Business Models Must Create Change for Lasting Economic Impact

By: Lauren Moore, Head of Global Social Innovation, eBay Inc.

As eBay and PayPal help drive the next generation of commerce and payments, we recognize our unique ability to use our businesses to create more opportunity for more people around the world. This sense of shared purpose – to drive positive impacts for our business and for the people we serve – has guided our work for nearly two decades.

It was in this spirit that we co-sponsored the Inclusive Economy track (in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation) of this year’s BSR Conference, which took place last week in New York City. Here are a few highlights.

To kick-off the week, we organized a roundtable dinner with BSR and Rockefeller. The event brought together an intimate group of leaders from business, government/think tanks, and nonprofits/foundations to discuss the importance of building inclusive economies and the role of companies like eBay and PayPal in helping to do that. Following a short panel discussion, the evening transitioned to table conversations on topics ranging from the role of technology in fostering economic access and participation, to challenges and solutions in the SMB financing space.

As the conference commenced, sessions in the Inclusive Economy track fostered discussions on ensuring good jobs, building communities of economic opportunity, and enabling access to critical goods and services. This particular track made sense for us because of the alignment with our Creating Economic Opportunity work, one of three Social Innovation areas of focus. We work every day to support and encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to connect and participate in the global economy through technology, and we were pleased to both share our efforts in this space and learn from others.

To conclude our participation in the BSR Conference, I joined the closing panel moderated by BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer. Alongside Hewlett-Packard’s Gabi Zedlmayer, PepsiCo’s Paul Boykas and Rockefeller Foundation’s Zia Khan, we discussed the major ideas and themes surfaced throughout the week. We spoke about the ideas of transformation and transparency, balancing short-term impact with long-term vision, and the role of business in driving positive social and environmental change. It was an interesting conversation and a great way to end the week.

We were thrilled to be a part of this year’s BSR Conference. We learned a lot from the conversations and sessions of which we were a part, and hopefully people left understanding a little more about our Inclusive Economy-related work as well. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this space, and we’re looking forward to everything ahead.

To learn more about the conference and to view photos and videos from the event, visit http://bsr14.org/.

Image Credit: BSR.