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Social Impact

Powerful Solutions to Pressing Global Needs

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.

Putting the “Impact” in Social Impact

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.

Anthony Banbury
Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response

A New Aspiration for Business

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.

BCGers Describe Their Social Impact Work

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.

Food Security for Refugees

Mohammed, a Dubai-based consultant, discusses how a family of six can be fed for nine additional days each month just by changing how their assistance was provided.

Read on LinkedIn >>

Mohammed Taki

Continued health threats demand a continued response

Sarah Burns, a consultant based in Washington DC, discusses her experience on a project that supported the global Zika response, through which she learned that the human and economic costs imposed by Zika, dengue, or other diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito are unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

Read on LinkedIn >>

Sarah Burns
Washington, D.C.

German Words that Should Exist in English

BCG’s Maike Scharp discusses three German words—that do not exist in English—that reflect the importance of World Humanitarian Day.

Read on LinkedIn >>

Troubled Waters in South Africa

Adrien Portafaix, a principal based in Paris, explains how urgent action is required to address the issues caused by lack of water in South Africa—and how BCG's work with the WWF is attempting to map out a path toward a water-secure future for the region.

Read on LinkedIn >>

Adrien Portafaix

Paid family leave doesn't just benefit employees

Trish, a partner and managing director based in Washington DC, shares insights about the advantages of paid family leave. Companies that offer the benefit see returns in the form of improved retention, morale, and productivity—and can reinforce their values both internally and externally.

Read on LinkedIn >>

Trish Stroman
Partner & Managing Director
Washington, D.C.

Is it okay to make money off of a disaster?

BCG’s Simon Beck explains why emergency responses are often far less effective and efficient than they could be.

Read on LinkedIn >>

Simon Beck

A New Vision for Fighting Malaria

BCG collaborates with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to shift the world’s focus from controlling the disease to eradicating it.

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Reducing Food Waste

A fast-moving consumer goods company addresses the problem of food waste with benefits for its bottom line and society.

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Unifying to Deliver Social Impact

Save the Children transforms its organization to increase its impact for children.

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Transforming Education on a Massive Scale

BCG enabled the Department of School Education in the Indian state of Haryana to quickly and sustainably boost its academic quality—for perhaps the first time ever in India—for the millions of students attending its thousands of schools.

Read the story
Social Impact