In 2008, the Rockefeller Foundation launched its program initiative on impact investing with an important premise in mind: that the resources of government and philanthropy alone are insufficient to address the world’s biggest challenges. The Foundation has since aided in formulating the emerging industry of impact investing as well as to hold it accountable for its social and environmental impact goals. Since then, the concept and the practice of impact investing—placing capital with the intent to generate positive social impact beyond financial return—have grown and matured significantly.

In parallel with advancements in impact investing, there have been significant developments in the area of creating shared value. Shared value strategies drive large companies to undertake work that combines the pursuit of profit with the pursuit of positive social and environmental impact; in that way, it is analogous to the way impact investors deploy capital. The Rockefeller Foundation has provided funding to support the launch of the Shared Value Initiative as a platform for driving private sector engagement in solving social problems. The Foundation believes that shared value should be a public good and that the Shared Value Initiative can be an important vehicle by which to provide the latest shared value thinking and research globally.