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VideoBook Brings Learning to a Whole New Level

Many people are skeptical about companies’ motives behind ‘giving back’ to society. They suspect corporate giving is merely expensive window dressing aimed at achieving good publicity while diverting attention from elsewhere. Others argue that corporations can’t do good business by being good citizens. CEOs – who are tasked with increasing profit margins – are forced to justify the considerable expense of corporate social responsibility initiatives to stakeholders and demonstrate a shared value to the business. Shared value is the overlap between creating social impact while also rewarding their company’s bottom line.

 

At HP, we strongly believe that good citizenship and good business go hand in hand. One recent example of our success is the HP VideoBook educational system. This Wall Street Journal award-winning initiative enriches digital texts by incorporating carefully selected relevant videos from YouTube and other online sources. It turns plain text documents into rich media documents and brings concepts to life, enabling students to get multiple perspectives on the same topic. Student performance in India significantly improved when using VideoBook, along with Mindspark, an adaptive learning tool, and another HP program, called “Lab-in-Box,” a mobile lab that gives computer access to some of India’s poorest children.

 

The outcomes are encouraging HP to extend the scale and scope of its social innovation initiatives and sell the same technology as an open solution for both licensing in schools and as an enterprise solution for employee on-boarding to the Indian market. HP is turning the initiative into a multi-million dollar revenue opportunity in India with the potential to expand it to other countries around the world. Clearly, corporate ‘giving back’ is delivering shared value.

 

All that aside, delivering shared value takes plenty of hard work, partly because much of it is in unchartered territory. VideoBook was invented by visionaries working in HP Labs in India. Seeing its potential, the worldwide group responsible for HP Sustainability and Social Innovation (HP SSI) developed a new workstream around cloud-based Personalized Learning to help develop, test and support this solution to bring it to the broader market.

 

But that wasn’t all. It took combining the energies and expertise of many HP employees with the knowledge of our in-country partners Educational Initiatives, Indian government officials, schools and teachers. It was a collaborative effort, with everyone working toward the same shared goal. HP SSI believes in this model of supporting innovation internally and collaborating to build change.

 

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