Friday, August 12, 2011

On corporate social responsibility: What do you value in a company?

This is actually about the tree planting activity that Anino employees did a couple of months back. I wasn't able to attend because I was doing my thesis but I wanted to and I promised that next year I will be able to do this kind of activity with them.

Let me show you the photos first before I talk about why I am getting more and more attached to this company.

This is actually Anino's project with Haribon foundation. It was also the company outing. These are the beautiful beaches of Zambales.

I deeply regret that I wasn't there. Seriously. I normally do not like company outings (because I loathe parlor games), but I like this because it was fun AND relevant.

Click to view larger version of the above photo. As Vana described it on our company website:

Last June 17, Team Anino abandoned the concrete jungles of Makati to reconnect with Mother Nature in Mt. Tapulao and to cross the turbulent waters of Pundaquit, Zambales...Anino Games continues to support the environment through its annual tree planting initiative, which is now on its 3rd year. This time, the team roughed the rocky Mt. Tapulao to plant trees at Sitio Dampay, Palauig, Zambales on June 17, 2011, in support of the Haribon Foundation’s Road to 2020.

I guess one of the reasons why I am happy with Anino is that I had always been torn between my love for video games and the guilt I've been harboring from the kind of social divide we digital peeps have actually brought about because of the developments we do in new media.

It has been a while since I have worked with a company that shared my values. The CEO and CFO are vegetarians (I am not completely one, but I'd like to be like them in the future) because they care for the environment. They care about a lot of things. They're very socially aware and they're not just lip service. They actually go out there and do something tangible about it. They're not afraid of literally getting their hands dirty (see above photo, that's my boss) if that meant that they're going to help make the world a better place.

I had a rough first month here, truth be told, because I was struggling to reconfigure my paradigms. I had been in the academe for 5 years...that's the longest I have ever been in one field. I felt that a lot of my previous skills went into cryogenic hibernation while I was an academician. I started thawing and rebuilding my skills here. And I guess everything fell into place when the CEO decided to create a new department (Communications) and planted me there. He gave me some of his responsibilities as well, so he could pursue his extra-curricular activities (which are still mostly about social work and outreach projects).

His philosophy is that, if I were to promote the company, I should not just do it for the company's sake but for the entire Philippines as well. Our country has a lot of valuable talents that we've been constantly losing to brain drain, plus we need to recognize that educational and government institutions have to keep up because we are developing so fast. That's why even when I feel so exhausted, I value the the fact that collaborating with government bodies, schools, and other organizations are parts of my tasks.

(I'm actually excited about the launch of a collaborative project we're doing with two major government institutions. It's been taking a while -- three years to be exact -- but we'll hopefully release it by September 2011. The project is more of a vision-mission thing, since we want to show the world what Filipino culture and talent is all about.)

I guess what I'm saying is that I feel like I am empowered to do more for the country now. The fact that the CEO doesn't want us stuck within the confines of our small building and encourages all of us to actually go out there (he'd even adjust our schedules if it meant that universities and other institutions can borrow any of us) means a lot to me.

I guess that's what I value most.



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6 comments :

  1. me too, i don't like our company outing because i hate the pretenses and all that kaartehan. at least, activities like this has a deeper cause, and a noble at that, and will further educate us the value of social responsibility. 

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  2. I think I've been looking for that kind of fulfillment all along. I used to feel like that for the academe when I was still a part-timer.

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  3. not simply an outing for fun but something that actually goes out of the borders of the usual. nicely done. plus props to your ceo for gaining a bigger insight for doing it for the whole nation and not just for the company :)

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  4. For that I am very grateful. Sobrah. Don't get me wrong, no company is perfect. But it's good to have a person's values align with that of the company's.

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  5. i know what you mean ;) working late at night most of the time (software developer gal here ;)) sometimes I ask myself why i'm still in this line of work or why I chose this work?! the stress is making me look old! ;p but remembering the company's mission to 'alleviate poverty' and knowing that my work can be a part of that solution - i feel that I'm serving a purpose <3

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  6. Wow. I've only read this comment now. But you know, I really want to change the culture of software development in the sense that I want it to be a little bit friendlier when it comes to working hours. That's my dream. Hopefully, the company I'm building will not be ridden with overtime and other harsh working conditions.

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