The Universal Language of Smiles
Thank you so much for the privilege of going to India for the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in June. The things I got to see and experience have left me a different person.
I had never been to India before, and I found the country to be everything I had imagined and more. The sights and sounds and smells (both good and bad) were overwhelming at first. During the course of the two weeks there we learned not to be frustrated because the hot water wasn’t working, among other cultural differences.
While in India I found the people to be warm and friendly and loving. The children that we worked with in the early childhood education center were precious, and while the language barrier was difficult, we found other ways to communicate the necessities. It turns out that smiles are a universal language! By the time we left, it was so neat to hear them counting in English while playing hopscotch, reciting the ABCs and singing the songs that we taught them. I think I’ve sung “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” enough to last me a lifetime! They even taught us a little Hindi, even if it might have had a little bit of my southern accent!
How Volunteering Can Open Your Horizon
These days there is at a lot of emphasis on our leadership behaviors at Celanese, our competencies as leaders and on how to drive value. This made me realize I have a very internal, Celanese-specific view on that. However, recently I had the opportunity to widen my horizon just a little.
My daughter, Annika, with a PhD in Sustainability Entrepreneurship, has founded together with her friend Amy what she terms a “social business.” Their approach is to solve a social issue through entrepreneurial means and therefore make a tangible impact on society while still being able to finance themselves. As I got involved in lots of discussions around business plans, financing models, crowdfunding, and legal and tax considerations with Annika and Amy on their start-up, I also became very interested in the environment they are working in and visited the Social Impact Lab Frankfurt. The Social Impact Lab is a community for social entrepreneurs, social start-ups, coworkers and young people with a German and non-German background. It’s a co-working space where young professionals find the creative environment to further develop their ideas, network and seek professional support on their way of becoming self-employed. The lab’s purpose is to incubate the start-up during the first steps.
As my interest in those ideas and start-ups grew, I asked myself how to connect the Celanese Foundation’s volunteering program with the Social Impact Lab and soon started advertising the idea to do a social day where Celanese colleagues could consult young entrepreneurs at the Social Impact Lab.
K 2016: Anyone Could be the Next Big Customer for Celanese
Every three years the whole plastics industry meets in Düsseldorf, Germany for the world’s largest plastics tradeshow: the K. In 2016 more than 218,000 trade visitors from 108 countries came to the city on the Rhine. But what’s so fascinating about this fair?
Let me try to explain it from my viewpoint. For me, it was the second K attending for Celanese after 2013. But my very first experience with the K started in 2007, while I was a young man studying plastics engineering, and honestly, I didn’t know too much about the size and the power of the industry. Our professors just told us we definitely can’t miss that show, and so I took three of my fellow students and we went to Düsseldorf without knowing what to expect…
Stepping Outside of Myself and Spending Time Serving
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) trip to Dharamsala, India. During our orientation with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) when we arrived, the country coordinator told us that India was a land of contradictions. One of the fun things we did as a Celanese team at the end of every day was get together and discuss our highs and lows. I want to tell you a little more about some of the highs and lows to give you a sense of my experience in India and to help you see the contradictions we came across.
Why We Should All Have a Sense of Responsibility Toward the Community
In the last three years, Celanese has established corporate social responsibility goals to make a difference in the community. This year has been unique and more important with the 100K volunteer hour challenge setting a clear objective and direction. The selection of Global Citizen Network (GCN) members and the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) were both part of this challenge. It was huge for me to be selected for both. I would be able to understand a different region and contribute to a community I didn’t know much about.
The Best Lesson Ever
For weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to express my feelings about the two weeks I spent in Dharamsala, India as part of the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). It was so impressive that it’s hard for me to describe. It was already amazing to get the email that I was selected and I was excited by the thought of volunteering. Knowing that I would have the opportunity to try to make a difference in India seemed so unbelievable…
The Power of the Working Family
I underestimated the amount of change I would go through as a new mother. People told me my life would be completely different, but there aren’t enough words to describe how my world was turned upside down in the most challenging, beautiful, and rewarding way.
Why I Volunteer: Meet Trevor and Jacob
I met Trevor and Jacob this spring. They were the first to arrive at a shoe giveaway sponsored by Buckner Children and Family Services. The event took place at an elementary school nestled in the community of Bachman Lake. It was just 7:30 am on a Saturday, but Trevor and Jacob were wide awake and ready to go.
Building a Culture of Giving and Caring
When I became the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinator in 2010, my first assignment was to develop an annual event that would allow employees around the company to come together to volunteer in their local communities. We knew that there were plenty of volunteer efforts happening around the company, but because we didn’t have a formal CSR program, we didn’t really know about all of the great things our employees were involved in.
Energy At Work And At Home
Why do we focus on energy reduction at work? Our manufacturing processes require significant amounts of energy to make our products — equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 1.3 MM US homes — which is why we are committed to maximizing energy efficiency and the reduction of associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Something Is Wrong If You Don’t Belong
Have you heard this phrase? It’s true in many places and, in my view, it’s especially true at work.
Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time working. The average person will devote one-third of their life to the workplace. With that kind of commitment, it’s important to feel at home in the workplace. We should feel appreciated and at ease. Many factors are involved to be able to achieve that, including the quality of your job, feeling successful at what you do and having good people around you who know you and respect you for who you are.
All You Need is Love
Being pregnant is usually a turning point in a woman’s life. Hormones are running high, the woman’s body changes in an uncontrollable, unpredictable, and amazing way. I have not been pregnant, but my best friend has told me that pregnancy was an incredibly trying time for her, both physically and mentally.
Be Open to Being an Ally
Early in my career I had an experience that changed my views on diversity, opening my eyes to the value of being inclusive and open. As a young engineer in the early 90s (as my daughters constantly remind me that would be last century), the plant in which I worked in my first job out of the university was required to have off-site diversity training.
Reflections from Dharamsala – Celanese Employees Improving the World
In June, ten Celanese employees departed for Dharamsala, India to participate in the first of two Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) service events in 2016. The first group’s assignment is to serve for two weeks at an Anganwadi – a daycare setting. A few of our employees reflected on their experience shortly after arriving in India to start their assignments.