The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), whose efforts to define social responsibility in the outsourcing space I blogged about a few months ago, invited Samasource to join their sub-committee on Corporate Social Responsibility. Other members of the committee include leaders at Accenture and NeoIT, a consultancy, as well as a CMU professor who works on CSR initiatives.
I’m impressed– the IAOP is doing much to cultivate a rich discussion on what social responsibility means in the services sector. It’s rare that groups with such a large corporate membership include perspectives from nonprofits; the philosophy and guiding principles that Samasource promotes are fairly aggressive in terms of their stance on SMEs and social change. I’ve often likened our efforts to those of fair trade groups in the 80s and 90s that urged companies to trade with small, locally-owned producers. Those efforts weren’t part of the mainstream until very recently, thanks to the efforts of organizations like Transfair and World of Good. Perhaps the evolution of fair trade in services (fair trade 2.0?) will be less of an uphill battle.