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Shared Value Champions

February 7, 2018

In our first Shared Value Champion feature for 2018, we reflect on the opportunities for shared value in Australia identified by some of the champions featured throughout 2016 and 2017.

Mike Hirst, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Any social issue can be positively impacted through shared value… Importantly though, I think it can be applied across society generally. If everyone can understand that working together can create more value for all, then the selfish approaches we see in many parts of society could be replaced by bigger picture thinking.

Renee Hancock, Good Shepherd Microfinance

We’ve seen a growing section of the community which might be described as working poor… Currently these people are turning to high cost payday loans or rent-to-buy companies, which only compound their money troubles. There’s an obvious market gap here and a shared value lens is helping us to rethink this issue in a different way.

Paul Bird, AVI

The introduction of a modern slavery act in Australia will also provide an impetus for Australian companies to develop shared value projects with their suppliers. I am a big believer in developing viable business models that work in and for low income communities to provide the services they need and strengthen systems, such as the recent proliferation of mobile banking services and insurance products in developing countries. In our region, key sectors for shared value opportunities are ICT, manufacturing, health, education, agri-business and generally for SMEs.

Peter Burns, YMCA Victoria

There are so many issues in Australia that could be solved through creating shared value, it merely takes some brainpower and application and we can spark new ideas. Among these are the land affordability crisis, health, ageing population, climate change, water and food security.

Joanne Gray, AFR Boss

I think one of the really big social issues is homelessness. But to me I think every big social problem is a business opportunity.

Rhod Ellis-Jones, Ellis Jones

There are a lot of social problems that manifest in health, wellbeing, financial stress and social exclusion. The insurance and banking sectors in Australia have shown that often minor adjustments can make a big difference.

Ross Piper, World Vision

It only takes a change in point of reference by a few degrees to see that businesses can actually achieve their commercial purpose but also deliver a sustained and positive social impact. Part of it is a frame of reference question, part of it is clearly driven rightfully by the expectations of shareholders to companies that are successful and profitable, but equally is working through the lens of long term sustainability.

Ben Peacock, Republic of Everyone

Absolutely, indigenous issues are one space that I think holds a lot of potential. As are environmental issues – when positioned as social issues around health, heat and amenity. In many ways it would be easier to list what shared value can’t solve than what it can.

Cassian Drew, Palladium

We have been proactive in driving shared value projects across six thematic areas: Water, Environment and Food Security; Regions, Growth and Prosperity; Cities and Resilience; Migration, Youth and Education; Ageing, Longevity and Wellbeing; and Economic Empowerment and Inclusion.

Dom Thurbon, Karrikins Group

Finding ways to make ‘going green’ economically profitable for companies and consumers is a huge win that is beginning to be felt. I think shared value approaches to climate change and environmental sustainability are tremendously powerful.