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

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Socially Responsible Business

Shared Value - Future of Green

The assertion that philanthropists historically decided to support nonprofit efforts with little critique of results may be met with some agitation but Mark Kramer also criticizes corporate industrialism, saying the environmental consequences of profit-focused businesses have been largely ignored by the business sector, causing social justice and nonprofit organizations to push back against those excesses. Impact investing, a business model where profit can still be earned while accomplishing worthwhile social goals, is one solution.

Mark Kramer also contends that companies inclined to rethink their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts should invest in the social sector and “shared value.” This could strengthen the overall competitive environment for business. As an example, he points to a medical device manufacturer which the FSG foundation convinced to assist with health care in India. The foundation notes that health care in India needed more government involvement and more training for health care providers, especially in rural areas, and that companies could design products that meet the needs of the low-income population.

During this audio interview Kramer discusses the challenges of coordinating corporate social responsibility projects with corporations, and how the success of the cell phone industry in emerging (third world) markets has enabled low-income users to participate and provide feedback, thereby allowing CSR to thrive.

Listen to this podcast.

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