The Shared Value Question We Need to Ask

Let’s shift the focus from "what" shared value is to "how" we can implement it.
Mar 26, 2014 10:00 AM ET
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos explains the "how" of shared value.

Justin Bakule: The Shared Value Question We Need to Ask

The following excerpt is from a blog post on the new Shared Value Channel on Business Fights Poverty, by Shared Value Initiative Executive Director Justin Bakule.

“As the President of Colombia strode to the stage shaking hands, the scene was set last year for powerful insights at the Nestle-IDB summit in Cartagena. President Juan Manuel Santos’ core message was clear: Opening his country to outside investment had paved the way for decades of economic growth. And, in his view, the pathway for ending the scourge of extreme poverty in his country was through the concept of shared value.

He didn’t stop there, but continued to explain his vision of how shared value would unfold: How the government would set a productive atmosphere for private sector investment, how nonprofits would play a crucial role, and more. It was a solid reminder that the what and the why of shared value only gets us so far. The president’s argument became more grounded and impactful when it took on the more challenging (but more interesting) effort of explaining how shared value would take place. For it’s in the how questions that participants really start to translate the idea of shared value into their own work, partnerships, and influence efforts within their organizations.”

“As the Shared Value Initiative moves towards the fourth Shared Value Leadership Summit, our agenda, as it always has been, is fully focused on the how. This year, we’ve expanded our lineup of influential CEO and senior leaders who will be focused on how brand value and shared value are linked, how companies are working with foundations and nonprofits to drive social change...” (Read more discussion topics in Bakule’s full post.)

We hope you’ll join us and help focus the conversation for our audience of global shared value practitioners – not on what shared value is and why companies should consider it, but how we can implement shared value together.

Learn more and register for the Shared Value Leadership Summit, May 13-14 in New York: