Samsung Electronics is a South Korean multi-national organisation, which forms 70 per cent of the total revenue of the Samsung Group. Samsung Electronics has more than 230 production sites, sales offices, R&D centres, and design centres. Samsung follows a simple business philosophy: to devote its talent and technology to creating superior products and services that contribute to a better global society. Therefore, the company takes an active interest in its CSR initiatives and ensure that these programs are in line with its business philosophy and core values.
The CSR vision of Samsung Electronics is “Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People!” The theme of its CSR campaign is Education for Future Generations. In our ongoing series of CSR Reports known as #LetsTalkCSR, let us glimpse at the CSR initiatives of Samsung Electronics.
1. Enhancing Creative Problem Solving
1.1 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a contest for youth designed to advance their STEM understanding and creative problem-solving skills required to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Teachers and Samsung employee mentors help students identify the root causes of problems in their local communities and work towards optimal solutions. In 2021, despite the prevalence of COVID-19, as many as 160,150 students and 38,615 teachers from over 33 countries participated in the program.
1.2 Samsung Junior SW Academy
Samsung Junior SW Academy trains teachers who provide software education at elementary and junior high schools. The program was first launched in 2013 by signing an MOU with Korea’s Ministry of Education to expand the horizons of software education. In 2021, the curriculum was redesigned to an AI-focused course. Teachers are trained using AI-related content developed in association with experts in the field, and students are provided with programs and kits for hands-on training.
Since 2015, the company has organized the Samsung Junior SW Cup. The goal of the program is to cultivate future software experts and enable them to develop ideas and solutions that benefit society based on their software knowledge. Participation in the 2021 event alone reached 3,490 contestants (1,584 teams). In total, 34,457 contestants (12,938 teams) have participated since the contest was launched.
2. Developing Youth Skills for the Future
2.1 Samsung Innovation Campus
Samsung began to offer technological training programs for adolescents and unemployed youth in 2013. Relaunched as Samsung Innovation Campus in 2019, the program is based on the company’s experience and knowledge accumulated from the previous programs, as well as the latest industry trends.
Samsung Innovation Campus operates a range of curricula, from programming to AI, in different countries. In cooperation with the local ministry of education, schools, and NGOs, we work to adapt the pro- gram to the local educational environment and conditions. The pro- gram contributes to nurturing workplace capabilities in youth by offering theoretical and hands-on IT training for programming, AI, IoT, and big data. It also offers training for soft skills such as creativity, communication, and empathy to help youth develop well-rounded skills. A total of 39,182 students in 28 countries received technological training in 2021. In Turkey, in particular, 86% of Samsung Innovation Campus graduates succeeded in being recruited, and some started their own businesses.
2.2 Samsung SW Academy for Youth
Since 2018, we have operated Samsung SW Academy for Youth (“SSAFY”) in Korea in association with the Ministry of Employment and Labor. The program offers a year of theoretical and practical training to help youth foster their capabilities and competitiveness as professional software developers. Trainees are exposed to algorithms, coding, web technology, and more, in the introductory course. This is followed by an advanced course focused on cultivating competencies to effectively harness Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies including AI and IoT. A total of 2,785 trainees from the first through fifth entrance classes have graduated from SSAFY. Among them, 2,326 have succeeded in landing jobs in diverse fields including IT and finance, recording an employment rate of 84% as of April 2022. In 2022, about 1,700 trainees of the sixth and seventh entrance classes are being trained at SSAFY .
3. Tailored Education for the Next Generation
3.1 Samsung Smart School
Samsung Smart School was established to help narrow academic achievement gaps and foster essential capabilities for youths by pro- viding cutting-edge smart devices, training solutions, learning content, and facility remodelling services to schools with inadequate conditions or in underserved areas. The company has reached out to 193 classrooms at 98 schools in Korea since 2012. In 2021, it selected ten excellent Smart Schools in Korea and India respectively and offered remodelling services for two classrooms per school. Each Smart School classroom was given three Samsung Flip products, one tablet for each student, and one Samsung Chromebook for every two students. Additionally, they were provided with online class equipment, printers, and tablet charging stations. Samsung CSR also provides regular teacher training and expert consulting to Smart Schools to help improve teachers’ capacity to utilize smart devices in the classroom. The Company also supports Smart School operations through free repair services for up to two years and online counselling for smart devices at all times.
3.2 Samsung Dream Class
Samsung Dream Class, which originally started as a combination of after-school classes and a vacation camp, was revamped into Samsung Dream Class 2.0 in 2021. Samsung Dream Class 2.0 provides three types of training based on digital technologies: career-path guidance to help youth discover and pursue their aptitudes and dreams; training in communication, coding, mathematical, and reasoning skills required to thrive in the future global arena; and assistance with the school curriculum. It also offers practical mentoring by our employees and frontline experts.
3.3 Stepping Stone of Hope
Stepping Stone of Hope is a program that came to life from an internal idea contest and donations from the company’s employees celebrating the 20th anniversary of the New Management Declaration of Samsung. Adolescents who were protected by state care have to stand on their own feet when they turn 18. Stepping Stone of Hope provides both shelter and tailored education for these young people as they make the transition to self-reliance. In collaboration with local governments and NGOs, Stepping Stone of Hope provides one living space to each beneficiary for up to two years as well as education and career programs for their personal development. A total of eight centres are in operation, including ones in Busan, Daegu, Gangwon, Gwangju, Gyeonggi, Gyeongnam, and Chungbuk. Two more centres are slated to open in Gyeongbuk and Jeonnam by 2022.
3.4 Blue Elephant
Blue Elephant is a cyberviolence prevention program for youth operated in association with the Blue Tree Foundation to resolve drastically increasing cyberviolence among youth. Counsellors visit schools to help students develop prosocial behaviours and skills and offer on-site cyber-violence prevention training.
Beyond mere punishment and preaching, the program takes a more forward-looking approach that includes cyberviolence prevention training to induce fundamental change from within; professional psychological counselling to help victims heal based on the network of individuals, families, schools, and local communities; and idea contests and campaigns targeting youth to build stronger social ties and eradicate cyber violence. It also strives to lay the systematic and legal foundation for cyber violence prevention and response through academic research on its root causes and current status.
Samsung is actively working to improving the world through its CSR initiatives as well as its operations. The group as a whole has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the entire firm by 2050 and will invest US$5 billion over the following 7.5 years to do so.