Purposeful Engagement that Goes Beyond Checkbook Philanthropy for Shared Value

Achieving Triple Impact: new workshop helps companies adopt global pro bono, innovation in corporate investment


SEPTEMBER 22, 2014, Washington, D.C., Berlin, Germany | On September 25, SAPPYXERA Global, and, UPJ host Achieving Triple Impact, the first workshop of its kind to bring together European corporations in Berlin, Germany to explore how investment in global pro bono programs can achieve triple impact for companies, their employees, and communities worldwide.  This one-day event combines dynamic discussions with corporate leaders and past volunteers with experiential interactive learning modules.  The event will kick off with opening remarks from Dr. Reinhard Lang, the CEO of UPJ, the German Business Network for Corporate Citizenship and CSR, and Alicia Lenze, the Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Corporate Affairs at SAP, followed by a keynote presentation by Deirdre White, CEO, PYXERA Global, the world’s leading implementation partner for global pro bono programs.

What is Global Pro Bono?

Global pro bono volunteering is an increasingly popular trend with companies around the world. Global pro bono, or international corporate volunteerism (ICV) as it is also known, includes initiatives that “provide opportunities for employees to leverage their professional skills in countries where they do not normally live or work.”

Today, more than 39 global companies leverage their corporation’s top talent to foster social impact, economic growth, and leadership development in 80 countries around the world, including: Accenture, Allianz, BD, Celanese, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, The Dow Chemical Company, Eli Lilly and Company, EY, FedEx Corporation, Google, GSK, IBM, Intel, John Deere, JPMorgan Chase, “La Caixa” Foundation, Mars, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Inc., PepsiCo, Pfizer Inc., PIMCO Foundation, PwC, SAP AG, and Veolia.

Global pro bono programs can be designed to address a variety of corporate objectives, including providing experiential learning opportunities for high potential employees, directly engaging employees in corporate social responsibility strategy in critical growth markets, developing their global perspective, and addressing vital design and innovation challenges. Global pro bono programs can vary in length, geographic focus, and target audience.

Read PYXERA Global’s Corporate Global Pro Bono: State of the Practice report here.

“These programs truly represent purposeful engagement that goes beyond checkbook philanthropy and creates shared value by engaging the hearts and minds of corporate employees,” said White.  “I expect attendees will be exceedingly inspired by what they hear, and they will leave with a roadmap to execute pro bono initiatives at their own organizations.”

Following the opening keynote by White, the program will feature two dynamic panel discussions that showcase the experiences of returned program participants and seasoned program managers.

Panel 1 – The Participant Perspective

This panel will feature:

  • Alexander Berges, a Division Marketing Manager for the Mid Tractor Product Line at John Deere GmbH & Co.KG in Germany, who participated in John Deere’s Inspiring Leadership Program in New Orleans, USA, where he worked with MarketUmbrella.org, an organization seeking to enable affordable nutrition.
  • Alex Kennedy, a Strategic Sourcing Leader, Raw Materials at Celanese in Germany, a global technology and specialty materials company, who participated in the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP), serving with SOS Mulher e Família, an organization that provides help for victims of domestic violence on the outskirts of Uberlândia, Brazil in 2013.
  • Bahram Maghsoudi, a Senior Managing Consultant for global business transformation in the Public Sector at IBM where he develops business management solutions and processes, who participated in IBM’s Corporate Service Corps in Nairobi, developing an innovation strategy for the Ministry of Science in Kenya, in 2011.
  • Barbara Weiser, a Senior Manager at MSD Austria, who participated in the Merck Richard T. Clark Fellowship, serving Marie Stopes International in Nairobi, Kenya, and Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

The panel will be moderated by Stephan C. Koch, the Head of Consulting and Training at UPJ.

Panel 2 – Lessons in Managing Global Pro Bono Programs:

Following the participant panel, Claudia Leiβner, the founder of Proboneo, will moderate a dynamic panel discussion among experienced program managers, including:

  • Alexandra van der Ploeg, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP
  • Daniel Elliott, Key Client Manager at PYXERA Global
  • Clarissa O’Callaghan, Global Head of Pro Bono at Freshfields.

The panelists will explain why their companies are committed to pro bono programs, how their programs got started, and what challenges they encountered along the way, including advice for companies who are just getting started.

O’Callaghan believes strongly that companies should benefit from the hard lessons others have learned: “It’s important not to reinvent the wheel. After eight years managing Freshfields’ pro bono practice, I’ve learned an incredible amount about what to do and what not to do. I’m excited for the opportunity to share that with companies that are just getting started in this growing global movement.”

Following a networking lunch, attendees will have a chance to take a deep dive into a series of interactive workshops, facilitated by global pro bono experts from PYXERA Global and SAP. Through an interactive discussion, participants will imagine the full potential of pro bono within their companies, and the steps required to get a program off the ground.

Workshop facilitators include Laura Asiala, Alicia Bonner Ness and Daniel Elliott of PYXERA Global, and Alexandra van der Ploeg of SAP.

Closing Keynote – Executives in Action

SAP executive Helle Dochedahl, EMEA Head of Presales, will provide a first-hand executive perspective on the SAP Social Sabbatical in India in the closing keynote. Dochedahl will provide a strategic outlook on the program’s value to its participants and the company, and its enduring social impact.

The workshop agenda is available in German or English.

About PYXERA Global

PYXERA Global (@PYXERAGlobal) leverages the unique strengths of corporations, governments, social sector organizations, educational institutions, and individuals to enhance the abilities of people and communities to solve complex problems and attain mutually beneficial goals. With a quarter century of experience in more than 90 countries, the PYXERA Global team is passionate about and dedicated to navigating challenges and pinpointing purposeful global engagement opportunities for its clients and partners. Initiatives include a wide range of services from local content development to global pro bono programs and integrated community development efforts that transform lives and livelihoods.


PYXERA Global Media Contact: Katie Levey, [email protected]

SAP Media Contact: Bettina Wunderle: +49 151 12187931, [email protected]

Event Contact: Alicia Bonner Ness, [email protected]

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