Paper Co-authored by Baobab on Visualising Corporate Social Value Published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review


A paper co-authored by Baobab Inc. (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Miori Sagara; hereinafter “Baobab”), provider of AI training data creation services, and Collectivemind Consulting Co., Ltd. (head office: Setagaya-ku, Tokyo; President: Fumihiro Ohba; hereinafter “Collectivemind”) has been published in the third issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review Japan. This issue of the Stanford University publication focuses on science, technology and society and went on sale on November 24th, 2022. 

バオバブ、スタンフォード・ソーシャルイノベーション・レビューに共著論文を寄稿 企業の社会的価値「見える化」の実現へ

 Main thrust of the paper

  1. Paper title


The Social Value of a Work Environment in which Anyone is Able to Work in a Style that Suits Them –
How Employment Born in the Age of Digital Transformation Increases the Choice of Working Styles


  1. Date of publication


Thursday, November 24th, 2022 

  1. What led to the writing of this paper

As a company, Baobab aims to realise a society where choices in life are unrestricted, enabling everyone to find their own place in society. Baobab provides data services for machine learning, one of the core technologies of AI, and its customers include Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Tokyo, Microsoft, Hitachi, Panasonic and various other large companies and research institutions located in Japan and other parts of the world. 


Many of the people who create this AI training data for Baobab are people who would have trouble finding work normally due to their personal circumstances, whether it is because of their living environment, disability or another reason. That is why, at the same time as pursuing the economic value of speedily providing high-quality data, Baobab has been contributing to the creation of social value, by creating a system that connects people who have been cut off from society with employment born in the age of digital transformation. 

バオバブ、スタンフォード・ソーシャルイノベーション・レビューに共著論文を寄稿 企業の社会的価値「見える化」の実現へ

However, when attempting to share this social value with a diverse range of stakeholders, Baobab encountered an obstacle, as there existed no organised framework or metrics that could be referred to for comparison. 


In response to this issue, Baobab embarked on a project to formulate impact metrics, working together with Collectivemind, Makaira KK and pro bono members of McKinsey & Company to organise the company’s desired social impact into a set of values and create measurement indicators. The joint paper presents the background, issue, the project’s approach, and the social value aspects of Baobab and associated measurement indicators that emerged during the course of the investigation. 


  1. The value of impact metrics to society


In recent years, increasing attention is being paid to how companies create social value. However, in the quest to objectively visualise the impact they have, there is still nothing suitable that can be used as an indicator to comprehensively measure social impact. This is a common problem for many companies whose objective is to solve social problems.

In contrast to traditional company metrics, which tend to be biased towards investment and business, if a comprehensive evaluation framework can be established for companies whose objective is to solve social problems by focusing on social value – and include the context of companies like Baobab, who have worker communities and employ people with disabilities – then it will allow not just Baobab, but all similar companies tackling social issues, to be evaluated in a more appropriate way.

It is hoped that this paper, and the initiatives described within, will not be limited to the efforts of a single company, but serve to benefit all by expanding as a system for creating a society where choices in life are unrestricted. 


 About the Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is a journal that began publication at Stanford University in 2003 as a partner for the trailblazers working towards realizing a new vision for society, and its readership has grown to include people from all over the world. SSIR contains research results and knowledge that can be used to help companies, governments, NPOs, schools, specific regions and people in various different locations to bring about social innovation. The themes of its articles range from specific social issues such as the environment, education, medicine, gender inequality, food shortage and urban issues, to more general topics such as business and purpose, non-profit management, impact investment, design thinking, utilising AI and digital media, public policy, mindset and leadership and collective impact.

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 About Baobab Inc.

Baobab develops training data creation services for AI. The company’s goal is to create an environment in which workers’ self-esteem is boosted through their work, and they receive fair pay. Baobab endeavours to create a system in which anyone, no matter their background or circumstances, can work on projects as a professional, continuously support their professional development, and speedily deliver the high-quality AI training data that is essential for artificial intelligence development to clients in Japan and other parts of the world. This commitment to diversity and inclusion has earnt Baobab recognition, and president & CEO Miori Sagara has been awarded the Forbes Japan Women Award – the biggest award of its kind in Japan – in the corporate category for two years running. (6th place in 2021, 1st place in 2022)


Baobab Inc. company overview

Company name: Baobab Inc.

Portal Point, Shin-Yurakucho Building 11F, 1-12-1, Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0006

Business description: Training data creation services for AI

Representative: President & CEO Miori Sagara