The Best of Social Impact: Must-read Articles of the Month (January 2019)
Social impact, entrepreneurship, and innovation — if it’s interesting news, you’ll find it here. These stories may not be the ones atop your news feed, but chances are they’re the ones you’ll actually want to read. Whether it’s opinions on creating positive social and environmental impact – or the simply the valuable lessons learned along the way, here’s a round up of the past month’s most interesting articles.
Social enterprises are a growing force in the global economy and a fierce catalyst for social change. One third of startups globally have social good as their core mission. Conversations with the founders of social businesses and insights from a few others provide an outlook into the future of this space.
If innovation is to survive into the 21st century, we need to change how companies are built by changing the questions we ask of them. To better assess the social impact of startups’ technology, here are eight questions every company must be able to answer—and every venture capitalist should be asking.
Impact investment is capturing the growing attention of mainstream investors, and everyone is increasingly hearing and talking about it. Here are some key points, definitions and examples that can help to start understanding the concept and its applicable importance in our everyday conversations, decisions and actions.
Amid the increasingly active and populated public and private marketplace for sustainable development, the uniquely ambitious SDGs, and increasing global challenges related to climate and conflict that affect us all, there is no luxury to invest in development without certain, sustainable impact.
Just like we did last year, here’s our attempt to wrap up 2018 with some of the year’s most worthy headlines. Skim them again or read for the first time for some social change inspiration. Big-ups to all those brave individuals who are committed to working on innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems.
We live in a world of smart, connected ovens, but one in which 795 million people do not have enough food to eat. We are witnessing exponential growth, but also great inequality. Addressing this kind of polarisation is no longer solely the role of governments and the non-profit sector. Large corporations have the opportunity, while still in service to their customers and shareholders, to address the needs of society by working with small organisations with strong social values.
People are growing sceptical of companies that present themselves as charitable or socially conscious, and can see straight through “phoney” brands claiming to be a force for good, according to the boss of one of the world’s best-known social enterprises.
There is a disconnect between government and the social sector around measuring social impact, writes Australian Social Value Bank impact specialist Andrew Callaghan, who explains why both sides must commit to tackling fundamental issues in impact measurement.
A showcase of tech-based startups designed to benefit Australian Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities. They’re all doing some deadly good work and worth checking out.
The best way to start a wind of change is through entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs, who have embraced the same, are the actual difference makers creating positive impacts in the society. The startup age has helped the entrepreneurs with the social cause not only to continue their entrepreneurial spree but also to create some actual modification in the society. They can be viewed as the modern day revolutionaries who bring innovative ideas on a plate and shape them into reality.
Over the past year, companies have had to take a hard look at their culture and values and determine whether or not those values are reflected in their day-to-day operations. They’ve done this in order to not only get ahead of potential conflict (in an environment where knee-jerk reaction has become the norm), but to put a stake in the ground and become a leader in the areas that they say they care most about. This change in behaviour and the way we do business will continue to take shape into 2019. Here are some of my predictions for what’s in store and how companies can stay ahead of the fray.
Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah argues that the reason most social enterprises haven’t done well is not because of the model, but because the fundamental principle of the model – make a profit and then fund social programmes – hasn’t been fully understood by the founders.
Impact investing could be more effective if universal measurement standards were implemented and impact goals were better defined, an OECD report says.
It’s notoriously difficult for organisations to keep faith with two equally important goals. A lot try. For-profit companies make grand pronouncements about social responsibility, but their resolve nearly always weakens when shareholder earnings are threatened. “Social” businesses and nonprofits often go in the opposite direction, privileging mission over financial viability. Here’s how companies can balance the strategic tradeoff between social impact and financial goals.
Without bringing more rigor and resources to scaling impact efforts, the do-good industry will never make the exponential leaps needed to bring social innovations to millions of people.