An Idea For The Partnership For New York City
By Karen and Erica
The Partnership for New York City convened yet another fascinating annual meeting, this time at the New York Stock Exchange, at which VIPs from the worlds of finance and business and politics discussed CSR—corporate social responsibility—the need for collaboration between private and public sectors, and the waste created when groups and ideas silo themselves.
We were especially excited to hear that the private sector has become engaged in planning for modernization of the distressing New York City transit system. Effective, efficient transit is critical to every aspect of life in this City, and the system is failing badly.
We were also glad to hear eloquent statements that corporations have roles in society other than simply making money, and constituencies other than shareholders. Corporations will prosper only if they see their roles broadly as members of a wide community. And a key role is strategic leadership, which they are uniquely positioned to provide.
Finally, we heard about several wonderful programs aimed at increasing participation in the economy by those who have been underserved by the current education system, including the SEO program, with which we were familiar. Kudos to all for their amazing efforts.
And for our part, we have an idea. Much was said about the need to scale up CSR programs. We suggest that the Partnership, and motivated corporate entities, think about retirees. Many have skills that would be extremely useful to such an effort, and many would benefit from having vibrant purpose in their lives. Figuring out how to activate retirees takes some thought—so challenge retirees do that too. The Partnership could set up a task force across public and private spheres, and let retirees come up with the ideas. Retirees are a major New York City resource and the Partnership is perfectly situated to mobilize them.