Jed Emerson is a social entrepreneur, a funder and investor and a critical observer of the field. His area of exploration is the Blended Value Proposition, focusing on advancing frameworks for assessing and tracking the value generated by social and cultural capital.
"The thing that is striking is what we are really witnessing, I think, is the coming together of different schools," says Emerson. "You got folks who are historically in the non-profit sector who are increasingly taking business acumens, skills, and frameworks and applying them toward community ends."
Emerson is a social entrepreneur, a funder and investor and a critical observer of the field. His area of exploration is the Blended Value Proposition, focusing on advancing frameworks for assessing and tracking the value generated by social and cultural capital.
Ruth A. Shapiro
Dr. Ruth A. Shapiro is the inaugural "social entrepreneur in residence" at the Commonwealth Club of California. This position allows her to further public understanding and discourse on social innovation in the United States.
Dr. Shapiro has put together a series of speakers on the subject of social entrepreneurship. These programs will be available live, on local and national radio and will serve as the content of a book to be edited by Dr. Shapiro and published by Stanford University Press in 2012.
She is also the Principal of Keyi Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in creating broader networks, understanding and business ventures between individuals and companies in Asia, Europe and the United States.
Prior to founding Keyi Strategies, Ruth Shapiro founded the Asia Business Council and served as its Executive Director since its inception in 1997 until May 2007. She is now Senior Advisor to the Council. The Asia Business Council is an independent association of chief executive officers from leading Asian companies or multinational corporations with significant Asian operations. Its membership shares a deep interest in the continued economic and social development and competitiveness of the region and is committed to guiding Asia as it increasingly influences the global marketplace.
As the Founding Executive Director, Dr. Shapiro raised all the start-up capital from private foundations, recruited key chief executives to develop the initiative and built the Council into the formidable organization it is today. On a day to day basis, Dr. Shapiro oversaw the Council's strategy, management, membership, program and finances. She was instrumental in broadening the scope of business issues to include many social themes. In overseeing the Council's programmatic initiatives, Dr. Shapiro gained expertise on issues such as corporate social responsibility, scenario planning, education, training and innovation, corporate governance, energy efficiency, trade policy and regional economic growth.
Prior to joining the Asia Business Council, Dr. Shapiro worked in the field of international development. Within this field, she held management positions and built new program areas at the Academy for Educational Development, the Harvard Institute of International Development and Global Outlook.
Dr. Shapiro holds a doctorate from Stanford University and Masters Degrees from Harvard University and George Washington University. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan. She is a regular speaker to business groups.
Social entrepreneur Jed Emerson reflects on how social entrepreneurship now encompasses an industry of philanthropic business that defies strict definition. "I've spent a lot of time writing papers on what is social entrepreneurship. Nobody pays any attention. They go and do whatever they want because they're entrepreneurs," says Emerson, who disagrees with Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus's aspirations of standardizing social entrepreneurship.