CbsCSR is happy to welcome Robert Strand
Robert comes to us from the United States. He did his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering at University of Wisconsin and his MBA at the University of Minnesota. He has a decade of industrial experience with the large multinational corporations IBM and Boston Scientific. During that time he worked in manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, investor relations, and strategy roles- all the while working to incorporate CSR concepts. He also taught at the University of Minnesota where he started an MBA course titled “A Scandinavian Approach to Corporate Responsibility” in which he led students to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark to expose U.S. MBA students to CSR practices in Scandinavia.
Robert has a strong interest in Scandinavia for several reasons. In addition to his family having Norwegian heritage, Robert is interested in Scandinavia’s strong macro triple bottom line performance. He wanted to understand Scandinavian industry’s role in supporting this, and he received a Fulbright Scholarship to perform a year of research across Scandinavia while based at NTNU in Norway. He partnered with StatoilHydro, Nokia, IKEA and Novo Nordisk during this year to gain a wider picture of the Scandinavian approach to CSR. Through his research, Robert also became interested in the role of leadership in promoting or stalling the CSR process in organizations- and in particular the role that humility in leadership can play in furthering the CSR agenda and its impact on the public’s trust in the communication of non-financial items. His thesis, related to CSR and public trust, will be done in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
For the future of CSR, Robert hopes to see CSR dimensions continuously embedded in all decision-making processes throughout companies, where stakeholder interaction and dialogue is in the nature of a Corporation and helps to build trust between stakeholders. Robert feels that the public’s trust in business and profit generating organizations needs to be rebuilt, where the word profit can again have positive connotations of “doing more with less” rather than being associated with greed.
Robert chose cbsCSR due to its progressive approach to research and the collaborative environment at the center. He enjoys the creative, holistic approach to the concept of CSR, which Robert identifies as a cross-disciplinary concept demanding of a holistic approach. We are looking forward to having him here at the center.