Mark Kramer

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Co-Creator, Shared Value Concept with Michael Porter; Authority on Strategy and Leadership for Social Impact; Senior Fellow, CSR Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School

Biography

Mark Kramer strongly believes companies today can help solve the social and environmental issues that plague our world by changing the way they fundamentally operate – while continuing to generate profits.

Senior Fellow in the CSR Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the managing director of FSG Social Impact Advisors – a nonprofit consulting firm he co-founded with Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter – Kramer is helping spur the mindset change among leading corporations about the intersection of business and society.

A highly regarded expert in the field, Kramer speaks and publishes extensively on philanthropy and CSR – from strategy, evaluation and leadership to social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, cross-sector collaboration, and social investment. He has co-authored several influential Harvard Business Review articles with Professor Porter, including their McKinsey Award-winning “Creating Shared Value” (January, 2011). Kramer also co-authored numerous Stanford Social Innovation Review articles – “Collective Impact” (winter 2011), “Catalytic Philanthropy” (fall 2009), “The Power of Strategic Mission Investing” (fall 2007), “Changing the Game” (spring 2006), and “Leading Boldly” (winter 2004) among them – and he regularly contributes expert commentary and content to top-tier business media, including the Financial Times, Economist and NPR.

Prior to founding FSG, Kramer served for 12 years as president of Kramer Capital Management, a venture capital firm, and as an associate at the Boston-based law firm of Ropes & Gray. He is a founder and served as initial board chair of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Kramer received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Brandeis University, a master’s from The Wharton School, and a JD magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Mark Kramer is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Media

Harvard Business Review logo

End the Corporate Health Care Tax

October 24, 2018

NAB Not Walking the Shared Value Talk ($)

May 9, 2018

Harvard Business Review logo

The Right Way for Companies to Publicize Their Social Responsibility Efforts

April 2, 2018

Don't CEOs Understand That Racial Inequality Is Bad for Business?

October 2, 2017

financial review logo

Shared value added $70 million to NAB's bottom line in 2016

July 3, 2017

Huffington Post logo

CSV and the SDGs - Creating Shared Value Meets the Sustainable Development Goals

April 20, 2017

Business Day logo

Ask a Millennial If You Need to Know More About Shared Value

March 27, 2017

The Lesson Behind Fortune's 'Change the World' List

August 18, 2016

How Big Business Created the Politics of Anger

March 8, 2016

Introducing Fortune's Change the World List: Companies That Are Doing Well by Doing Good

August 20, 2015

Shared Value Creator Mark Kramer: Let's Redefine Prosperity

October 15, 2014

Nonprofit Management is as Important as the Mission and Services They Offer

June 18, 2014

Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World

Summer 2014

The MBA Blind Spot

April 22, 2014

Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity

January 21, 2013

Shared Value: How Corporations Profit from Solving Social Problems

June 8, 2012

Forbes logo

The Real Benefits of Capitalism

April 17, 2012

Channeling Change

January 2012

Collective Impact

Winter 2011

How Global Healthcare Firms are Finding Ways to Create Shared Value

October 3, 2011

First, Make Money. Also, Do Good

August 13, 2011

Do More Than Give: The Power of Microfinancing

April 1, 2011

Creating a Shared Social Value

March 13, 2011

Harvard Business Review logo

Creating Shared Value

January 2011

Catalytic Philanthropy

Fall 2009

Biography

Mark Kramer strongly believes companies today can help solve the social and environmental issues that plague our world by changing the way they fundamentally operate – while continuing to generate profits.

Senior Fellow in the CSR Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the managing director of FSG Social Impact Advisors – a nonprofit consulting firm he co-founded with Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter – Kramer is helping spur the mindset change among leading corporations about the intersection of business and society.

A highly regarded expert in the field, Kramer speaks and publishes extensively on philanthropy and CSR – from strategy, evaluation and leadership to social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, cross-sector collaboration, and social investment. He has co-authored several influential Harvard Business Review articles with Professor Porter, including their McKinsey Award-winning “Creating Shared Value” (January, 2011). Kramer also co-authored numerous Stanford Social Innovation Review articles – “Collective Impact” (winter 2011), “Catalytic Philanthropy” (fall 2009), “The Power of Strategic Mission Investing” (fall 2007), “Changing the Game” (spring 2006), and “Leading Boldly” (winter 2004) among them – and he regularly contributes expert commentary and content to top-tier business media, including the Financial Times, Economist and NPR.

Prior to founding FSG, Kramer served for 12 years as president of Kramer Capital Management, a venture capital firm, and as an associate at the Boston-based law firm of Ropes & Gray. He is a founder and served as initial board chair of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Kramer received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Brandeis University, a master’s from The Wharton School, and a JD magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Mark Kramer is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Creating Shared Value: Redefining the Role of Business in Society

In recent years, business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies remain trapped in an outdated approach that views value creation narrowly, optimizing short-term financial performance in a bubble while ignoring the broader influences that determine longer-term success. The alternative, says Mark Kramer, is to embrace shared value: create economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. He defines shared value not as social responsibility, philanthropy or even sustainability, but as a new way to achieve economic success that can give rise to the next major transformation of business thinking and drive a new wave of innovation and productivity growth in the global economy.  Drawing from a growing number of companies around the world that have already embarked on important efforts to create shared value by reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and enabling local cluster development, he details how and why businesses acting as businesses – not as charitable donors – are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing societal issues we face.

Do More than Give: How to Solve Social Problems While Making Money

Despite spending vast amounts of money and helping to create the world’s largest nonprofit sector, U.S. philanthropists have fallen short of solving America’s most pressing problems. What the nation needs, argues Mark Kramer, is “catalytic philanthropy” – individuals igniting social change around a specific issue through more strategic giving. Pointing to several examples of the approach in practice by some of the world’s most innovative donors, he examines how it helps catalyze social change and discusses four distinct reasons why catalytic philanthropists are so effective: 1. They have the ambition to change the world and the courage to accept responsibility for achieving the results they seek; 2. They engage others in a compelling campaign, empowering stakeholders and creating the conditions for collaboration and innovation; 3. They use all of the tools that are available to create change, including unconventional ones from outside the nonprofit sector, and 4. They create actionable knowledge to improve their own effectiveness and to influence the behavior of others.

Impact Investing

Philanthropy has fundamentally changed in the last decade from generating headlines about generosity to an explicit focus on results. We’re asking not “How much money was given?” but “What did the money accomplish?” More than ever, investors and entrepreneurs are deploying capital in solutions designed to generate a positive social or environmental impact, while also having the potential for a financial return – rejecting the notion that they must choose between making a profit and contributing to a good cause. Mark Kramer shares his views on the promise and challenges of impact investing, and explores the emerging and expanding “tool kit” supporting and driving its growth, from new financial tools to better metrics for social impact to new impact investing funds. He also discusses the various impact investment opportunities – found in any country, across all asset classes, and at many different levels of risk and return: backing local social entrepreneurs, capitalizing microfinance providers, pooling funds to finance construction of charter schools, or developing better delivery channels for medical technologies.

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Kramer, Mark

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