Social Bridges was started under the umbrella of blogs managed by CDF Software, in partnership with Telenor, Mishal, ASF and MKR Foundation. The initial goal was to run this as a 5-month long discussion on CSR Discussions in Pakistan.
The initial purpose of starting this blog was to encourage open discussions between the community, non-profit organizations and the corporate sector. Generally, the corporate sector has been reluctant to come out and openly discuss and debate the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Some companies admitted that they were just getting started with corporate social initiatives and were taking small steps towards the goal, while others had varying definitions of CSR itself.
After the initial period, the project was extended for another 3 months because we were seeing an increasing interest from foreign participants. During this time, our posts were featured in the research work of international social scientists and activists. AllThingsReconsiderd and CorporateResponsibilityNet – two major CSR portals of the world – also cross-posted our articles.
Our most important achievement via this blog is what we set out to do – create more awareness of social initiatives and sustainable, “green”, projects, which we’ve been seeing in terms of how different people have contributed articles and in terms of the emails we’ve been receiving from our readers. Its good to see that discussions about sustainable living have started in different circles in Khi, Lhr and Isb.
Now, SocialBridges is graduating out of our labs and is being taken up fully by Telenor Pakistan. We’ll be taking down the social bridges site from our servers in a couple of days. The content will also be accessible from Telenor Pakistan’s website in a few days, there might be some not-so-regular additions to the content depending on the work they take on. We’ll keep our readers updated about our future plans.
The project has successfully completed it’s first phase with significant impact. The closing down of the blog doesn’t mean that we are putting an end to our efforts. From hereon, the SocialBridges team wants to focus more on direct action; reaching out to common public and other stakeholders and doing field work. The blog was initiated with a six month map in mind, the next step is to sign up more partners and take the discussion on CSR to the next level. Beyond this post, the blog will become in-active, although the existing content will still be available to all audience for commenting and reference.
I want to take a minute to thank the people who made it possible to get this 8-month experimental project on its feet. In the quest for a partner, Telenor Pakistan was the only company which came forward and took the bold decision of working with us on the venture, although a number of corporate sector entities were contacted.
Thank you very much all of you for your continued patronage and regular contributions. We are glad to see that so many amongst us have the common vision for sustainable, robust and socially responsible business practices.