Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change


Socially Responsible Business

Leveraging Social Innovation

Supply chains are increasingly using innovation and collaborating with civil society and government to bring novel solutions to social problems. In this panel discussion, experts describe innovations that are benefiting society and delivering economic value, including responsible e-waste recycling efforts that generate revenue, innovative methods to end child labor in the carpet industry, and environmental supply chain innovations. They discuss keys to success for notable innovations, and how corporate supply chains can leverage social innovation to build shared value and make change on a large scale. The panel was part of the 2012 Responsible Supply Chains conference at Stanford.

Lakshmi Karan is director of global strategy with Riders for Health, a social enterprise delivering transportation solutions to millions. In the social sector, most recently she was the Skoll Foundation’s director of impact assessment. She has also served as a strategic advisor to global non-profits. In the private sector, Karan was a technology consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

Dara O’Rourke is associate professor at UC Berkeley and co-founder of GoodGuide, the most comprehensive source of consumer information on the health, environmental, and social performance of products and companies. He has consulted to organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. O’Rourke was previously a professor at MIT.

Steven Rockhold is global program manager for product reuse and recycling for Hewlett- Packard. This includes responsibility for operational strategy, volume, cost goals, metrics, international product take-back standards development and compliance, HP global policies, and communications. In addition, he manages HP’s vendor standards for reuse and recycling, vendor audit protocols and processes, and third-party vendor audits.

Nina Smith is the executive director of GoodWeave USA. She oversees the development of GoodWeave’s child labor-free certification, which monitors weaving supply chains down to sub-contracted village and home-based production. She was formerly the executive director of The Crafts Center, a nonprofit organization providing marketing and technical assistance to indigenous artisans around the world. Smith was also president of the Fair Trade Federation.

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  • Dana Scranton's avatar

    BY Dana Scranton, International Consulting Entrepreneurs

    ON April 8, 2014 08:58 PM

    Interesting topic.  The word “value” needs to be considered very carefully.  “Shared Value” implies a synergy between that which is valued by the corporate entities and that which is valued by society at large: and in particular the societal segment that is the recipient of “value.”  Perhaps it is intuitively obvious to those most deeply involved, but it seems to me that in the beginning the value received by those with the greatest need is proportionately greater in relative magnitude than that which is given from the corporate entities.  It is, perhaps, necessarily a one-way contribution in the beginning.  However, by the very definition of “value,” the synergy and growth that evolves creates a long term net positive contribution, thereby creating bi-directional value for the supply chains within the corporate entities.  So perhaps there are three phases: one way transfer of value to catalyze synthesis; value-neutral interaction; net-positive interaction with synthesis of organic growth within the receiving societal segment: the later leading to tangential (entrepreneurial) growth.

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