A global crisis in education is threatening social stability and economic progress. Around the world, two hundred million people are unemployed, while nearly 60 percent of CEOs report that a shortage of skilled labor is holding back their company’s growth. Not only are schools failing to equip students with the 21st century skills they need for employment, but, at the most basic level, 250 million primary school students worldwide cannot even read and write. While governments, nonprofits, and school leaders have long struggled to overcome these challenges, they have had limited success.
Shared value defines a new role for business in helping to overcome the global education crisis. Companies have the scale, human capital, financial resources, technologies, and political influence to help improve educational outcomes and cultivate the skills needed for successful careers. By aligning profit with purpose, companies can become essential partners for schools, nonprofits, and governments, while simultaneously discovering new ways to increase their productivity, strengthen industry clusters, and expand their markets.
FSG’s latest report, The New Role of Business in Global Education, explores the innovative ways that a handful of leading companies are taking to put education at the core of their corporate strategy. Our findings, based on interviews with more than 50 global business and civil society leaders, highlight how companies across industries and geographies are creating shared value by filling unmet educational needs, improving student outcomes, and overcoming workforce constraints in ways that bring economic benefits back to the company.
Together with our sponsors, Pearson, Intel, Western Union, SAP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the Rockefeller Foundation, we will launch the report at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 25th. The event will convene 15 CEOs and global education leaders in a roundtable conversation co-hosted by Professor Michael Porter and the Stanford Social Innovation Review aimed at exploring how business is transforming its role in education through the concept of shared value. Speakers will include the CEOs of Pearson, Western Union, Discovery Education, Lego Education, GEMS Education, Education for Employment and the International Youth Foundation, as well as the former head of UNICEF and board chair for the Global Partnership for Education, among others.
We look forward to sharing the conversation at Davos with you soon! Click here to download The New Role of Business in Global Education. For inquiries related to this work or to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: The event at Davos has now passed. Click here to read a recap of the discussion.