The Future of Business: Social Enterprise, with Kyle Peterson of FSG

Interviews, Social Enterprise — By on 06/23/2011 04:48

Leader in Sustainable Development: Kyle Peterson

The Full Interview

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Kyle Peterson, One of 8 Managing Directors at FSG talks with me today  about social enterprise and  how FSG has evolved from a for profit consulting firm to become the non-profit entity that it is today.

This a short and sweet conversation that gets into the future of business which revolves around socially aligned mission statements. Social enterprises make their money by fixing the social problems that exist today, whether it be poor health care, a lack of potable water, a lack of electricity, etc.

The idea that business is bad for society and society is bad for business is changing with these social enterprises.


Interview Notes

  • FSG started 10 years ago, originally a for profit consulting firm called Foundation Strategy Group.
  • Michael Porter and Mark Cramer wrote and article for HBR- Philanthropy’s New Agenda- about foundations questioning whether foundations were creating value or if they were just passing money and responsibility to  Non-Profits.
  • Hq in boston with 90 people.
  • Offfices in Seattle-does a lot of work with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SF, Geneva, Wash DC, Mumbai
  • When the org started – Foundation Strategy Group, then became a non-profit called FSG.
  • Asked  questions of foundations – Are they as strategic as they could be? Are they learning orgs? 10 years ago, that question was very provocative.
  • Philanthropy was about giving away money, not necessarily looking at the value chain.
  • FSG’s works has grown dramatically as a consultant but also as an idea maker by writing articles like “How to Fix Capitalism
  • Q: Why change from a for profit model to a non-profit model?
  • A: Becuase they are mission focused like all social enterprise
  • Culturally very little has changed after  FSG moved to becoming a Non-Profit
  • Example what GE has done with healthy imagination
  • There are huge issues with health care. There is a huge market for good qualityk, cheap health care products in India.
  • GE will become a huge player in a lot of the health care issues.
  • They will also become a player in providing potable water. Why not?
  • Sustainable engines to tackle social problems (social enterprise).


Resources Mentioned

GE’s HealthyMagination Program

Harvard Business Review: Philanthropy’s New Agenda

Harvard Business Review: How to Fix Capitalism


About Kyle Peterson

Kyle Peterson has more than 20 years of international development experience.  Since 2002, Kyle has managed over 50 consulting projects for FSG in the areas of strategy, program design, operations and evaluation. He encourages FSG’s teams to think creatively and practically to create client solutions for social impact; helps set the vision for the firm and manages the annual business plan; and he writes and speaks on ideas related to global health, global development and companies’ engagement with society.

Prior to joining FSG, Kyle was a strategy consultant at OnTheFrontier, a Monitor Group company. He worked with Professor Michael Porter on domestic competitiveness projects and advised Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, on the country’s future economic strategy. Kyle was also a country director in Zimbabwe and Rwanda for Population Services International, where he managed a $20 million program and launched a number of health product “firsts” on the continent: mass marketed insecticide treated mosquito nets, female condoms, and a novel network of HIV/AIDS voluntary counseling and testing centers.

About FSG

FSG is a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research, founded in 2000 as Foundation Strategy Group and celebrating a decade of global social impact.

Today, FSG works across sectors in every region of the globe — partnering with foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and governments to develop more effective solutions to the world’s most challenging issues. FSG brings together leaders that are hungry to exchange information, to elevate learning and to create collective impact for shared priorities in social change.

Working with many of the world’s leading corporations, nonprofit organizations, and charitable foundations, FSG has completed more than 400 consulting engagements around the world, produced dozens of research reports, and published influential articles in Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review among other publications.


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