The Best of Social Impact: Must-Read Articles of the Month (October 2020)
Social impact, entrepreneurship, and innovation – if it’s interesting news, you’ll find it here. These stories may not be the ones on the top of your news feed, but chances are they’re the ones you’ll actually want to read. Whether its opinions on creating positive social change – or simply the valuable lessons learned along the way, here’s a round-up of the past month’s most interesting articles.
Amid the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic, early insights from the RESET 2020 National Impact+Need September Survey indicate many social sector organisations are finding that in addition to the financial strain caused by COVID-19 restrictions, staff and volunteers are feeling increasingly anxious and stressed.
All of us look for purpose in the work we do — we want to feel that our efforts make a difference in some way, by making somebody’s life easier or making the world a better place. But when we think about becoming a ‘social innovator’, we can put ourselves off by overestimating what’s involved.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 78% of Australians said their mental health was impacted. In July 2020, depression rates in Australia doubled. With much of the country experiencing complete social isolation at some point this year, with limited access to the things that make us feel lighter and warmer and happier, it’s no wonder that the black dog has stormed its way into homes and workplaces.
Social enterprises are sprouting up all over the world, but in some areas the movement is slower to get off the ground. Although international programmes can be of huge support to local pioneers, it’s not quite as simple as transposing experience from one country onto another.The Victorian government is launching the state’s third social impact bond. Young Victorians who are disengaged from school and living with mental health conditions will be given extra support to complete their studies, through a new program from the state government and Melbourne City Mission.
Social enterprises hold great potential to make our world better. To realise this transformative potential, we must ensure the fullness and diversity of this sector is recognised and embraced – including co-operatives.
While you might not have experience managing snake populations in India, parts of this story is likely familiar to most of us: the idea that problems are often more complex than they seem, and that well-intentioned ‘solutions’ can have unintended consequences and can even make a problem worse (this is now known as the ‘Cobra Effect’).
The current social enterprise system favours the white middle class. It will take a different approach to give those from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to be the authors of their own change and to deliver a social enterprise that rivals any other, writes Andrew Curtis.
The headlines of this budget are around the substantial tax cuts, and “business leg” recovery investments being made, but behind the bluster and bang, there are deep structural crevasses this budget will cause for civil society.
These battle-tested insights can help social enterprises increase their impact as they navigate severe crises like COVID-19.