Learning about Entrepreneurship and Civil Society Activism

Ongoing Learning about Entrepreneurship and Civil Society Activism

The mosaic of learning experiences in elective politics, teaching, public service, business and international organizations has enabled Katherine to collaborate with clients and colleagues on inclusive dialogue and a search for common ground on global social issues.

Hagen Resources International (HRI) was established as a limited liability company under Swiss law in 2001. Through HRI, Katherine works with development agencies, foundations and individual clients on individualized projects that are targeted to their specific needs. Illustrative HRI projects include:

  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung on trade and labor standards, as well as major articles published on ILO experiences with the international financial institutions and the future of tripartism
  • The US Department of Labor on multi-stakeholder collaboration on conditions of work standards in the Caribbean and Southern Africa
  • The Suez Observatoire Sociale on social dialogue initiatives in Europe and Africa
  • Unilever on dialogues with international organizations and NGOs in Geneva on its Sustainable Living Plan
  • The ILO on a continuing variety of projects, such as a global survey of sectoral  employment trends, building a Child Labor Platform and  implementing the ILO Code on HIV/AIDS in the workplace
  • The Council for Multistakeholder and Multisectoral Dialogue on the interplay between business and international organizations.

We enjoyed working with labour relations experts in the US, the Caribbean and in southern Africa, in our first major project. Susan Brown and Lucy Howe-Lopez helped to coordinate this project and so much more!

Following a series of brainstorming sessions in Geneva and Washington, DC funded by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Katherine then mobilized a diverse array of activists from civil society, international organizations, diplomatic missions and the private sector to establish the Global Social Observatory in 2004.  The GSO Management Committee was drawn from these groups to ensure a representative diversity of perspectives, including from both developed and developing countries. Committee members had a mix of backgrounds with experience in civil society, faith-based NGOs, UN agencies, foundations, academia, development agencies, diplomatic missions and business. Our initial board signed the incorporation papers in April 2004. 

As a member-based NGO, the GSO provided a deliberately neutral forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue in search of common solutions to global social issues. With multi-source funding from both public and private sources, the GSO has enabled an inclusive multi-stakeholder collaboration on many topics. Examples include:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Trade
  • Gender and Trade
  • HIV/AIDS and Social Responsibility
  • Diabetes and Health in the Workplace
  • Collaborative Action against Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Managing and preventing Conflict of Interest in the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement
  • Cross-cutting approaches to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

See the website section on “Tools” for a collection of HRI and GSO work products, while the “Archives” section provides a history of topical and meeting reports.  The “Gallery” section offers an visual overview of the wonderful partners in both GSO and HRI initiatives, along with the variety of participatory meetings, the collection of group photos and the awesome array of guest speakers at HRI and GSO events.

Katherine also continues to write in-depth commentaries on global social issues, available in the “Commentaries by Katherine” section of this website. And here in this “Reflections” section of the website, one can find the work-in-progress for a full-length book to consolidate and update her views and lessons learned from this mosaic of experiences for promoting and facilitating inclusiveness on global social issues.

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