Social Impact

There never been a better time to bring about social change. Commerce and social change are becoming inter-twined in new and powerful ways. We all stand to benefit

Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down - M L King Jnr

Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry - Bill Drayton

The Gift of Giving. Being in service to others and doing good in the world has an enormous impact on our own health and well-being, providing a sense of satisfaction and pride. It feels good to do good. It can give us meaning, purpose and turn our ‘daily work’ into significant life-changing contributions.

The Buddhist model of living often refers to the middle way. It’s this ‘middle way’ that is revolutionising business and social change around the world. The pursuit of financial gain only deprives us of the growth that comes from social outcomes. The pursuit of social outcomes without consideration for financial resources also deprives us of our ability to contribute and make a lasting impact. Weaving social impact into our lives need not be at the expense of financial security or comfort and financial wealth need not deprive us of the sense of deep satisfaction that comes from being in service.

Business frameworks offer us an opportunity to address a societal challenge. Social Entrepreneurship refers to the practice of combining innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity to address societal and environmental challenges.

Consumers are opting to trade with organisations and businesses that embrace authentic social change. People want to feel good about their spending and increasingly that means a social outcome attached to it. The ability to bring about social change in a way that builds wealth

‘There is a quiet revolution afoot. It may not be as loud as the technology revolution—but some experts predict it will be just as transformative. Its reverberations are being felt across executive boardrooms, foundation offices, statehouses, and start-ups. And it’s fundamentally shifting the way investments are made, policies are penned, funds are endowed, and careers are chosen. This movement, which has been dubbed the Impact Revolution, advances a vision of doing well while doing measurable good’.
The Social Impact Revolution is Here - Forbes.

Reasons For Engaging in the Impact Revolution

There are many altruistic reasons for engaging in social impact, now more than ever we know there are also good commercial reasons for it as well as personal well-being outcomes:

  1. As humans we’re craving to do good. We have an urge to direct our own lives, get better at something that matters and a yearning do something that is bigger than ourselves.

  2. As Leaders and Influencers, the general public more than ever are wanting to engage with brands and people who inspire them through accomplishment, wealth and social impact.

  3. Money is flowing there. Investors are assessing their portfolios against more than risk and commercial gain, they want portfolios that deliver measurable social impact - because it feels really good to be creating wealth and being an agent of social change.

  4. Careers and Brands are benefiting from it. Organisations are hiring people who can display an ability to deliver against both commercial and social outcomes. In small and big ways, with their interactions with colleagues and on major social issues. Influencers and Brands build followings, support and engagement through authentic social impact like never before.

  5. It can protect our mental, emotional and physical health. Social outcomes bring connection, energy, warmth and challenge. Social impact is inclusive, rewarding and a clear display of the contribution we’re making in the world and the progress we’ve made.

  6. Our working lives are the richer for it. Those who believe that they are working toward something larger and more important than themselves are often the most hard-working, productive and engaged.

The impact revolution and social impact generally falls down when the need for doing well as doing good is over-looked. Equally a focus on the commercial gain to be had from social enterprise fails when it lacks authenticity, ethics and integrity.

Books aligned with this topic
the alchemist - paulo coelho - written in 2 weeks because ‘it was already in his soul’
start with why - simon sinek - how great leaders inspire everyone to take action
give and take - adam grant - why helping others drives our success