Tim Lehmann

Tim Lehmann

Tim is the President and founder of Pro Journo. He holds a PhD in Science & Tech Sociology and a BA/MA in Business Economics. Tim is a fellow of Sandbox Network and Impact Hub Zürich.

Recent Posts

Georg Kell Under Fire: Insights into the Global Compact

In 2012 the Global Compact raised a lot of attention, as the face of businesses at Rio+20, and consequently in the media.  The United Nations body sets sustainability principles for the world’s corporate elite. Only recently the Compact even held a workshop for journalists to be part of the Compact’s advocacy of sustainable business practices, writes Guardian’s sustainability evangelist Jo Confino.  A striking call to delve more deeply into the Compact’s strategy. The UN Global Compact’s head Georg Kell, an affluent UN diplomat with a slightly German accent, formulated in a New York Times article before Rio+20 what seems to have been the common denominator of business representatives at Rio+20, “Businesses are more advanced in sustainable development issues than governments are.”

A liberal market advocate, the co-authoring Kell wrote in the same NYT article in June, “Businesses don’t need governments to tell them whether or where to treat their workers properly, invest in their communities, or contribute to the broader social fabric from which they source both their customers and their employees.  They can — and should — do these things by themselves.”  On the contrary, in an earlier article, Confino wrote, “Kell is anxious to act because he recognizes that the corporate sector is moving far too slowly to deal with the enormity of the social and environmental challenges heading this way.”

With recent voices such as Patrick Haack, a researcher at the University of Zurich, arguing that the corporate misuse and disregard of the Compact’s principles discredited the Global Compact as a vital instrument for private governance, Kell must have put his colleagues at the Compact under pressure in preparation for Rio+20. Mr Haack conducts research in the legitimacy of global participant organizations such as the Global Compact that rally for transnational governance solutions.

Rebels Without a Cause? Beyond Heroic Social Entrepreneurship

From Innocence to a Political Future
The grand narrative of social entrepreneurship is everywhere: heroic individuals build innovative solutions to transform the texture of the world’s social fabric.  What have we learned in a decade of emergent debate on the topic?  What are the effects of a topic nobody, be it policy makers, professors, students, or parents, can avoid touching upon one way or another? A decade ago the topic was eclectically discussed, infusing small circles of dispersed professional communities such as development experts, nonprofit managers, and small elites of foundation visionaries and its beneficiaries.  Today professional communities, career trajectories, and financial and political resources navigate around the topic.

Apply: Huffington Post & Schwab Foundation seek to appoint Student Reporter for its Social Entrepreneurship section

Would you like to rethink and critically reflect on the current state and future development of social entrepreneurship? Well, here is your opportunity:  The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the Huffington Post and Student Reporter have teamed up to invite ten students to form a virtual team starting 1st of February 2013 for six months to contribute to Huffington Post’s Social Entrepreneurship section.  Ideally, an inter-disciplinary team of students with strong disciplinary foci in sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, entrepreneurship studies, and political theory would form this team.  We also welcome applications from social entrepreneurs.  Candidates must be enrolled in an educational program such as BA, MA, MBA, or PhD. Each student reporter is expected to deliver four to five articles within the six months of collaboration.  One article should adopt a critical op-ed perspective based on the disciplinary focus of the reporter.

Apply to be a Student Reporter at UNEP’s Post Rio Sustainable Consumption and Production Conference in Bangkok, Thailand (Deadline 30 September)

From Rio to Bangkok! After making our mark at the United Nation’s Rio+20 Earth Summit in June, we will send a new team of five Student Reporters to cover UNEP’s  Post Rio Sustainable and Consumption Conference to be held in Bangkok, Thailand between the 12th and 13th of November, 2012. The program is sponsored by UNEP Asia, and will be led by staff writer Andreas Slotte from the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. Selected candidates are required to arrive on 10th November and stay until 14th November. Candidates must reside or hold citizenship in Asia. The application deadline is 30th September, 2012.

Corporate Respect, Set the Tone at the Top!

I am a straggler. Arriving after the start of an event usually raises a few judgmental eyebrows from the back row; however, tardiness is also an opportunity to display character. This is especially true when royalty is involved. Stumbling in late to an event with Her Majesty, Queen Silvia of Sweden, in Rio to open the Social Development track of the Global Corporate Sustainability Forum, takes special flair. The series of events inaugurated by Queen Silvia seeks to re-think corporate sustainability, positioning it on a new foundation of social dimensions and human rights.

Post Digest @Rio+20: June 15th

Reporters interviewing at UN PRME

This is a series of posts digests being published to keep track of what is happening at Rio+20. Posts published the 15th of June:

Are Academics Afraid of Action? by Sunmin Kim

Slow Going: Status Update on Zero Draft Negotations by Nikolaj Fischer

Day 1 in Rio: Let the Rio+20 Adventure Begin by Sunnie Toelle

Rio+20 – Starting in Favelas by Anna Ritz

Latest Podcasts @Rio+20: June 14th

We conducted a series of podcasts before departing to Rio+20. Listen to the multitude of expectations for this historical conference. The World Economic Forum knows how, and is bringing it to Rio+20. Ilke Schaart interviews Dominic Waughray: Senior Director, Head of Environmental Initiatives of the World Economic Forum, Switzerland. Multi-Stakeholders are going to change the way we do business.

Creative Heads-Up and Valuing the Priceless at TEDx Rio+20

TEDx Rio+20

A quick heads up about the TEDx Rio+20 conference prior to the Earth Summit Rio+20 and before the student reporter team arrives on the 12th of June. TED conferences are usually not associated with UN conference formats. Still some Cariocas thought it might be a smart move to organize a TEDx Rio+20 conference, taking place on the 11th and 12th of June, before the official Earth Summit events start on the 13th with the 3rd preparatory meeting. The x represents the independence from the two annual TED events taking place in San Francisco and Oxford. TED is among the most known event formats, and even academics strive to spread to shine on a TED stage.

Departing to Rio+20: Sustainability Discussions Back Home at the BBQ

Though, as one of our reporters wrote “scepticism ahead for Rio is rife”, many people – both close and in particular those distant to the topic of sustainable development – have lost any expectation of the outcome of Rio+20. Still there is lots of faith left and we will keep it up and running. Rio+20 is an event that the UN Secretary General (CEO) Ban Ki-moon himself labels as “one of the most important conferences in the history of the United Nations and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to gear the world on sustainable development path”. Those that are only jealous about us being in Rio can go immediately to the bottom of the post and enjoy listening to the song “Girl from Ipanema”. Why at all caring for an event, people believe, which already wasted thousands of working hours of ministry delegates to prepare and protect governments’ interests and distract more than hundred heads of state from more important duties in times of financial crises and geopolitical power shifts.

Alumni Reporter? We Offer 4 Reporter Spots @the oikos PhD Academies in Entrepreneurship, Organization Theory, Economics, and Inclusive Development

We offer four reporter spots for our alumni reporters at the oikos Young Scholars Academies (application deadline 25 May, 2012 for Academies in Switzerland and 30 April, 2012 for the Development Academy in Kenya). In August 2012, oikos will conduct four young scholars academies, three in Switzerland and one in Kenya:

The oikos Young Scholars Entrepreneurship Academy 2012 (26-31 August, 2012), focusing on Collaborative Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The oikos Young Scholars Organizations Academy 2012, focusing on Social Innovation and Organizational Impact (26-31 August, 2012). The oikos Young Scholars Economics Academy 2012 (19-24 August, 2012), focusing on the Dynamics of Migration. The oikos UNDP Young Scholars Development Academy 2012  (12-17 August, 2012), focusing on Markets and Culture for Inclusive Development.

The Student Reporter Manual – Everything you want to know about (conference) blogging in great detail

The student reporter team from the World Resources Forum in Davos came up with a comprehensive manual. It comprises the various perspectives from the editors and the student reporters including the 10 rules of student reporting, a collection of valuable resource websites, the steps to write posts, record and embedd videos and interviews, take pictures, etc… Though we realized that such a manual can be very helpful it still is a very static document and we are planning to provide video tutorials in the near future. The outcome of this great team effort is open for comments and support for ongoing improvement – enjoy reading. Student Reporter Manual_vApril2012

What is a Strong Student Reporter Application? First Round of Rio applications – 2nd Deadline 1st of March

We have received more than 80 applications from top and cutting edge niche schools from around the World. The international scope of applicants but also their overall aspirations were surprising us. Due to this undpredictable amount and high quality of applications we truely recommend to submit only very strong and creative applications for the next deadline 1st of March. What do we mean by strong applications? Listen to the questions we ask.