Global Voices Consider the Future of Pro Bono

Oct 29, 2020 2:05 PM ET
Blog

To help celebrate Pro Bono Week 2020, PYXERA Global is bringing together our global colleagues to share key takeaways from the 2020 virtual Pro Bono Network´s Regional Summits held in Latin America and the Asia Pacific in partnership with the Global Pro Bono Network and the support of the BMW Foundation in Germany.

Global Pro Bono in the Time of COVID-19
The overarching theme of the APAC Summit highlighted how COVID-19 established the imperative of collaboration and partnership. The three-day summit, co-hosted by PYXERA Global and iVolunteer was structured to spotlight each of the key stakeholders in the pro bono space: corporations, mission-driven organizations, and employees that offer their most intrinsic values—talent, time, and expertise.

The pandemic’s resulting health and economic crisis made clear that businesses and organizations must bring all its stakeholders together and put treat communities as central to their existence. “Fighting the pandemic requires organizations to work with partners across sectors, and where alliances are not struck pro-actively, the costs of mitigating are higher,” said Amit Chandra, Chairman, Bain Capital India, and co-founder A.T.E. Chandra Foundation.

Global Pro Bono holds immense potential to spread the spirit of partnership and several speakers shared inspiring cases. For example, Suchitra Naidu, Communication Manager at AERF, spoke about her experience with a 3M Impact cohort and how the pro bono team significantly helped them design their marketing strategy and gain clarity on the communications approach to strengthening their organization in India.

Corporations look at pro bono not just to support communities but also as an avenue to build leadership skills, particularly soft skills such as critical and creative thinking skills that showed to be fundamental to adapt during the crisis. “In our discussions during the summit, corporate employees recounted their immersive pro bono experiences as life-transforming and spoke of benefits which included broadening horizons and providing a holistic approach to address global and local challenges”, commented Shilpa Ahluwalia, Director Global Pro Bono-India & S.E. Asia at PYXERA Global.

By the end of the Summit and after a total of 25 speakers on stage, there was a unanimous view that innovative virtual models of Global Pro Bono “are here to stay” in marriage with hybrid and immersive models. In a thought-provoking end-note talk, Hemang Desai (Global Program Director, Social Sabbatical Portfolio & CSR at SAP), spelled out critical success factors for the future of Global Pro Bono saying that corporations need to be ready to play the long-term game and to consider multi-company cohorts to collaboratively address emerging global challenges.

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