Laureate Expresses Commitment to Using Business as a Force for Good

Laureate representatives meet with other B Corp leaders.

This past September, the San Francisco Bay area was host to two events for companies that are leading the movement of using business as a force for good. Laureate had two representatives present to engage with others from the B Corp community, and to learn about how other companies are integrating the B Corp values into their day-to-day work and finding meaningful ways to improve their impact.

The first event was the Best for the World Gathering on the campus of UC Berkeley, hosted by B the Change Media. Best for the World was a gathering and celebration of companies that have sustainable business models that strive to be best for their workers, best for their communities, and best for the environment.  The gathering included various panels and key note speakers that addressed how their respective companies are working to redefine success in business. Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s, discussed the importance of weaving social and economic mission into the fabric of a company, something Ben & Jerry’s does tirelessly. Ben & Jerry’s is dedicated to a sustainable corporate mission of linked prosperity through a three-pronged approach that includes product, economic, and social aspects, all of which must thrive equally.

The second event was the 2016 Measure What Matters Summit hosted by B Lab, a two-day summit in San Francisco that brought together leaders committed to working with businesses in their network to improve and measure their social and environmental impact. This summit included panels and interviews with prominent leaders such as former Governor of Massachusetts and current Managing Director at Bain Capital, Deval Patrick, and included roundtable discussions and countless opportunities for knowledge sharing and best practices. Laureate representatives gave a presentation to the attendees explaining Laureate’s journey to becoming a B Corp.

Throughout the two-day summit, attendees focused on how to define impact and identify improvement opportunities. The B Impact Assessment is an excellent tool for benchmarking, but it can be a daunting task to translate that benchmark into impact improvement, especially since each company has different priorities and structure. One recommendation that was presented to overcome this is to identify two or three priorities from the B Impact Assessment, and focus on improving those areas first, building on that success every year.

Despite being two separate events, one prevalent theme at both was the idea that creating sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges will require the support and help of many different stakeholders, generating positive change through mutually beneficial relationships. This is entirely relevant to the Laureate network where, with over 1 million students in 25 countries and 60,000 staff, there are endless opportunities to come together as a global community to teach future world leaders to question the status quo and redefine success in business in order to make a positive, lasting impact on the world.

Events like these provide an excellent platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and garnering support; however, the conversation cannot stop once the event ends, it is then when words must become action for real change to happen.