Part­ner­ships for the goals: The role of the shared value ecosys­tem

A busi­ness is part of an ecosys­tem that it must sup­port in equal mea­sure to the sup­port it re­ceives

Mail & Guardian - - Shared Value In Mining - Kim Wainer

One of the keys to achiev­ing the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) lies in the 17th goal: part­ner­ships. None of us can tackle a so­cial chal­lenge as com­plex and wide­spread as, e.g. world hunger on our own, es­pe­cially not as in­di­vid­u­als. There is im­mense power in col­lab­o­ra­tion, and this is ex­em­pli­fied in one of the three foun­da­tional shared value pil­lars, en­abling lo­cal clus­ter de­vel­op­ment.

This refers to the re­spon­si­bil­ity of busi­ness to look out­side of its own value chain to the ecosys­tem in which it op­er­ates. As Sanda Oji­ambo, head of cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity at Sa­fari­com, said at the 2017 Africa Shared Value Sum­mit: “Our fun­da­men­tal, driv­ing prin­ci­ple is that a suc­cess­ful com­pany can­not ex­ist if the so­ci­ety around it is fail­ing.”

Seen through the prism of a shared value strat­egy, part­ner­ship be­comes more than a do­na­tion to a non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion or com­ply­ing with reg­u­la­tions. It be­comes a tool for pro­mot­ing in­clu­sive growth and achiev­ing profit with pur­pose.

A busi­ness does not ex­ist in a vac­uum — it is a part of an ecosys­tem that it must sup­port in equal mea­sure to the sup­port it re­ceives in or­der to cre­ate true sus­tain­abil­ity. In­vest­ment in the de­vel­op­ment of a shared value ecosys­tem is an in­vest­ment in the longevity of any busi­ness’s suc­cess.

From the in­fra­struc­ture that al­lows busi­nesses to bring their prod­uct to mar­ket, to ac­cess to the know-how and un­der­stand­ing nec­es­sary to dis­cover in­no­va­tive solutions, ev­ery as­pect of your value chain can only be max­imised and at­tuned to your pur­pose — through col­lab­o­ra­tion with gov­ern­ments, civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties.

The Africa Shared Value Sum­mit is not only a plat­form for cre­at­ing awareness about the shared value busi­ness model and ad­vo­cat­ing for its im­ple­men­ta­tion. It is also an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple from di­verse in­dus­tries to come to­gether to find com­mon pur­pose and cre­ate con­nec­tions with oth­ers work­ing to­wards the same goal.

Events like this bring to­gether shared value prac­ti­tion­ers from across in­dus­tries, sec­tors and coun­tries. This is an op­por­tu­nity not only to broaden a busi­ness’s foot­print but also to com­bine pur­pose-driven efforts to cre­ate stronger so­ci­eties through com­bin­ing reach and ex­per­tise. In short, part­ner­ships en­able busi­nesses to be more ef­fec­tive at scale, both in gen­er­at­ing profit and in con­tribut­ing to the achieve­ment of the SDGs.

Tak­ing place from May 24-25, the 2018 Africa Shared Value Sum­mit is a plat­form where shared value prac­ti­tion­ers and busi­ness thought lead­ers can share their sto­ries and in­sights on the im­ple­men­ta­tion and im­pact of the shared value busi­ness model. Seats are lim­ited, so book yours to­day at www.afric­as­hared­val­ue­sum­mit.com/book-now.

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