I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Social Innovation: The Jeep Honouring American Service Men and Women
The Jeep® brand is associated with bravery, American heritage and social innovation. Therefore, it is no surprise that it is a founding partner of the first Newsweek & The Daily Beast annual Hero Summit: an event that celebrates America's deep tradition of service and the contributions men and women in uniform make, on and off the battlefield. This two-day inspirational summit took place in November 2012, highlighting stories of sacrifice, heroism and physical courage under fire.
The Jeep brand's roots go back to 1941 when the vehicles made their social innovation debut for military duty. In 1941, the U.S. Army requested a "general purpose" vehicle (GP) and the jeep was born, which was made a real hero by 1943. It was awarded the Purple Heart medal, a decoration given for meritorious achievement, service and wounds received as a result of enemy action in a theatre of combat. The Marine Corps decided to give the heroic Jeep® 4x4 vehicle named "Old Faithful" a medal for meritorious valour and duty in combat during World War II. Jeep clearly shows that a company that stands for values can create value.
Since then, Jeep has been actively involved in supporting and honouring past and present U.S. military troops. The company has donated $50,000 to the Hero Summit. Mike Manley, President and CEOs of the Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC says, "Given the Jeep brand's deep ties to the U.S. military, partnering with the Hero Summit makes perfect sense. It is the right thing to do. We are always very proud and honoured to support those who continue to keep our nation's freedom."
The Summit focused on moral and physical courage under fire, how to win with honour and celebrate those who do. It mixed profiles in courage from the military, with historians and writers who have made this their subject. The Summit included panels on the skills veterans learn while serving and how they can be harnessed to fuel the social innovation economic rebirth of America. Speakers at the event included high-profile names from Admiral William McRaven, Congressional Medal of Honour Recipient Alfred Rascon: former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright; Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek & The Daily Beast; U2 frontman and social activist Bono; chess grandmaster and political activist Garry Kasparov; and many others.
The event encouraged attendees and sponsors to support Hero Summit Solution Partners that provide services for military service men, women and their families. Plus for businesses to think about actually investing in heroes who fight for peace and that they should become part of a corporation's long-term business plans. Oliver Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysler Group LLC, made a key point, "For Jeep, heroism is a brand attribute. Jeep not only shares its bond with the military and this nation's values, it is also true to who we are as a corporation. We believe that corporate leaders must be guided by the same beacons that define the virtues of a hero."
Photo Credit: The Jeep Website