“Corporations have a great responsibility because of their vast sphere of influence, and they can act as catalysts.”
COVER STORY: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION
Aslı Alemdaroğlu is the general manager of corporate communication and sustainability at Zorlu Holding. She has been an avid supporter of RC SEC from the start.
Why is it important for big corporations to be involved in social entrepreneurship and innovation?
There is a need to create a system-based transformation, building on sustainable approaches shaped by the collective conscious, instead of seeking temporary solutions. Corporations have a great responsibility in this regard because of their vast sphere of influence, and they can act as catalysts. With so little time left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, such a catalyst is really needed.
As Zorlu Holding we co-founded imece in 2016 - a social innovation platform that brings people and institutions together in an ecosystem for innovative and sustainable solutions for social, ecological, and cultural matters. Social enterprises are supported to develop themselves and demonstrate their effects. İmece provides resources in the areas of social benefit and innovation in all its programs. In addition, imece's open innovation platform imeceLAB provides space for young people to play an active role in solving social issues and runs various programs with the motto "not for the youth, but with the youth".
We also provide investments to startups through Vestel Ventures, with sustainability, technology, and innovation as our top criteria. One example is Biolive, which produces bioplastics from olive pits.
How have you been involved with RC's SEC initiative?
In 2019, I attended the "Youth Movement for Social Innovation" event organized by imeceLAB and SEC as a guest speaker. It was exciting for me to go back to my school to talk about a topic that I believe in with passionate young people. I continued to follow the work of SEC with interest.
Published February 2022