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DFAT reports from the 2016 Shared Value Leadership Summit

June 7, 2016

The business of being in shared value

The Australian shared value community was again well represented at this year’s Shared Value Leadership Summit in New York in May. The Summit focused on ‘Changing the World is Just Good Business’, with senior-level speakers from some of the world’s leading companies, not-for-profits, and governments on how they are using profit to make big impact.

DFAT’s Joanne Craigie, Assistant Director of the Private Sector Development Section, shares her experience and highlights from the week which included a learning tour for Shared Value Project members.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) joined an Australian delegation (including NAB, IAG, and Social Scaffolding), and hundreds of business leaders, impact investors, civil society and government representatives in New York last month for the 2016 Shared Value Leadership Summit. Delegates met over the course of two days to share experiences about the role of business in society in creating social change. The Summit, attended by some of the world’s corporate giants, explored how partnerships between business, civil society and governments are a powerful way to bring new ideas to market, accelerate scale of impact for the poor, and enhance business performance. In the opening plenary, Dr Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group highlighted that “society cannot have an ideological set against the private sector because there is no other way to address poverty, and that a societal problem is also a business problem is also a business opportunity”.

In the lead up to the Summit, Shared Value Initiative Funding Partners met for a knowledge exchange day hosted by the Shared Value Initiative (SVI) and global shared value gurus Mark Kramer and Professor Michael Porter from FSG and the Harvard Business School. The day’s discussion provided insight into the latest thinking around shared value approaches and the many ways in which a business can contribute to social needs in a commercially viable way. The Summit provided a focused engagement with like-minded organisations to explore models for collective impact and action.

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Attendees commit their shared value pledge  and Tom DeMaio and Sasha Courville
from NAB share their pledges
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Ramana James from IAG presents at the SVI Partner Day and Sasha Courville from
NAB presents during the Summit break out sessions

Following the Summit, the Australian delegation participated in a Learning Tour, led by Shared Value Project Executive Director Helen Steel and Chair Peter Yates AM. The tour provided additional opportunities to meet directly with local and global organisations adopting shared value approaches central to their business strategies. These included Novo Nordisk, a global pharmaceutical company specialising in diabetes management, 100 Resilient Cities – The Rockefeller Foundation, the world’s largest learning company – Pearson, Barclays Bank, and the UN Global Compact.

Participating in the Australian delegation for the first time, DFAT used the opportunity to advocate for the role of government in creating shared value through partnership in aid and development. As the first government department to join the Shared Value Project, DFAT is supporting the Shared Value Project in leading change in Australia and the region on how businesses conduct business with government. For DFAT, attending the Summit and the Learning Tour helped to build on early momentum arising from the Department’s Ministerial Statement on engaging the private sector. Adopting a shared value set of principles as a framework to help identify potential private sector partners has become the bedrock for DFAT’s progressive business partnership approach which is beginning to deliver a number of high quality, public private partnerships.

Read the key takeaways from our Executive Director Helen Steel

See more highlights and resources from the Summit via the Shared Value Initiative