We are an aspirational organization, never satisfied with the status quo. We want to change the world for both our social sector and our commercial clients. This is part of who we are as a firm.
There are many ways to make a living; working at BCG gives you the opportunity to make a difference.
More than 50 years ago, our founder, Bruce Henderson, inspired us to put forth ideas that would change the world. Today, we remain deeply committed to using our talents and resources to address global challenges and focus on topics that have an impact on some of the most underprivileged in society.
To maximize such efforts, we work with social sector clients across topics such as development, health, education, employment, and the environment. We collaborate with leading local, regional, and international organizations to increase their efficiency and effectiveness—and ultimately their impact. We also foster long-term relationships with our global social impact partners: the World Food Programme, Save the Children, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yunus Social Business, WWF, and Teach For All.
From reversing child mortality rates in Africa to advancing education in local communities, our social impact projects enable us to give back while also gaining valuable perspective on prominent issues, such as water stewardship and the global burden of disease, which will affect both our clients and the world for years to come.
We consider social impact to be an integral part of our firm, therefore we pride ourselves on making opportunities available to all consultants. About 10% of our worldwide staff participate in approximately 300 social impact projects per year. Consultants can also apply to participate in our social impact immersion and secondment programs or take leaves of absence to work at social sector organizations of their choice.
Just as we challenge established thinking and drive transformation in the private and social sectors, that same skill set and thought leadership allow us to make a positive impact within the public sector. In June 2015, BCG launched the Centre for Public Impact (CPI), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments around the world. It brings together world leaders to learn, exchange ideas, and inspire each other to strengthen the public impact of their organizations.
Serving the communities in which we live and work is a core BCG value. In addition to working with organizations in the public and social sectors, we foster an atmosphere across the firm that values social impact both during and outside of the work day. Many local offices organize community service days and volunteer activities open to all BCG staff, participating in mentoring and tutoring, clothing and food drives, awareness campaigns, and much more. We also encourage employees to leverage the skills honed at BCG by serving as board members for the nonprofit organizations about which they're personally passionate.
When you work at BCG, you are a part of a shared mission. Dedication to social impact is a foundational element of who we are as a firm.
The opportunity to work on secondment with an international NGO has been the single most valuable offering of my BCG career. This experience has not only furthered my career, but has left me with a feeling of unspeakable personal gain. BCG's investment to support this work has affirmed its commitment in me and my ambitions.
I have been able to participate and lead teams for social impact projects, which have been highly inspirational in my professional life. BCG's support of global conservation of the environment gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment. BCG helps me rally and motivate our office community to create a greater impact on the world.
I have been and continue to be inspired by the social impact work done by BCG employees at every level and in every department of the organization. Through work with our social impact partner organizations, office-wide Community Service days, or smaller events where a group of 5-6 employees can help at local organizations, I see our people and our firm making a difference every day. There is enthusiasm, commitment, hard work, and pride in what we are accomplishing in the community. Social impact work is a strong value and priority for BCG, and I am proud to be part of it!
In the fall of 2014, I was privileged to have the opportunity to support Save the Children’s Ebola response. The rapid response tested the limits of the project management tools available to coordinate such a large effort, which spanned the three affected countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) and hundreds of individuals deployed. Being able to contribute by customizing for-profit tools to meet the needs of the dynamic nature of the response was very rewarding, and I learned so much.
Through BCG I was able to truly contribute to changing the world, having the opportunity to working closely with world leaders of social impact.
I've had the pleasure of working on a multitude of social impact projects. Not only do you get to solve problems you thought you'd never come across, but it is also for the good of nature or humanity. That is when you wake up in the morning with a smile and desire to do more, do better, to create more impact for us all.
In honor of World Humanitarian Day, BCGers from a wide range of backgrounds and interests blog about their personal take on the meaning and potential influence of social impact work.
Alan is our global creativity expert at BCG, and he's authored a book on creativity, as well. In his post, he talks about how a simple change in our perspectives can make a real difference in the world.
Jamie shares three of the lessons she's learned through her work in the public sector, including the understanding that "the social sector needs to rethink how it can engage the private sector to deliver social impact."
Douglas talks about his experiences launching a new initiative in BCG's London office to facilitate pro bono consulting with small to midsize charities and social enterprises—and the role that private sector skills can play in the social sector.
"I've come to recognize two truths and a lie when it comes to responding to emergencies, and that when taken together, can help explain why emergency responses are often far less effective and efficient than they could be otherwise." Simon discusses these revelations in his post.
Doug, director of social impact at BCG and author of one of our flagship reports, believes that the private sector can play a greater role in improving well-being in the countries and communities where they operate. The post talks through how and why—including great data and exhibits to support his points.
Sander talks about the current state of the world and how it is changing—not necessary for the better. He believes that "a more positive discourse is urgently required, focusing less on what divides us and instead sharing with each other stories of hope and inspiration."
Tessa talks about her journey from thinking she was a humanitarian to truly realizing how much more it takes to walk the walk and be a real humanitarian.
Ulrike discusses BCG partner JOBLINGE's objective, impact, and success factors in regards to combating youth unemployment, noting how the team has been exploring ways to expand the initiative to address the many challenges facing refugees in Germany.
This year's World Humanitarian Day theme was "One Humanity, Shared Responsibility." Michael examines this idea by looking back at the global challenges that existed when he entered the workforce—and his realization that he wanted to play an explicit role in addressing those challenges.
The German school system is not prepared for the number of underage refugees joining its schools. Peter discusses his work exploring the challenges and how to overcome them.
David discusses his experiences at the World Humanitarian Summit and his thoughts about the sustainable development goals. In addition, he commits to a pledge on World Humanitarian Day that can apply to us all.
Lauren Rodgers: "The interconnected web of Social Impact: What inspires me to dive in head first for the next year"
In this post, Lauren talks about her social impact experiences so far, including supporting the launch of the University of Chicago Urban Labs, a research organization dedicated to identifying interventions most effective in solving interconnected urban problems across the areas of health, poverty, education, crime, and the environment.
"What if we did not individually tackle the world's problems one person and one organization at a time? What if we actively shared responsibility for tackling those problems with others?" Olga discusses areas of collaboration for the public and private sectors.
Vish Srivastava: "Giving Back is a Way of Life"
"It is the individuals that benefit most from global progress that can, should, and will lift up all of society with them." Vish makes the case for why we all have a duty to make a difference and provides examples that show how we can do so.
"It's easy to get excited about social impact, but we must always be asking how we can do good better." Kyle discusses how he is going to #sharehumanity.
Claudia Newman-Martin: "A Call for Tri-sector Engagement in Development"
"The private sector is responsible for ~90% of employment in the developing world," says Claudia, who shares the important role all sectors play in achieving "One Humanity, Shared Responsibility."
On #WorldHumanitarianDay, Maike's experiences remind her that, in the words of an African proverb, "many little people, in many little places, taking many little steps, can change the face of the world."