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This blog contains posts on social impact from FSG’s leadership team.
Posted by: Lalitha Vaidyanathan on 6/11/2012
Eighty-five individuals – mostly senior corporate executives – gathered at the Charles Hotel in Boston on May 31st to spend a day deepening their practice of Shared Value. The Shared Value Leadership Summit hosted by FSG, marked the beginning of a true community of practice. The participating corporate executives hailed from companies at varying stages of the shared value journey but they all had one thing in common – their belief in shared value as the future of capitalism. The focused agenda allowed participants the opportunity to delve deep into four specific topics: (1) the role of partnerships with government and NGOs to create shared value, (2) creating shared value in emerging markets, (3) measuring shared value, and (4) perspective of investors/capital markets on shared value. Each discussion yielded rich insights and each participant probably took away insights most relevant to where they were on the shared value journey.
Posted by: Lalitha Vaidyanathan on 2/6/2012

There are many reasons why large corporations are challenged to capitalize on shared value opportunities. One that is frequently cited is the inability to look beyond current product lines to rethink solutions to social problems. Some corporations are however, finding ways to overcome this challenge. This is the story of one such corporation and how it overcame the challenge by striking a non-traditional alliance – one with a startup social enterprise.

Posted by: Lalitha Vaidyanathan on 9/19/2011

Everything in India, it seems, occurs at scales unimaginable anywhere else in the world. I suppose after being here for close to a year to set up FSG’s office in Mumbai, I should have come to terms with it. But I continue to be floored. The scales are particularly daunting, unfortunately, when it comes to social issues. Close to 500 million Indians still live in what the World Bank defines as being absolute poverty (less than $1.25 per day), over 2 million Indian children under five years of age die a year, close to a million due to malnutrition alone….and the list goes on. Now consider an even more incredible aspect to this story – and that is how few resources India has available to address its massive social problems. For example, the Indian national education budget ($11.6 billion in 2010-2011) is a mere 1.2% of the US equivalent ($972 billion)! Now, I’m really floored!

Posted by: Lalitha Vaidyanathan on 12/20/2010
Being based in FSG’s newest “outpost” in Mumbai, India, has afforded me opportunities to learn first-hand about issues that we otherwise only read about in the newspapers. One such issue of current interest is the controversy around microfinance that recently reached the tipping point in India. The government of the state of Andhra Pradesh passed an ordinance to check malpractice in the industry, especially around coercing borrowers to repay loans – and this has close to brought the microfinance industry to its knees. Repayment rates have dropped precipitously and large banks that provided capital to MFIs have all but frozen credit. Most importantly, the controversy has brought into sharp focus the viability of microfinance as a vehicle to alleviate poverty.

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