Now in my third month as a distinguished chair Fulbright scholar in the Czech Republic, I’ve definitely discovered the obligations and opportunities of this honor. I’ve been busy preparing and giving guest lectures on PR, social responsibility, and visual literacy in different faculties (colleges)—four in just the past two weeks—and all 90 minutes long. If I wasn’t such a perfectionist about slide design, this post would have been written weeks ago. Here’s what I’m working on for next week:
Research progress on CSR
The UN’s Agenda 2030 is making a big difference here. In my exploratory research on corporate social responsibility, I’ve learned the Czech government is requiring all firms with 500+ employees to publish a CSR report. What that really means is they also need to do more CSR engagement beyond philanthropy. I spoke about this to a master’s Econ class last week where all 45 students were international. Masaryk University is putting a lot of resources into building its international student base. It was a rare treat to hear from them about CSR awareness and activity happening in so many different countries. One of Czechia’s companies that ranks high in sustainability is the Czech-made Skoda auto (owned by VW).
Czechs have their own Trumps
The 2018 national elections placed the Communist party back as power brokers in Czechia, with the re-election of a pro-Russian president and his appointment of a conservative media mogul as prime minister. Since my arrival, there have been demonstrations and marches in both Prague and in Brno calling for the removal of the prime minister over financial fraud charges. On a recent visit to Prague, I crossed the Charles Bridge and trekked through Old Town square on my way to the train station. Later I read that 30 minutes afterwards a massive anti-government march followed in my footsteps. Next time I’ll try to improve my timing to give you a closer look. But for now, I’ll leave with a photo I took from my kitchen window right before the colors turned and leaves started to fall. It could be decades ago.