Happy Diwali! Bringing Light to the World…

Reflections of Gratitude from the UN SDG Research & Writing Team
By:  Andrea Hoffmeier On November 4, 2021
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Celebrating Diwali – Taking a Break for Gratitude

This week, we took a break from our typical weekly rigor in our team meetings, to celebrate Diwali and the start of the season of gratitude.  For over a year, our team has been meeting every Tuesday for our Research & Writing Workshop.  We cover a variety of topics, to ensure that our UN SDG Corporate Guidebooks are engaging, useful, relevant, and enjoyable to read, while also maintaining the highest levels of scholarly rigor in our writing.  Topics are typically on the weighty side, such as proper citation format, preventing unintentional plagiarism, developing corporate key performance indicators (KPIs), materiality.

This Tuesday, our meeting was a reflection around the Zoom room of gratitude. Our writing topic for our Guidebooks was the Dedication and Acknowledgements, which provided a springboard for team members to share who they’d like to acknowledge for support, inspiration, or for having brought them into this project.

Inspiring and Illuminating Sentiments for Diwali 

The sentiments shared were touching, inspiring, and illuminating. There were heartfelt words that came from heads, hearts and souls, to paraphrase Anuradha Jain. Team members expressed gratitude for support from family, friends and colleagues. Interestingly, there were several mentions of gratitude for networks where we’ve connected, including LinkedIn.

There were expressions of gratitude for personal growth throughout the project. Several team members explained that they’ve learned so much, and have grown as researchers and writers. Dr. Mishma Stanilslaus shared that “Every session has been a learning lesson.”

We even got a peek at Diwali decorations and the light of Mumbai, from Amaraja Kulkarni!

Diwali, SHERPA Institute, UN SDG Team
SHERPA Institute UN SDG Team Member, Amaraja Kulkarni shared her Diwali decorations and the lights of Mumbai, as Diwali celebrations were drawing near.

Milestones in the Marathon

This was a fitting way to spend our team meeting prior to the festival of lights.  We are approaching some notable milestones, in the midst of this marathon of a project!  Some of our Guidebooks are getting very close to completion, which will mark the beginning of our illumination to businesses throughout the world in how to engage in the UN 2030 Agenda, by strategically focusing on specific SDGs and their Targets.  This has been a journey of multiple leaps of faith for the pioneering SDG Teams, particularly SDGs 8 and 12.  Right on their heels are SDGs 3, 4 and 5.  Starting soon, we will have SDGs 7, 9 and 11. During 2022, we will be starting the remaining nine SDGs.  At times like this, when I step back and take stock of the scope of this project, I am struck by the enormity of our undertaking.

My Personal Thanks to the Team

On this Diwali, I would like to thank each and every one of our UN SDG Team Members, and all of those who have supported SHERPA Institute over the past year.  With sincere gratitude, the light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.

Copyright 2021 A. Hoffmeier and SHERPA Institute. All rights reserved – please cite and link to this web page.

By Andrea Hoffmeier

Educator, researcher and social scientist, Andrea Hoffmeier is Co-Founder of the nonprofit SHERPA Institute and Series Editor for the UN SDG Corporate Guidebook Series.  With over three decades of experience in marketing, product development, innovation, training and organizational excellence, her personal mission is to engage professionals in every field, in all industries to advance the principles and subjects of social responsibility, sustainability and regenerative development.  In other words, Andrea seeks to engage private sector professionals to create A WORLD WE ALL WANT! She has worked in factories on four continents, overseeing design, development, production, quality, and process improvement in a broad range of products, from apparel and footwear to appliances and furnishings.  This provides Andrea a realistic view of the industrialist mindset. Sustainable and regenerative develop must make business sense, to have any appeal in the private sector. This understanding began in her childhood. Raised on sustainably operated cattle ranches in the state of Missouri, Andrea developed a deep appreciation for sustainable systems from an early age. Her SHERPA Institute students are all familiar with her story about bottle raising a Charolais bull calf, orphaned on the first of April, whom she named after that month. Always a champion for the underdog, Andrea saved April the bull from becoming a steer the following spring and went on to show him at the State Fair.  Food security, agricultural innovations and ethical animal husbandry remain key passions to this day. She completed her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in Language and International Trade and earned her master’s degree in Sustainability at Harvard. Her Master’s Thesis began research in the impacts of individual social responsibility (iSR) commitments. She found that the more dissatisfied someone is with their employer’s focus on social responsibility issues, the higher the likelihood they can morally disengage; that is, do bad things and live with themselves. Her thesis introduced the term iSR to the field and presents evidence that corporations should seek to understand and satisfy the social responsibility commitments of their employees.  She continues to pursue research in this area, and advocating alignment of iSR-CSR with corporate leaders. Andrea is co-author of “A Six Sigma Approach to Sustainability: Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility”, with Dr. Holly Duckworth.  Published by CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, this book introduced the CISR (sounds like scissor) Methodology, used in organizations of all sizes and types around the world to improve social responsibility performance. This seminal book provides guidance in how to use ISO 26000 International Standard for Social Responsibility; given that it was published without certification. Hoffmeier is also joining Duckworth and Moore in writing the second edition of “Social Responsibility Failure Modes Effects and Analysis” (SR-FMEA), also a CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group publication. In her spare time, she raises backyard free-range chickens who are poorly guarded by her Great Pyrenees puppy, Jack. An advocate for extending remote working as we approach the “new-normal”, Andrea’s cat, Coco has been a Pandemic Zoom star. She listens mostly to singer-song-writers in the Outlaw Country music genre, and is an artist in various mediums, from sculpture to painting.  Andrea enjoys gardening, mindfulness and yoga practice; she believes grounding the body, raising consciousness and achieving self-realization are the big goals of our lives.

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