Measuring social, environmental, and economic impacts and Aligning compensation with CSR performance led by Dr. Adriana Rejc Buhovac, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. The workshops were extremely useful and enabled the participants to engage themselves practically in different aspects of CSR. Although participants were working in small groups, everybody benefited from the work of others and allowed to learn collectively how CSR should be implemented in quantifiable manner in the company.

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Workshops on CSR implementation chaired by Dr. Adriana Rejc Buhovac, Associate Professor, FELU
 
 

ICPE wishes to express sincere gratitude to State Secretary Ms. Sidhu and Joint Secretary Mr. Pavadia, who have, at the occasion of their working visit to Slovenia, accepted the invitation to present Indian approach to CSR. The sincere thank you goes to Prof. Dr. Metka Tekavčič, Dean, and the faculty members of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, for hosting the event and contributing to valuable discussion.

This year conference was only the first one in the series of events while the next one is planned in 2015 to be held in India or one of Scandinavian countries. Therefore the main objective is to indicate means to organize such an event every year in different parts of the world engaging into theory and especially to practice of CSR.