Young Executives for Responsible Business


Information about YERB

Below, you'll find all the information you need on Young Executives for Responsible Business. If you have any questions, please email us.

This page contains information on:

  • The history of YERB
  • Our goal
  • YERB's members
  • What is responsible business.
  • The structure of YERB
  • What does YERB provide her members?
  • A vision of the nearby future
  • A overview of our recent activities
  • Other organizations concerning responsible business

    The history of YERB

    YERB was founded in 1995 by two alumni from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.They established initial contact with well known people in the area of responsible business i.a. Anita Roddick, CEO and founder of the Body Shop.
    They soon learned about the existence of a similar network, SRB, in the United States. SRB served as an example for YERB. They felt that they needed to visit the annual conference of SRB and left within a week after deciding that. They made brochures which they folded in the airplane, the ink still wet.
    At this conference YERB was presented, acknowledged as SRB's European sister-organization and contacts were made with like-minded people. Back in the Netherlands events were started and members started to apply. The first activity that was organised, was a lecture by Ben and Jerry's, the ice-cream makers. At another activity members and other interested people have been busy shaping the future of the organisation using the 'open space' technique.
    Last year, in 1997, YERB had it's first full activity calendar with Rabobank, Soulstation, Good Company and Nijenrode University. The different activities were highly appreciated by our members. Now, in 1998, YERB again provides all sorts of activities on different aspects of Social Responsibility. Also more and more people are applying. It seems that not only the interest for responsible business is growing, but also the awareness that one has to do something about the interest.

    Our goal


    YERB's goal is:

    'To stimulate the interaction between people who are actively thinking about and / or work with issues of responsible business.'

    YERB aims to achieve this by:

  • Organising lectures, workshops, excursions conferences, etc.
  • Maintaining contact with other organisations and institutions
  • Maintaining and stimulating contact between members and others
  • Providing information and knowledge about responsible business to members and others
  • Stimulating members in organising and co-ordinating events that support our goal

    YERB's members.

    Our members are a wide range of young professionals and students who share the same interest, Responsible Business. Business entrepreneurs, researchers, students and managers with different backgrounds join the network to exchange ideas and initiatives.

    Our primary target group shares the following characteristics:

  • business oriented in their profession or study
  • think at an academic level
  • have an affinity with YERB's ideas
  • are willing to contribute to YERB's ideas in a variety of ways
  • enjoy meeting new people and socialising

    What is responsible business

    "After interviewing more than hundred companies, academics, and other experts, and reviewing hundreds of articles, academic theses and other documents on the subject, we can safely say that there is no consensus on a definition of the term 'socially responsible [business]'."
    -Joel Makower in 'Beyond the Bottom Line', 1994, Simon and Schuster

    As you can see from the quotation above, a definition of responsible business is hard to give. Still, responsible business has many practitioners, even though most of them don't call it that way. Entrepreneurs practise social responsible business for different reasons. It seems right according their philosophy, it increases profit or it increases productivity. However most entrepreneurs still don't see the benefits in a larger perspective. Reducing energy-costs increases profits but also has a positive effect on the environment. A good working environment will not only provide higher productivity, but also employees who live a better personal life which can mean less absenteŽism due to 'illness'.

    We think that responsible business mostly comes from a vision held by managers that companies not only have a responsibility towards their stock-holders, but to all stakeholders involved, from customers to suppliers and from employees to the natural environment.

    To practise responsible business, one has to take all these stakeholders into account.
    Russel Ackhoff has described this situation as:
    "Human beings need oxygen in order to survive, but it's not their reason for being.
    Companies need profit in order to survive, but it's not their reason for existence."

    With this in mind, YERB tries to provide the possibility to learn from each other on how to interpret the term 'responsible business' and how to practise it.

    The structure of YERB

    YERB is a dutch association, registered with the Chambre of Commerce. That means that members at the annual membership meeting are making the final decisions. Every year, the members elect a board of directors, who will represent the members towards other organizations. Furthermore, they organise part of the activities and take care of communications between YERB and it's members as well third parties. By giving the members a final vote on all important decisions, YERB hopes to provide a democratic base in which everyone is equal.

    What do we provide our members

    The board has set a target of 4 activities per year. A glance at the calendar reveils that we have an activity almost every month.
    But YERB provides more:

  • participation in committees
  • a quarterly newsletter
  • an addresslist of all members
  • a discount on the subscription fee for the Dutch magazine'Source', a magazine about responsible business.
  • contacts with other organizations and businesses concerning responsible business
  • information on responsible business
  • a homepage with information
  • use of reference library
  • serves as an intermediair for internships on social responsibility
  • provide on-air time on Q-radio

    And for the future:

  • A full European network

    Vision of the nearby future

    The expansion of the network will come from within the organization. A strong base will be provided by currently active members. In this stage quality comes before quantity. Eventually YERB will strive to quantity, starting in the Netherlands but with an European perspective.

    An overview of recent activities

    Activities held in the past were:

  • Workshop at Rabobank, a large dutch bank
  • Workshop at Soulstation, a consulting agency on personal development
  • Workshop at Good Company, a consulting firm on cultural change
  • Lecture at Nijenrode University with external speakers
  • Workshop on stressmanagement, by Top-life
  • Workshop on knowledgemanagement, by Mark Bouman, KPMG
  • barbeque's and drinks with members

    Other organizations concerning Responsible Business

    Students for Responsible Business

    Students for Responsible Business is a professional network of emerging business leaders committed to using the power of business to create a better world. The network consists of MBA-students on most universities throughout the United States.

    Social Venture Network

    Since the founding 10 years ago, the Social Venture Network has advanced the movement for social responsibility in business in the United States and played a role in creating a more just, humane and sustainable society. They've brought together some of the most interesting and thoughtful people on the planet, and created a place where socially conscious entrepreneurs can meet, teach, support, and create new ventures with each other. Relationships formed through SVN have led to business partnerships, support for numerous for-profit and not-for-profit ventures, and perhaps most importantly, enduring friendships. They've supported their members' efforts to seek ecological sustainability and workplace fulfillment, personal and spiritual growth, and social justice, and to find a balance between the three.

    Social Venture Network Europe

    The European counterpart of SVN, has the same objectives as SVN. Unfortunatly, they have no hompage yet.

    Businesses for Social Responsibility

    BSR, located in the United States, is a membership organization for companies of all sizes and sectors. BSR's mission is to help its member companies achieve long-term commercial success by implementing policies and practices that honor high ethical standards and meet their responsibilities to all who are impacted by their decisions.


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