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Imagine a United Nations forum with some 2,300 people attending from all over the world to discuss complex yet urgent business and human rights issues. It seemed almost too good to be true – to find such focus on such a crucial area.

But it is, in fact, a reality, and this year, for the first time, I attended the annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva with participants coming from governments, non-governmental organizations, trade unions and national human rights institutions, as well as with some 22 percent private sector representation. It was indeed a “smörgåsbord” of interesting seminars, panels and discussions and a great opportunity to meet people working hard towards similar goals, as well as learning more about challenges of working with business and human rights issues on a global level.
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connected mangroves ericsson malaysia

Editor’s note:  Today we feature a post from Afrizal Abdul Rahim, the Head of Ericsson ConsumerLab South East Asia & Oceania:

Hot on the heels of connected vineyards in Europe, South East Asia now boasts its own agricultural Internet of Things.

At the recent celebration of Ericsson Malaysia’s 50th anniversary, we brought to life an IoT demonstration that most locals could relate to very well – we connected mangroves.
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Together for Safer Roads Ericsson traffic safety

Editor’s note: Today we are featuring a guest post from Stephanie Huf, the global Head of Marketing and Communications for Ericsson’s Industry and Society business line:

One Friday evening when I was thirteen, I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor, watching “Fame” on TV with my younger sister. I remember that it was raining outside, and that Michael Jackson had just released his “Thriller” album. Why are my memories so vivid? Because that was the night we got a phone call telling us that my cousin Anna, just two days younger than me, had been killed in a car crash, and that my uncle was in hospital. Sadly, too many people have received such a call, or a knock on the door, and unless we do something about it, the situation will get worse.
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COP 21 climate summit UN Paris

When people talk about sustainable development of urban areas, they are usually referring to economic sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. Last week, I attended a seminar in Brussels on Smart Cities, organized by Public Policy Exchange, and the latter theme got most of the attention, as many organizations are currently gearing up for the COP21 climate conference of the United Nations, which will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.
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Ericsson connected vineyard Germany

Last week was school vacation week in Sweden, and for different reasons, primarily because I have a dog, our family found ourselves in Germany last week. We wanted to go somewhere for a few days within driving distance of Sweden so that we could bring the puppy along. So Germany it was.
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Scene at sunset_3

In October Ericsson was invited to speak on “The role of innovation in the future of sustainability” at the launch of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) report and Sustainability Week. We shared the day with Coca Cola, Intel, Cummins and Nestle, among others, with panel discussions on everything from strategy and technology to communications and how to drive employee engagement of CSR type activities.
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You and I are not the same. That’s a good thing. In fact, I would venture to say that it’s a great thing because our differences make us better as a collective. Ericsson knows this and, accordingly, diversity has always been a fundamental objective for us. So much so that we have set a global ambition to improve corporate diversity and specifically gender diversity by 2020. Our goal is to reach 30 percent female representation in our workforce by then. If you think about it, 30 percent is a noteworthy – though only interim – target for an industry dominated by men, and in my eyes it is a great start on the journey to reaching even higher and more equal gender balance.
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Editor’s note: Today we are featuring a post from Candice Taylor that originally appeared on the Ericsson Careers blog. Candice is a Program Manager for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility and takes care of the Technology for Good projects in the region of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates:

We recently launched the Arabic version of the 2014 Ericsson Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report, especially focused on the Middle Eastern market. It’s the 22nd year that Ericsson has produced such an audited report, and we are extremely proud to be the first ICT player to report according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
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UN Global Compact Ericsson

Fifteen years ago, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for action to set up the UN Global Compact. Ericsson was a signatory from the beginning. The goal was to stimulate the private sector to do business responsibly and to take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals. Today, more than 8,000 companies have joined, which makes the UN Global Compact the largest corporate sustainability initiative ever. It is a bridge between the UN and the private sector, and its main focus is the 10 principles for sustainable business.
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