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Supply chains are increasingly using innovation and collaborating with civil society and government to bring novel solutions to social problems. In this panel discussion, experts describe innovations that are benefiting society and delivering economic value, including responsible e-waste recycling efforts that generate revenue, innovative methods to end child labor in the carpet industry, and environmental supply chain innovations. They discuss keys to success for notable innovations, and how corporate supply chains can leverage social innovation to build shared value and make change on a large scale. The panel was part of the 2012 Responsible Supply Chains conference at Stanford.

Lakshmi Karan is director of global strategy with Riders for Health, a social enterprise delivering transportation solutions to millions. In the social sector, most recently she was the Skoll Foundation’s director of impact assessment. She has also served as a strategic advisor to global non-profits. In the private sector, Karan was a technology consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

Dara O’Rourke is associate professor at UC Berkeley and co-founder of GoodGuide, the most comprehensive source of consumer information on the health, environmental, and social performance of products and companies. He has consulted to organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. O’Rourke was previously a professor at MIT.

Steven Rockhold is global program manager for product reuse and recycling for Hewlett-Packard. This includes responsibility for operational strategy, volume, cost goals, metrics, international product take-back standards development and compliance, HP global policies, and communications. In addition, he manages HP’s vendor standards for reuse and recycling, vendor audit protocols and processes, and third-party vendor audits.

Nina Smith is the executive director of GoodWeave USA. She oversees the development of GoodWeave’s child labor-free certification, which monitors weaving supply chains down to sub-contracted village and home-based production. She was formerly the executive director of The Crafts Center, a nonprofit organization providing marketing and technical assistance to indigenous artisans around the world. Smith was also president of the Fair Trade Federation.

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