During the year in which sustainability has been declared the top priority of global business, it was an honour for us to make an active contribution to the 7th edition of the Salone della CSR e dell’Innovazione Sociale (#CSRIS 2019). In her speech, our founder & CEO Laura Gori told the corporate story of Way2Global as a model of innovation and sustainability, as well as the entrepreneurial story of those who wanted, out of conscience, to start doing business in a more sustainable way.
The Salone della CSR e dell’Innovazione Sociale (CSR and Social Innovation Trade Show)is the most important event in Italy devoted to sustainability and is above all an opportunity to meet and exchange, to create positive synergies, to share ideas and to plan common paths toward a shared goal: a better future.
Because we are a Società Benefit and certified B Corp, corporate social responsibility and social innovation are a fundamental part of our identity. Taking part in events such as the CSRIS show is the best way to stay up to date on the latest trends, to gain an overview of developments and progress, and to draw on a valuable source of inspiration that allows us to continue to nurture our vocation with new ideas.
During the most recent edition, besides listening to numerous talks, ideas, information, inspiration and other food for thought, we had the opportunity to share our own story. Laura, who was invited to participate in the “Startupper for Benefit: si può fare!” panel, made a small, but heartfelt contribution with her own personal story.
“In the middle of my entrepreneurial life, at the head of a successful 30-year-old company, which was already a well-oiled machine, I began to feel dissatisfied, as though something was missing: numbers and profits were no longer enough for me. My passion was starting to fade. It was precisely at this moment of ‘entrepreneurial crisis’ that I came across Benefit Corporations. It was love at first sight. I had no doubts or hesitations: This was the right path. A new business paradigm that allows entrepreneurs to do business in an advanced, nobler way, taking care of people and the planet. I didn’t hesitate. I put an end to 30 years of success and ‘traditional’ business to start all over from scratch. The ‘start-up’ that I founded began as a Società Benefit and was then certified as a B Corp. Named Way2Global, it has given me two years of unparalleled satisfaction that I was unable to get from a traditional business life... At Way2Global we believe in respecting and enhancing human and environmental resources. Human capital is our greatest asset: Our business model focuses on people and considers technology to be a simple tool that amplifies and increases their potential. This is why we define ourselves as harbingers of a new humanism with the motto “Translations that care”.
Laura Gori, Founder and CEO of Way2Global Srl SB
We believe it is significant that the opportunity to participate in the Salone as a contributor has come at this historic moment. For those of us who have always believed in sustainability, 2019 was a year of vindication:
“2019 was the year of sustainability. Larry Fink and 200 companies signed the statement in August, and it finally became a mainstream theme.” – Gianmario Verona, Rector of Bocconi University.
“Previously those of us who dealt with sustainability were considered losers, but now I would say that we have been vindicated.” – Angelo Russo.
“Being sustainable is no longer optional for companies. At most you can choose to do it with your head or with your heart.” – Enrico Marchelli.
It is finally becoming common belief that “we can no longer think of producing well-being today that will compromise the well-being of those who come tomorrow” (Francesco Pizzagall). “People are realizing that protecting the planet is no longer a value, but a necessity” (Alessandro Mattinzoli). We can no longer hide behind charity and greenwashing. We need real actions and we need to inextricably integrate our core business with sustainability.
“When I discovered that there was already a group of enlightened, aware and passionate entrepreneurs who shared this value system to network in a virtuous way and change the world, it was a revelation to me. I realized not only that my dream had come true, but also that it could very soon become reality.”
Laura Gori, Founder & CEO of Way2Global Srl SB
This is precisely the strength of events such as the Salone della CSR: The ambitious goals, the “moonshots” that we aim for seem unattainable without collaboration, but the exchange and sharing of experiences, knowledge, ideas and values makes it possible to network and to trigger virtuous circles of unimaginable effectiveness.
“It is not possible to imagine innovation alone: It must be based on principles of sharing.” – Annibale d’Elia
It is no coincidence that all of Way2Global’s projects are based on the three fundamental pillars of collaboration, involvement and sharing with the community of all stakeholders. No company is an island: Working together is key to achieving complex objectives.
From “Green Translations”, which aim to absorb our emissions and at the same time to involve the entire supply chain of suppliers and customers, to “Made in B-Italy”, our forthcoming book which brings together the experiences of three Italian B Corps as an outstanding model of sustainability to export around the world, to “Language Industry 4.0”, which is based on the democratization of technology, on sharing and on inclusive, totally open systems.
“Change cannot take place in a closed way, but by opening up into a platform: open innovability, a fusion of innovation and sustainability, which today go hand in hand.” – Marco Frey
“Innovation means changing to bring greater value to ourselves and above all to others!” – Mauro Piasere
"Our technological innovation aims to develop with a social focus in order to nurture relationships with our community of translators and to develop an ethical business model, which generates win-win value for all stakeholders. The aim is to dispel the spectre of artificial intelligence replacing humans, confiding instead in a new humanism in which technology is an enhancement of human talent, rather than its nemesis.”
Laura Gori, Founder and CEO of Way2Global Srl SB
It may seem difficult to reconcile technology and digitization with the concept of sustainability, especially in the workplace. The prevailing idea is that of AI which overthrows man and surpasses him in his work, but this is a groundless dystopia that we have aimed to refute by offering our translators the opportunity to train and have first-hand of experience of how technology can enhance their results, turning them into ‘augmented translators’.
“Artificial intelligence does not wipe out work, but takes care of those jobs where the human mind is not necessary.” – Luciano Floridi.
The current situation is certainly complex. Sustainability and innovation — two complementary concepts underlying the change toward a better future we all hope for — come at a cost. They require time, resources, ideas and energy. But they are the best investment a company can make, a driving force for sound, robust growth, which we at Way2Global nurture every day with our business, our work and our passion.
“The difficulty of the challenge doesn’t matter. What matters is the energy that we put into it!” (Miriam Frigerio) and fortunately there are events like the CSRIS that radiate a great deal of energy.