Srey – Tales of Urban Girlhood is about the importance of empathetic meetings – from dumpsites to boardrooms. It’s about how we as people are interpersonally connected from the outer rims of the value chain, to the decision table – which makes Srey most relevant for the leaders of businesses.
The book is about business leaders and how they need to listen to Srey to learn about their operations. Is it really fair that Srey – who lives at the bottom – shall provide information to those on the top on how they will make more money?
The book is a part of the global political and economic system where those at the bottom provide value for those at the top, in this case by knowledge. We have to strive to create change, to increase knowledge and action to change this relationship. The book Srey is not a solution to this problem, but takes responsibility to act and work towards a change from the point of where we are now.
A business like any big mass-market clothing company makes billions on paying Srey minimal wages and by providing terrible working conditions. Still some of them are portrayed and praised as one of the most sustainable businesses and are expanding at record speed. Why would these businesses want to listen to Srey and change their policies when it’s working so well for them?
We live in a time where we all will need more channels of knowledge than the traditional existing ones, to be able to make decisions that lead us into a rapidly changing future. Businesses will have to make use of information from the empathic meetings with their stakeholders to understand their environment and how they shall act in it.
Our ambition is to contribute to that process. It’s also about how we define sustainability in our time. The holistic approach has considerably higher demands than the current norm, and this is where we need to strive for future preparedness. It’s a reality that successful businesses like say H&M also will have to adapt to (and in many cases, have already started the process).
Why do you consider the individual corporations to be the ones who can act to change the system, when they are the one who profits from it? Shouldn’t governmental or intergovernmental co-operations be able to regulate businesses in a more effective way? Shouldn’t the book be directed to them instead?
The importance of empathetic meetings is equal for all sectors, and the boundaries between different sectors will have lesser of an importance in the future. But where we are right now, it is the businesses that have the ability to create the conditions for global welfare in a larger scale and in the long-term perspective.
What does Inter Business (Human Centred Business) have to do with Srey?
This book is a part of the work on building knowledge around that which lies beyond sustainability: Inter Business (formerly Human Centered Business). One of the biggest gaps we see right now lies in how we fail to equip our future leaders with knowledge on how they can understand empathetic meetings with stakeholder groups. Srey gives us an entry to reflect on that.
What is the purpose of the book?
By listening to Srey, corporate leaders can learn about one of our times most important skills: empathy. It is the skill that makes leaders equipped to make good decisions in a rapidly changing world.
There is a lack of knowledge today on how we can connect interpersonal knowledge from the outer rims of the value chain - to the boardrooms. That is the gap that Srey aims to illustrate.