Social Responsibility

A woman draws on a board in the top circle; a group of people stand around a table with samples

Social responsibility is at the heart of our approach to facilitating and supporting global health efforts across the University of Minnesota health sciences.

We define social responsibility as prioritizing benefit to society and the environment at large throughout the cycle of global health efforts—from planning to implementation to evaluating and disseminating outcomes—whether local, regional, or international.  

Ethics and Social Responsibility

How do we distinguish between ethics and social responsibility? Though the two concepts are sometimes used interchangeably, social responsibility builds on the equally essential practice of ethics—which may be focused on internal, micro-operation (such as human subjects protection and responsible conduct of research)—and adds an eye to the larger, macro-context and impact on society.  Whether examples come from health or other fields in academia, the corporate world, government, or non-governmental organizations, there are many transferable aspects and broader applicability for global health.

Our Guiding Principles

Social responsibility is reflected in the following guiding principles of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility:

  • Advance equity through openness, honesty and accountability in our relationships.
  • Champion pertinent work by adding value of a transdisciplinary nature to existing health sciences activities and strategically pursuing new foci for sustainable, impactful and locally appropriate outcomes.
  • Foster mutual partnerships built on respect, bilateral benefit, and shared risk.
  • Promote interprofessional collaboration deriving value from difference, influencing through partnership and assuming shared responsibility for outcomes.
  • Advocate for sustainability in all efforts with extensive planning and consideration of short- and long-term impacts.
  • Support student engagement through funding and mentorship opportunities to strengthen the next generation of global health workers.

Social Responsibility Resources

We have collected a few key resources regarding social responsibility and ethics: