The experience of a Global Health Ambassador

*For Global Health updates follow me on Twitter @MaryBeth_Bognar

About a month ago I found out that I was accepted to be a Global Health Ambassador for the Global Business Coalition’s 10th Annual Conference in New York City.  Time has flown by and the conference is only a day and a half away.  As I prepare to fly into the city tomorrow morning I wanted to introduce what I’ll have the privilege of working on this upcoming week.  Although I have started this blog for the conference, I hope to keep it going after to continue discussing global health, CSR, and provide a place for brainstormings on solutions the will create a positive change in the world and better cross-cultural and interfaith understanding.

My first session I will be covering is  The Role of the Private Sector in Addressing NCDs: Lessons Learned from Business Action on HIV.  This session will be targeting the success that the corporate world has had so far with HIV/AIDS, and how learning from that success can help to tackle other global health issues.  I’m hoping to learn for my personal interest about what I can do as I enter into my career this next month being a recent college graduate.  Wanting to work in a position for social good, I’ve learned that you first must gain the experience necessary to be able to make an effective change.  Therefore, I’ve considered jobs in the corporate world, but still want to be able to make a difference through them as well.  I’m hoping this session will open my eyes to opportunities in any workplace to be a leader in global change, and specifically battling global health problems.

What are some questions and interests you have regarding past success of CSR on HIV/AIDS?  What global health issues occurring today would you like to see taken on next by the corporate world?  Are there areas you would like to see improvement?  While thinking about these questions, ask yourself, how could you put your workplace on the path to being social responsible and becoming involved with these changes?

The second session I will be covering is Human Sustainability:  Why Health is the Anchor of CSR.  This session provides details on how to not only create a positive change in a global health area, but how to make the impact last.  Through this session I’m hoping that an answer will come through on why it is important for businesses today to get involved with CSR so that more will see the impact GBC has already had and feel responsibility to do their part as well.  It is imperative to not only step in and create a program, but also to make sure the efforts a business is putting forth will last and even be able to stand on its own to help the most. I’m hoping to find out more about these sustainability efforts and examples of successful programs so far.  In seeing what programs have worked, I think that it will show how global diseases devastating the world today are not a hopeless cause.  They can in fact be stopped and those affected can be helped.  This positive outlook on them can show other businesses that their participation will make a change and not amount to nothing.  Showing that hope is important for larger contributions I’ve found on my personal efforts to get others involved with global issues.

What do you think would get more businesses involved in global health CSR?  Do you think the sustainability programs are affective and important to continue pursuing?   Please share your thoughts and comments on what you feel will be most interesting about this session, the first one, or global health and CSR in general.  Let’s start a conversation!

Speakers that will be participating in these sessions are:

Session 1:

Janis Davis-Street, Associate Manager of Health and Productivity, Chevron Corporation

Ann Keeling, CEO, International Diabetes Federation

Session 2:

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