Tuesday, November 7, 2017

WARNING: Strictly only for Reporting Geeks

The Urban Dictionary says: "Geek: An outwardly normal person who has taken the time to learn technical skills. Geeks have as normal a social life as anyone, and usually the only way to tell if someone is a geek is if they inform you of their skills." Merriam Webster's third definition of geek is more straightforward: "an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity." In the CSR-Reporting Blog dictionary, reporting geeks are simply "folks who breathe, eat, sleep and live all things sustainability reporting."

In the world of sustainability reporting, geeks have a place all of their own. Without geeks, reporting would never have achieved the major impact on the world it has had to date. Without geeks, we would still be begging companies for tidbits of information and clambering to understand whether they are performing in an ethical, responsible and sustainable manner. Without geeks, we would not have the opportunity to peruse the thousands of sustainability reports in all shapes, colors, sizes and languages that are published each year around the world, enriching our lives and making us feel that the world is a better place. Without geeks, sustainability reporting simply wouldn't happen - and then we would all be utterly miserable and the planet would be doomed.

So how do you know if you are a reporting geek? Here are some of the tell-tale signs:
  • Your read at least one Sustainability Report before breakfast every day
  • When someone asks you what you want for your birthday, you say: a brand new Sustainability Report 
  • You worst nightmare is a Sustainability Report that doesn't have a GRI Content Index
  • You read your kids bedtime stories from your favorite sustainability reports
  • You feel physically nauseous when someone talks badly of sustainability reporting
  • You recall that, as a child, whenever you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you always answered a sustainability reporter
  • You even read sustainability reports in languages you don't understand
  • You take a few sustainability reports to the gym every day and read them as you jog
  • You're in a restaurant and the first thing you look for on the menu is a materiality matrix
  • You prefer to read sustainability reports to watching Star Trek
  • Your favorite Christmas gift is a nicely-wrapped Sustainability Report
  • The shredder in your office has never seen a Sustainability Report
  • Your spouse is citing a Sustainability Report in your upcoming divorce
  • You attend the edie Smarter Sustainability Reporting Conference in London every year.

The next conference, the seventh annual, in February 2018, designed by reporting geeks for reporting geeks and potential reporting geeks, boasts a stellar line up of speakers and an exciting program that any reporting geek will find invigorating, informative, incredible and impactful.

An opportunity to debate with experts, explore with peers, learn with other professionals, moan and groan in a safe environment where everybody empathizes, ask questions that only the reporting community can relate to and share in the fun that is sustainability reporting, the edie Smarter Sustainability Reporting Conference will turn you into a reporting geek if you are not one already, or it will make you a geekier geek if you are already showing the signs. And who wouldn't want to put reporting geek on their resume? Can you afford to miss this unique opportunity? The CSR-Reporting Blog is offering a special discount for reporting and aspiring reporting geeks, so contact me if you want to take advantage of that.

What can the geek community expect at the conference?
  • Latest updates from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures 
  • Insights in aligning with the the non-financial EU directive 
  • Stories from innovators who are reshaping reporting using creative, digital methods
  • Discussion and tools to unlock the power of meaningful data 
  • Best practice examples for shaping your report to reach multiple and diverse audiences
  • Constructive insight from global experts on the key elements of a good report
  • Totally geeky conversations
  • A delicious lunch
  • A lot of fun in the company of many geeks
  • No ice cream, sorry
As the Chair of the conference, I will be around all day to meet and reconnect with you all, make sure things go smoothly, add a little provocation to the panel discussions, and lead one of the breakout sessions with a deep-dive on reporting on environmental and supply chain impacts. Sound geeky enough for you?
Of course, there are those of you out there that are secretly reporting geeks but afraid to admit it. It's time to come out. Reporting is mainstream. Reporting geekiness is something to be proud of. Proudly register for the edie Smarter Sustainability Reporting Conference here (don't forget to email me for your discount) and tell all your friends. They will thank you.

See ya in London!

elaine cohen, CSR Consultant, Sustainability Reporter, former HR Professional, Trust Across America 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, Ice Cream Addict, Author of three totally groundbreaking books on sustainability (see About Me page). Contact me via Twitter (@elainecohen) or via my business website www.b-yond.biz (Beyond Business Ltd, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm). Need help writing your first / next Sustainability Report? Contact elaine: info@b-yond.biz 

Elaine will be chairing  the edie Conference on Smarter Sustainability Reporting  in London on 27th February 2018

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