Australian Government endorses a Shared Value

Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, launched the government’s new strategy on 31 August 2015.   Engaging the Private Sector: Creating Shared Value through Partnership sets out the core elements of the strategy noting that “The concept of shared value forms the foundation of our vision — that business can deliver sustainable social impact in developing countries while achieving commercial returns.”  It is really exciting to see the Shared Value conc
ept being endorsed and embraced by Government in this way.  At Social Atlas we believe that the power of Government, Corporate and Community can combine to deliver significant positive outcomes for society.  This is Shared Value in action.  Social Atlas is wocreating-shared-value-through-partnership-coverrking with a number of clients on developing responses to DFAT’s expression of interest.  Contact us if you would like to discuss this emerging Shared Value partnership opportunity.

Read the report here

The gold standard for motivating and taking care of NFPs employees

We admire AIME for so many reasons so it is not surprising to find they know how to treat their own employees. When organisations are doing great work it is often difficult work for their employees both personally and professionally. Trust AIME to know how to take the lessons they learn from the good work they are doing for others and ensure they are also creating a safe, encouraging and motivating place for their employees. Read the SVA Quarterly article on how they went about it.


Design for Social Enterprise

imagesClick here to read Ingrid Burkett’s article on using the Business Model Canvas for social enterprise.  Ingrid explores the power of the Canvas to really understand the all aspects of an enterprise, both social and commercial.  For more detail and other great resources and articles on design for social innovation contact us at Social Atlas or  refer to Knode.

Lost Conversations ‘Finding new ways for black and white Australians to lead together’


lost_conversations_front_cover_200x250_for_apoListening to Grant Paulson, World Vision and Liz Skelton, The Adaptive Practice, talk in such an honest way about the experience of black and white Australians working together was one of the most powerful sessions of the CSI Collaboration for Impact Conference 2015. It feels like a book everyone in Australia should read so we can help drive change.  As set out in the preface to the book:

‘If, as Australians, we are committed to righting the wrongs of our shared history; if, as individuals, we are committed to an equitable tomorrow for every child born in the ‘lucky country’; then we need to find ways to open up the dialogue between our First Nations peoples and all Australians. As a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, we believe our country is ready to move beyond the all-too-familiar rhetoric.
It is time to have the difficult conversations with each other that can lead to real change and to a new, more authentic national identity. One which capitalises on our differences, rather than ignores them.’

Download the book co-authored by Grant and Liz: Lost Conversations – ‘Finding new ways for black and white Australians to lead together’.

Listen to an ABC RN segment from the authors.

Talking about Power – Collaboration for Impact Conference 2015

logo_lockup_topIt was an amazing opportunity to attend the Collaboration for Impact Conference.  So much of what was talked about feels central to the way we at Social Atlas work and some valuable insights came from the panel discussions. Even though sometimes the concepts might seem like common sense, it’s exciting to name those things that lead to successful partnerships or collaborations and be honest about the challenges. Key take outs for us were to focus on the long term journey – create spaces for mistakes to be made and let the end goal develop in an organic way.  Also the challenge put by the Lost Conversations authors was incredibly powerful. The value of naming power in a team and in particular being up front about this in the context of conversations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia was so well articulated.  Understanding this and having the tools to talk about it can led to greater collective power for the group.  Check out the wrap up from the conference and Lost Conversations by clicking here.

Launch of the State of Shared Value Report in Australia

Congratulations to the Shared Value Project and Social Ventures Australia for the inaugural Report on the ‘State of Shared Value in Australia’.  Great case studies are included by NAB, Lion, Nestle, Westpac and others. Listening to the panel as they presented the report, it was exciting to hear of the progress that had been made to date and the challenges for the future – keep the conversation going. Read the key findings and download a copy of the report here

2015 Shared Value Forum

logo Michelle and Lynette had the pleasure of attending the 2015 Shared Value forum. The event, hosted by the Shared Value Project and NAB, created some lively and engaging discussion on how to better understand shared value and how it can help businesses, not for profits and governments who are looking to deliver new and innovative solutions to social, environmental and business challenges. Click here for highlights from the Forum.

B-Corp – recognising sustainable business

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of company committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability with the goal of redefining success in business.

We think that the process of BCorp certification is a highly effective independent tool that can be used to assess the social health of your organisation. Whether you are looking to get a quick snapshot or move all the way to full BCorp certification, we can help you navigate the process to deliver value.

Go to for more information about certification, or talk to us about how we can help.

Litre of Light

imagesWe are so excited to see the Liter of Light Team win the 2015 Future Energy Prize in the NPO/ NGO Category.  Liter of Light is an innovative project providing light to thousands of people without access to electricity with nothing more than water, a plastic bottle and a bleach tablet.

“Liter of Light is an open source energy program using shared strength of partnerships around the world to find available technologies and community skills building. The Liter of Light is both a day and night solution that provides passive daylight as well as charged evening solar lights such as lanterns, house lights, and streetlights through local skills building and sourcing electronic parts for building the products at the base of the pyramid instead of merely retailing imported finished products.”

Lynette had the pleasure of introducing this project to the Indochina Starfish Foundation in 2012 who adopted it to provide light for families in their community.

Shared Value – From CSR to identifiying opportunity

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 4.09.04 pmIn this article Published in the Harvard Business Review, December 2006, Mark Kramer and Michael Porter discuss the move away from viewing CSR as a cost and the move toward viewing it as a source of opportunity and competitive advantage.   Arguing that the weakness with traditional approaches to CSR is that they focus on the “tension between business and society rather than on their interdependence”.  Those companies that can change their focus and anchor their approach within the strategies and activities of their businesses, will be poised to create a competitive advantage while working towards addressing social issues.  The authors refer to this opportunity as Creating Shared Value – “Efforts to find shared value in operating practices and in the social dimensions of competitive context have the potential not only to foster economic and social development but to change the way companies and society think about each other.”

Click here to read the full article