Responsible Business & Enterprise

The Prince’s Seeing is Believing

The Prince’s Seeing is Believing (PSiB) brings corporate leaders face to face with social and economic issues, and demonstrates the impact that responsible business can have by closing the gap between the boardroom and the community. Run in partnership with the Wellesley Institute, Prince’s Charities Canada has launched a series of PSiB programs in Canada.

With PSiB, C-suite executives take a day out of their offices and gain a new perspective on social issues. With a focus in Canada on disadvantaged youth, we are breaking new ground in helping to develop training and employment opportunities for a sector of our community that is often overlooked and marginalized.

A typical PSIB visit day:

  • Is led by a prominent member of the local business community
  • Accommodates approximately 12 C-suite participants, plus senior public-sector representatives
  • Visits two community organizations
  • Provides the opportunity for one-on-one dialogue between business participants and youth representatives
  • Concludes with an in-camera session where strategies for action are developed and ideas initiated

Select CEOs also participated in the annual Seeing is Believing Royal Report Back in London, UK at St. James Palace and had a private audience with The Prince of Wales at Clarence House to discuss corporate social responsibility in Canada.

There have been six PSiB community visit days featuring 120 senior business leaders and 26 community organizations since 2012:

  • London, Ontario
  • Regina & Weyburn, Saskatchewan
  • Toronto, Ontario (3)
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canadian PSiB visit days have generated:

  • Creation of an Aboriginal youth hiring initiative in Toronto that has already led to 11 substantial job placements
  • Development of a professional taskforce to help charities determine social return on investment
  • $100,000 contract for video production from a social enterprise
  • Internship and mentorship opportunities developed in all cities visited
  • New awards program for socially responsible business developed by the London Chamber of Commerce
  • New business-oriented board members for charities supporting at-risk children
  • Money, talent and in-kind donations for a capital campaign to provide green space to at-risk children

In total, over 112 youth have benefitted from 36 direct CEO initiatives seeded from PSiB.  Over 240 members from the business and community sector have participated in roundtables, events and initiatives hosted by PSiB.

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How The Prince is Involved

The Prince of Wales started the PSiB program in the U.K. more than two decades ago.

Believing that companies had a role to play in the regeneration of disadvantaged communities, The Prince invited a group of senior business leaders to join him on a day-long visit to a town in England that had been hit hard by unemployment throughout the 1980s. His Royal Highness was convinced that direct contact and dialogue with members of the community would help those business leaders better understand the issues affecting the area and might lead to them playing a role in its recovery.

Since then, more than 8,000 business leaders have participated in the PSiB program. The program has, over two decades, improved people’s lives in communities across the U.K., through changing both the attitudes and action plans of the participating business leaders.

During his visit to Toronto in May of 2012, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales met with business leaders, youth and community representatives who had participated in the first PSiB Toronto community visit day. His roundtable discussion was followed by a visit to UforChange in St James Town where he met with youth enrolled in the agency’s arts- oriented programs that build confidence, creativity, and employable skills in this, one of Toronto’s most challenged neighbourhoods.