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CASE STUDY LAUNCHED ON ‘WORLD OF DIFFERENCE’CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMME OF VODAFONE FOUNDATION IN INDIA

LEADERS IN SOCIAL INVESTMENT CONVENE TO EXPLORE FLAGSHIP EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM 

  • Conducted by pfc Social Impact Advisors, the World of Difference Case Study will become part of the curriculum in the Impact Investing Programme at said Business School, University of Oxford, UK
  • To also feature in forthcoming Stanford University Press (SUP) Publication
  • Will be shared with business schools worldwide 

New Delhi, 23 November, 2015: Leaders across corporate responsibility (CSR), impact investing and philanthropy convened today to explore World of Difference (WoD), Vodafone Foundation’s flagship CSR initiative in India.Timed to coincide with the launch of the case study conducted by pfc Social Impact Advisors, it offers an in-depth analysisof ameaningful corporate social responsibility programme that utilizes employee engagements as a tool to impact the community in which Vodafone India operates.

The study titled “Making a World of Difference in Tackling Wicked Problems & Creating Deliberate Leadership” was released today. The case is part of a global series of cases to be taught as part of the curriculum on leadership and coplexity in the Oxford Impact Investing Programme, Said Business School, University of Oxford.Additionally, it will be featured in the forthcoming Stanford University Press(SUP) book “Good, Evil, Wicked: The Art, Science and Business of Giving” on the future of social investing, philanthropy, and impact investing.

The WoD programme provides a unique opportunity for Vodafone India employees to donate their time, skills, expertise and passion to work for a charitable organisation of their choice for a period of 8 weeks, all while they continue to receive salary and all benefits. Since November 2011, 128 skilled employees have donated over 56,910 man-hours working on 128 different social projects with diverse NGOs over 8 weeks to enhance capacities, address technology gaps and resolve issues impairing women empowerment.Participants came back richer with the experience gained of working first hand with communities to address real social issues and challenges.

Speaking on the occasion, P. Balaji, Director – Regulatory, External Affairs & CSR, Vodafone India, “The success of World of Difference programme in India has demonstrated how an effectively implemented CSR initiative can become an inspirational and aspirational model of employee engagement while having a positive impact on the society. It has set a benchmark for businesses to develop measurable sustainability programme that will derive quantitative benefits for the society, business and the employees. We at Vodafone India are extremely proud to be a part of this journey.”

Commenting on the rationale behind studying the WOD programme, Ms. Gayle Peterson,Senior Managing Director, pfc Social Impact Advisors, and Associate Fellow and Program Director, Oxford Impact Investment at the Said Business School, University of Oxfordsaid, “Today’s launch of Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference research study spotlights one of 20 cases conducted by pfc Social Impact Advisors to show how Deliberate Leadership informs and guides solutions to Wicked Problems, i.e., intractable, messy and interconnected issues. The study, conducted through the lens of Deliberate Leadership, offers greater transparency around how an ambitious CSR program, such as Vodafone’s World of Difference, engages Vodafone employees in their local communities to solve social sector challenges. What makes the case particularly compelling is that it allows students globally to understand Vodafone’s India’s strategy to change the world.”

Adds Ms Peterson, “Vodafone India is offering new models for other CSR initiatives and social investors as they grapple with the most complex challenges facing India and the world—poverty, lack of access to education, food, water, jobs, and a more productive and sustainable life. That is what World of Difference attempts to achieve. Vodafone’s willingness for self-reflection and sharing openly with peers about WOD and the challenges and successes faced are what makes the case both unique and worth discussing. The fact that we are convening colleagues to discuss/debate new ways of thinking about CSR is important. It is through our creative collective that we will make a difference.”

A comprehensive study of the programme conducted by CLIPS Foundation found overall high satisfaction and positive benefits for the volunteers, NGOs and the company as a whole. The research reveals that the WoD programme has improved employee loyalty and morale at Vodafone India. It has given employees an opportunity to disseminate their technology, understand emerging markets and increased their respect for the Vodafone brand within the community.

The case was reviewed by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, today’s host in New Delhi.

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