Pro bono ambassadors building goodwill

Matt Ringelheim knew nothing about knitting, let alone what goes into producing the yarn used to create cozy scarves, sweaters, and baby booties. But the Boston consultant spent two months in the fall of 2011 putting his data analysis skills to work at Araucania Yarns near Santiago, Chile, at no cost to the yarn company.

Ringelheim, a native of Wellesley who is based in Amsterdam, was participating in a corporate volunteer program run by the accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young , which paid his salary during his time in Chile.

In an increasingly global economy, more companies are starting to send employees around the world to do pro bono consulting in developing countries. This “corporate Peace Corps,” as the movement is sometimes called, helps develop workers’ leadership skills while introducing a company’s services to new markets.

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