Revolutionary Ideas for Revolutionary Times: Why CSR is a Thing of the Past Stephen B. Heintz Adelphi University Hagedorn Lecture Series September 22, 2009
Good evening. I’d like to thank Dr. Robert Scott and his colleagues for inviting me to give the annual Hagedorn lecture and for allowing me the privilege of spending the evening with you here at Adelphi University.
I think I’m a bit of an unusual choice of speaker for a business school lecture, considering I’m president of a philanthropic institution, rather than a private enterprise. I suspect my perspective on the subject of corporate social responsibility – or CSR – is quite different than those of the previous speakers in this series, as you might have noted from the title of this talk – “Revolutionary Ideas for Revolutionary Times: Why CSR is a Thing of the Past.” And I hope my remarks will provoke a lively discussion.
As I have learned, Horace Hagedorn, founder of the Miracle Gro Company and this lecture’s namesake, was a pioneer of ethical business practices and community building initiatives. He was also an exceptionally active philanthropist. There is hardly a community here on Long Island that hasn’t been touched by his generosity. And his charitable work lives on through the
foundation established in his name. I’m delighted to be here in the presence of Mr. Hagedorn’s widow, Amy Hagedorn, who remains active in philanthropic and community work. From what I now know about Horace Hagedorn, I am confident that if he were with us today, he would be at the forefront of efforts to invent the next generation of socially responsible business practices. This is the subject I will address this evening.
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