In 2019, we saw a proliferation of protest movements around the world. From France to Hong Kong, going across Algeria, Peru, Lebanon, and many more nations, although the causes are different, experts do see a pattern: democracy is a source of disappointment, corruption is seen as brazen, and the younger generation struggles to foresee a positive future. Everywhere, though, the sentiments are the same, a strong longing for change and progress.
The new decade began in a gripping manner. With burning fires in Australia to rising international tensions and now a pandemic, moving to a more sustainable political and economic system is more critical and more urgent than ever before. This isn’t news for Impact Hub. From the outset we have shaped our network into the solid structure it is by supporting both economically viable and socially beneficial enterprises. This suggests that profit and impact are not mutually exclusive, something that businesses and individuals have been actively learning in recent years.
Last year, Gabriela Gandel, our Global Executive Director, was invited as a guest speaker at the first International Pact for Impact Summit, which aims to establish a Global Alliance for the Recognition and Development of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). She addressed the value and feasibility of social and environmental impact assessments.
What is the Social and Solidarity Economy?
The first official document relating specifically to social economy projects dates back to 1922. Since then, they have also existed in various forms of organizations, such as co-operatives, labor unions, fair trade, non-profits, and ethical purchasing. Recent trends indicate that SSE organizations, even through times of economic recession, have shown significant growth. Nevertheless, the idea and theory itself have only recently been incorporated into a new ethical and economic movement that seeks to create a more just and sustainable structure. It aims to turn the existing capitalist system, as well as other oppressive, state-dominated structures, into one that puts people and the planet at its heart. To do so, solutions are being researched in order to fix issues that the existing system is failing to solve. As quoted by the intercontinental network for the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy the three main problems are:
- An increasing number of people throughout the world are experiencing deteriorating living conditions and deepening poverty.
- With the logic of capitalism, people and society become resources to be exploited. Their value in the form of labor or social relationships is reduced to their worth in maximizing profits.
- The deep environmental degradation, provoked by an extractive, intensive and extensive linear economic model, leading to widespread pollution and climate change.
What is the Pact for Impact?
Throughout the two days of this first edition of the Summit, governments, business (wo)men, investors and all stakeholders in civil society came together. The intention was to collaborate and explore key topics, such as the intrinsic connection between the Sustainable Development Goals and the social and inclusive economy. They joined forces and assessed how to strengthen policies and have started to create a roadmap that will accelerate the transition of our economic models. The aim is to create a global coalition that supports and promotes this new model and all its members.
What is Impact Hub’s view on measurement?
At Impact Hub, supporting and offering a space for such initiatives has always been one of our main goals. But our platform goes one step further, producing regular comprehensive reports that assess and measure the social impact of those initiatives, providing key performance indicators:
- We promote the interoperability of frameworks (being able to transfer seamlessly from one system to another) such as IRIS, SROI and several others;
- Lean data approaches to make the information available and transparent at an early stage (technology, efficiency, and approach);
- Easier application to business concepts to allow other sectors to engage in impact measurement and to increase the usage of the insights into their business strategies
What tools does Impact Hub use to Measure Impact?
Most recently we have used Amp Impact. It is a program management and impact evaluation tool that allows us to deliver Impact Hub programs globally. Firstly, it includes a set of standard and customizable program impact logics, metrics and survey questionnaires. Secondly, it produces automated dashboards and reports that simplify the implementation process for Impact Hub founders and team members. And lastly, it allows us the ability to gather accurate data across our network and to measure and compare the program’s effectiveness in order to support modalities across different global regions.
Based on the framework of “Sustainable Development Goals” defined by the UN, we compile and measure all these results from our member’s initiatives around the world in terms of social, financial and environmental return. Having data about entrepreneurial needs ensures us we best support individual Impact Hubs and their members that make up our network. And thanks to the data we have gathered using Amp impact, we will continue measuring and amplifying our impact. Check out our full Impact Report for 2019 here to learn more about how Impact Hub approaches change.
Written by mk mosso
This tackles the following SDGs: