Raoul Shah is a consultant with Accenture Strategy in London, having recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil focused on development economics. 

I am fortunate enough to be supporting SVIHK over the summer, during such an exciting and fast-moving phase in the organisation’s development. With the involvement of thought leaders and recognition from the Hong Kong Government of the importance of adopting a shared value approach, SVIHK is building a community of practitioners to address profound societal challenges in Hong Kong and beyond. The opportunity to contribute to a mission I care deeply about is amazing.

I studied business at undergrad. I have always been interested in the dynamism of business, and at the system level capitalism, and its ability to drive innovation and efficiency to meet varied and evolving human needs at scale. However, for the past several decades at least the role of business in addressing societal challenges has often been peripheral and consequential at best rather than targeted and proactive. A few years ago I had the opportunity to second into Accenture’s Innovation Centre, where for ten months I worked with leadership teams and boards of multinational companies, government agencies and civil society organisations to capitalise on market opportunities and address organisational and wider societal challenges, with a focus on digital technologies and partnership models as enablers. Following this I pursued an MPhil in development economics, which amongst other things allowed me to explore in more detail the diversity of capitalism as an economic system and the role of business as an important partner to government in addressing a wide range of societal challenges and delivering products and services for profit with positive social impact. The role of government and related organisations and institutions in regulating, promoting and enabling business to create value in the wider sense is critical.

I have supported on a number of projects during my time with SVIHK, from creating member engagement materials such as an ‘Ideation Guide’ to defining and documenting shared value propositions and best practices in shared value in the HK/ Greater China region and globally across a range of sectors and societal challenges. I have been involved in meetings and discussions with SVIHK members and prospects, third-party contractors and delivery partners.

My experience with SVIHK has been incredible – I felt very welcome and engaged from day one. I now have a better understanding of the practicalities of creating and championing shared value as well as engaging and mobilising partners. In particular I have gained on-the-ground experience in a region of the world that I have a great personal interest in, exposing me to different societal and organisational challenges and opportunities, and I have gained exposure to a wide range of practitioners and partners that all play important roles in collectively improving the lives of real people. Economic and social development is an inherently collective endeavour, which is why organisations such as SVIHK play a pivotal role.