Here is Wikepedia’s definition of social responsibility. The broad pull quote that stands out:
Social responsibility is a doctrine that claims that an entity whether it is state, government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society.
For us as a small business the “individual” and “corporation” part impact us. Since technically we are incorporated we have to put ourselves in that camp even though we would never consider ourselves “corporate”. We are a collection of individuals working for a company that builds web applications, web sites, and web based software. Our daily activities impact one another at the work place, our local community, society at large…and since we’re a web based business technically our daily reach is global.
So what is our responsibility to society?
Big questions come out of this journey very quickly. As someone with an economics degree I believe that one of the best ways to impact quality of life is through a prosperous economy. It brings up the standard of living, gives individuals an opportunity to create businesses and add value to their lives, their families and the overall economy. However, this has to be balanced and tempered that not all consumption is a good thing. Production and consumption to excess is short-sited and doesn’t leave the world better for tomorrow.
What are other companies doing to be “responsible to society”? How do we as small business focus our energies for a greater good? How do we balance seeking profitability without seeking excess?