A Spectrum of Volunteer Service Can Increase Employee Engagement, Corporate Citizenship, and Global Impact

Jan 15, 2014 3:50 PM ET

Original article on The New Global Citizen

n an abandoned beer brewery in the 4th District of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Walker Massa sees the future of his city. His organization, Nós Coworking, has retrofitted the building and turned it into a shared workspace where small businesses, budding entrepreneurs, students, artists or anyone who is looking for space to ply their trade can buy credits (about $4 for an hour) and use their facilities. An open floor plan, equipped with work stations, conference rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a shared refrigerator, it is on par with the hundreds of other shared workspaces sprouting up around the world.

Yet, Nós Coworking is different, nestled in the heart of a run-down part of Porto Alegre—the 4th District—where prostitutes rub shoulders with vagrants, drug dealers, and stray dogs. By establishing Nós Coworking in this neighborhood, Walker has planted seeds of revitalization. Under its influence, the 4th District has the potential to become an entrepreneurial, high-tech hub that can attract business and investment. Given its central location, countless buildings just waiting to be rehabbed, and city hall’s commitment to the area, this vision only needed a team of highly-skilled, energetic people to dedicate themselves for a period of time to get it off the ground. A team fromSAP’s Social Sabbatical, the company’s global pro bono service program, was there to help.

SAP sends teams of employees for one-month assignments to work with non-profit organizations, entrepreneurship incubators, and social enterprises in emerging markets around the world, to help them address specific business challenges or organizational issues. A team of three SAP employees worked with Walker last October to strategically solidify his vision for the 4th District. He now has the blueprint he needs to get started.

Continue reading the original article about SAP's social sabbatical program on The New Global Citizen > >

 Original source The New Global Citizen.