Feb 072014

In recent years, much more attention has been paid to social value creation as a major part of the business world. Just from speaking with my classmates, it is obvious that most of them are committed to doing more than just helping a company become more profitable in their future careers, and that may not have been the case in previous generation.

Smith has clearly embraced this trend, most notably through the establishment of the Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC). This semester, I’ll take part in my first official engagement with the CSVC as part of their social value consulting practicum. Over the course of the next few months I will be working alongside three of my classmates on a project where we will be developing a strategy for a local consulting firm to help provide their services for social value driven organizations.

The project is really exciting, and our initial meetings have got me thinking about the real meaning of social value creation. In particular, we were asked to read this article by Philip Auerswald in preparation for the project, and it offers a very interesting perspective on the concept. While we may think of social value creation as solely the work of non-profits and businesses charitable foundations, Auerswald provides a much broader definition, describing social value “as a new solution of a social problem, which is more effective and more sustainable than already existing solutions and it is more directed to the needs of the society than of a private person.”

There is definitely room to build upon Auerswald’s view, but I think it provides a really good starting point for how we view social value creation and its expanding definition. Personally, I’m looking forward to exploring that definition over the course of the semester, and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do so through the CSVC.

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