This post was also published on the Huffington Post ImpactX
The term “shared value” was introduced in 2010 by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, co-founders of FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research.
But what does it mean? Simply put, it is the concept that a company can enhance its own competitiveness while simultaneously alleviating social problems in the communities where it operates.
According to Porter and Kramer, one way in which companies can create shared value opportunities is to enable “local cluster development.”
“When a firm builds clusters in its key locations, they also amplify the connection between their success and their communities’ success,” Porter and Kramer wrote in the January-February 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review.
I am a believer in this approach to creating shared value because it is the basis for the Cisco Networking Academy, our largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility program.