Unequal access to resources, opportunities, and outcomes is a major source of global instability, disrupting the lives of millions of people and also the environment in which businesses operate. It's the problem of our time.
That's why BCG has made a major institutional commitment to social impact. We work with organizations in the social, public, and private sectors to deliver frame-breaking solutions to some of the most complex problems in contemporary society.
Our founder, Bruce Henderson, was fond of quoting Archimedes: “Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the world.” Our Social Impact practice is the lever with which BCG makes the world a better place.
BCG brings its traditional emphasis on in-depth analytics, strategic insight, and the innovative application of digital technologies to magnify the impact of our social impact partners on major global challenges, ranging from global health to sustainable economic development.
When Anthony Banbury was appointed head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in September 2014, the first person he called was a BCG partner. Within 48 hours, we had a team in place at UN headquarters in New York, working closely with Banbury and the World Health Organization to develop a coordinated plan. Soon after, a BCG team was on the ground in Accra, Ghana, to organize a pivotal four-day conference of leading health experts from around the world and from the affected African countries.
The risks to the world were significant. We needed to move fast. Had BCG not responded positively to the UN’s plea for help, I think history would have been different. From the beginning, BCG helped us to develop a response strategy and get it right.
Increasingly, we are working with our private-sector clients to transform their capacity to deliver positive social impact. We help them expand their aspiration; think beyond traditional initiatives for corporate social responsibility, sustainability, or corporate philanthropy; and incorporate total societal impact (TSI) as an integral part of their corporate and business strategies.
We also convene multiple stakeholders in ground-breaking public-private partnerships to develop system-wide solutions to global-scale problems such as access to clean water, the development of sustainable food systems, and initiatives for urban economic inclusion.
The Business Benefits of Doing Good
To communicate our excitement about social impact work, BCGers have been telling their personal stories on LinkedIn. Explore the experiences of our consultants in the field.
Kayne, a London-based senior associate, explains the types of trade-offs between commercial success and achievement of social purpose social business startups needs to make in the short term.
BCG's Wendy Woods discusses the importance of ensuring Africa has an agriculture sector that is resilient to climate change.
Chu, a Toronto-based associate, discusses the challenges preventing companies from hiring refugee and immigrant employees.
BCG’s Joshua Hendrickson reveals financial inclusion has been measured incorrectly for years—and offers a better way to measure it across countries.