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The climate challenge can be a platform to create 'shared value' between MIT and the MIT alumni network - to the benefit of all!



Creating 'shared value' between MIT - alumni - and the climate

MIT can utilize the global climate challenge as a platform to create 'shared value' between the institution and MIT alumni to the benefit of all - and in particular the climate challenge. This could take the form of e.g. investments/funding (by MIT alumni) into sustainable technology or research-led start-ups (by MIT researchers and students). Alternatively, MIT alumni and MIT can collaborate on sustainable educational initiatives to the benefit of both. Moreover, MIT can promote sustainable start-ups of its alumni to the broader community of alumni and society. Shared value is here defined as the progress of the mutually dependent connections between social, economic and environmental objectives. In other words, it can benefit companies (profit), the community (people) and the environment (planet) at the same time - and not at the expense of each other. It is this foundational pillar of creating shared value that comprise the key distinguishing feature of the proposal.

What actions do you propose?

The actions entailed in the proposal follows three progressive/interrelated steps:

Three-fold action plan

  1. Provide the MIT alumni network access to invest early in MIT start-ups in sustainable technology and sustainable business models.
  2. Engage in a joint collaboration with the MIT alumni network to develop new educational initiatives within sustainable technology and sustainable business models e.g. 'a sustainable MBA' with a focus on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.
  3. Promote sustainable start-ups created by current and former MIT students in the broader MIT community.


These actions are, individually, quite small - but in conjunction carries the potential for superadditive benefits i.e. More than the sum of its parts. This could benefit MIT, the alumni network and the environment. Moreover, the common theme of 'shared value' secures the motivation of all parties to engage in an ongoing collaboration.

The proposal suggests that MIT alumni have the roles of investors - co-creators - collaborators - and advocates. Hence, they are a repository of strategic resources (Wernerfelt, 1984) to help create shared value in collaboration with the resource-base of MIT.


  1. Porter, M & Kramer, M. (2006). Strategy and society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review.
  2. Porter, M & Kramer, M. (2011). The big idea: Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review.
  3. Klein, P. (2011). Three great examples of shared value in action. Forbes.
  4. Florin, J & Schmidt, E. (2011). Creating shared value in the hybrid venture arena: A business model innovation perspective. Journal of social entrepreneurship, 2(2).
  5. Pfitzer, M, Bockstette, V & Stamp, M. (2013). Innovating for shared value. Harvard Business Review.
  6. Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 5(2), p. 171-180.