- A State with a user-friendly interface
- Quo vadis – Rule of Law Initiative?
- Unprecedented battle for the Council of the Public Procurement Office seats
- First steps towards renewing public trust in the judiciary
- Sustainability as a norm: let’s do it right, together
- Life without waste – join the zero waste movement!
- A school project with global ambitions
- Energy transition – threat or opportunity?
- The Wolves are coming - a disruptive approach to hockey
- Meaningful CSR strategies will survive uncertain times
- Economic and Financial News
- Making the connections between work and life
- Why COVID-19 is a wake up call for corporations
- Time to reinvent social innovation
- What brands should do in a pandemic of distrust
- Five tips for a meaningful CSR program at your company
- Coronavirus gave rise to a wave of solidarity
- The importance of corporate volunteering in shared services companies
Pillars of Good Society
I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to comment on the topic below and share with you my perspective of what I believe to be the pillars of a good society, with the subtopic of the current issue being “the rule of law and transparency in Slovakia.” The journal’s thematic focus makes it slightly more challenging for me to write an editorial with a fitting punchline at its end. “The pillars of a good society” form a very good question and the subtopic is the best answer to it. In my understanding, globally, any good society is based on justice, rule of law, and a strict regard for transparency. In both areas, Slovakia has a lot of catching up to do.
When the Rule of Law Initiative started back in 2014, we knew any substantial improvements will require time. Looking back at the previous six years and four different governments offers us an interesting perspective.
Even though the prospects of the Public Procurement Office Council seem currently rather unclear, the selection process of the new candidates for the unoccupied seats could be considered a model for the future.
Rule of law has been among AmCham’s key pillars for a while and the Rule of Law Initiative remains very active in voicing the concerns and suggestions of the business community regarding improvements in this area. The reform plan introduced by the Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic Mária Kolíková gives reason for hope and has raised expectations for a positive change. Her task is not an easy one but she seems more than determined to meet the challenges.
It’s been used and heard for some time, but we are now at a turning point. Customers have joined institutions in their expectation for transparency from companies, with regards to their commitments in building a sustainable future for themselves, as much as for the communities and the environment they evolve in.
Fourteen million tons. This is the amount of waste that Slovakia produces in one year. Of this, 2.3 million tons is municipal waste, which represents 427 kg per capita per year. And, unfortunately, this number is growing every year.
Dominika Podolanská started WakiVaky as a school project in 2014. Six years later her company employs several people and she was selected among the five finalists of AmCham EU Youth Entrepreneurship Award 2020. What hasn’t changed since the beginning is the idea to turn waste into something useful and stylish.
Energy is vital to our daily lives. Over the coming decades, more people will gain access to energy and enjoy higher standards of living. At the same time, climate change remains a serious concern. Human ingenuity, innovation and technology are drivers to unlock more, cleaner energy for the years ahead.
In the position of State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, Rastislav Chovanec closely cooperated with AmCham’s Business Service Center Forum, understood the sector’s importance for the Slovak economy and the challenges it faces. This year he took on a completely different challenge – managing the hockey club Vlci Žilina – where he also has interesting ambitions.
“I think that I earned the most when I decided on the direction which at first seemed beneficial only to the people – the public. The direction, which promised benefit only to me and harm to the public, ultimately brought damage to both of us,” businessman Tomáš Baťa once wrote.
A good society begets a good economy
The question whether a good economy creates a good society or vice versa may resemble the chicken and egg problem. For very poor countries, where people struggle to provide food for their families, it is truly hard to see which problem should be tackled first: whether the poor conditions of the people, or the often dysfunctional society at large. However, for middle- and high-income countries, the picture clarifies: a good, functional society is a necessary condition for a prosperous economy.
Success comes at a price. Business leaders face difficult decisions regarding demands on their time on daily basis. The responsibility towards their families and their employees makes them carefully consider each minute of their day. We wanted to know how
they like to spend their time out of work, what inspires them
and motivates them.
The economical and human toll of the pandemic can be mitigated, and the recovery could be more successful, if the corporations start putting women at the center.
Social innovations are already changing Slovakia for the better by bringing impactful solutions in education, transparency, health or social services. Governments and businesses have an opportunity to support an environment where good ideas with positive impact on the society are implemented and scaled.
We hoped that the new coronavirus pandemic would restore people’s trust in facts, scientists, and institutions. So far, this is proving to be quite naïve. What lessons can companies learn from the coronacrisis?
Just a few years ago, we at Henkel Slovensko, used to support anything from art exhibits, through libraries and hockey tournaments to puppy shelters. It led to a stressful process, but also diluted results. To improve the outcome, we took a brave step and picked just one cause: senior citizens.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole society. Great concerns about our health forced us to change our established way of life. We have moved from offices to work from home, and in an effort to protect vulnerable groups, we limited social life and personal contacts.
Good salary and benefits are hardly enough for today’s young generation. An organization that has an extensive portfolio of tackling societal issues in the community and creating social value is by far more accountable. This is especially true when it comes to Shared Services Centers.