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Inaugural Shared Value awards launch

27 July 2016 at 9:01 am
Ellie Cooper
Australia’s inaugural shared value awards will recognise corporations, Not for Profits and governments that are addressing complex social challenges while creating measurable economic benefit.

Ellie Cooper | 27 July 2016 at 9:01 am


Inaugural Shared Value awards launch
27 July 2016 at 9:01 am

Australia’s inaugural shared value awards will recognise corporations, Not for Profits and governments that are addressing complex social challenges while creating measurable economic benefit.

The awards are an initiative of the Shared Value Project, which has been operating since 2011.

Executive director Helen Steel told Pro Bono Australia News the awards were created to highlight the growing shared value community in Australia.

“The shared value concept continues to grow globally, and certainly in Australia things are progressing, and we thought it was really important to make sure we celebrate the local success stories and use that as a means to encourage and inspire other companies to also consider using shared value principles,” Steel said.

She said, this year especially, the pace of change in shared value on a global level was increasing significantly.

“There are literally now thousands of examples of shared value being used [by] organisations throughout the world, and we saw many great, new examples of that in New York in May [at the shared value summit],” she said.

“And the interest continues to grow here. Our membership continues to grow and expand into other industries, including the health services sector recently.

“Considering there’s lots of other governments around the world that are just grappling with it, it’s interesting that here DFAT has really taken a leadership role in using shared value principles as part of their international aid program, and looking at creating the policies that support those business partnerships.

“I’ve been involved, really, since the Shared Value Project was informally established in 2011, and to see the growth throughout those first few years and then particularly in the last two years has been quite astounding.”

Winners will be chosen based on criteria of clear economic benefits while addressing a significant social issue, strong measurement, opportunity for scalability and contribution to the shared value community.

Steel said there were a number of different awards, celebrating the efforts of both individuals and organisations.

“One, we’re looking for an organisation, whether it be a corporate or a government or public sector organisation or Not for Profit, that has really taken shared value on at an enterprise level,” she said.

“There’s an opportunity just to put forward a specific program or project that hopefully has a collaborative aspect to it but not necessarily.

“And then we’re also looking to recognise an individual who’s demonstrating leadership in the space as well.”

The award selection committee, chaired by ARF Boss editor Joanne Gray, will choose winners to showcase examples of shared value best practice.

“We’re looking forward to the outcome, it’s very much a means to inspire other companies to consider taking on the principles,” Steel said.  

Although Steel said shared value was still quite a nascent field, with several years to go before it becomes more mainstream, award submissions already showed strong evidence that was spreading, even beyond the organisation’s knowledge.

“We haven’t actually received any submissions from our core membership, which is really pleasing but surprising,” she said.

“So I think that’s a good indicator that many other organisations, whether they’re members or not, are considering using shared value principles in one way or another.

“I shouldn’t mention them at this stage, but there have been organisations that we have not had any conversation with that have put forward submissions, so that’s been really pleasing to see.”

Applications are open from now until 9 August, with winners announced in October in Sydney.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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