Michael Porter: “Creating shared value is important for all business”

Around 200 business professionals, alumni and students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) explored shared value creation with Professor Michael Porter on Friday 20 May. The world-leading economist and strategist from Harvard Business School came to Rotterdam to lead an exclusive seminar exploring how organisations can tackle societal problems through profitable business models. The event took place at the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam, and was co-organised by RSM and Focus Conferences. Read the full report here.

Professor Porter said the answer to societal issues has been staring business in the face – but it requires a new way of thinking about how we do business. “Creating shared value means addressing societal needs and challenges through business itself, with a business model – and making a profit … in fact, some of the greatest opportunities for business are meeting the unmet needs of society.”

Creating shared value

According to Porter, businesses need a more sustainable long-term view of the company in order to not harm society in pursuit of short-term economic success. “Creating shared value is important for all business,” said Professor Porter – but one area of acute, global need is the area of health care reform. Porter said health care provides many opportunities to simultaneously create societal benefit and sustainable profit for business, and invites innovation.

Porter’s framework for Value-Based Health Care Delivery offers a fundamentally new strategy in the world of health care. The first and basic action of Porter’s framework is the creation of the Integrated Practice Unit (IPU), which is designed to create the greatest value for the patient – consistent high-quality health care – while reducing the cost and complexities of care all around.

Future of health care

Ultimately, Professor Porter described himself as “very, very optimistic” about the future of health care. His message to the audience was that “we are in business to create economic value and prosperity. If we don’t, there will be no prosperity, only business can create that. And profit is not bad. Profit is actually the key to everything, the key to prosperity but also to scalability and sustainability. We can’t be ashamed of that – we’ve to celebrate how important it is when we can do that. But we’ve got to do it in a way that also creates shared value for society, and doesn’t erode value for society.”

The seminar also featured speakers from Nestlé and Erasmus Medical Centre, two organisations have used Professor Porter’s input to create shared value in the area of well-being and health. They were joined by experts from academia and practice during a final panel discussion moderated by Rick Nieman, author and former RTL News presenter.

The full report of the Michael Porter seminar in Rotterdam can be found here.

Values-based leadership
RSM Executive Education will launch the new two-day Values-Based Leadership programme in November, to help managers create a shared sense of purpose to inspire employees’ ownership of the company’s mission, vision, and strategy in order to help their organisation stay on track. The programme kicks off in November 2016 and will take place on RSM’s campus in Rotterdam.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading business schools, and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in Chengdu, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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