By Anna Bowden The following article was published by Pro Bono Australia on 18 May 2016 In recent years, a suite of new tools have emerged to help us ease some of our most pressing societal problems, such as impact investing, shared value, social enterprise, and social innovation. Gradually, all sectors have come to recognise the value of these models, albeit with some disagreement over their scale of value.
When I first started working with One Earth Future Foundation in the USA, we were a small team looking at how to suppress maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia. In the initial stages of our counter-piracy strategy, we and our international partners, were focused on deterring the crime. The emphasis was on keeping the lid on the criminal activity. However, it didn’t take long to realise that you can’t
Mental health issues affect 1 in 5 Australians – more people than cancer and diabetes combined. It’s estimated that mental illnesses cost over $30 billion every year in Australia, in everything from increased health costs, to lost worker productivity, to homelessness, and unemployment. We also know that there is a strong correlation between mental health and employment. People who work in secure, stable, and supportive environments, not only retain employment for
On 23 July 2015, Social Outcomes released the report, Shared Value in Australia. The report looks at how companies in Australia and globally, are seizing the opportunity of shared value creation – growing their businesses, markets, and revenue streams, through innovations that reduce social and environmental problems. Business is rapidly changing, fuelled by increased transparency, digital innovation, consumer engagement, finite resources and supply chains, and dynamic demographics and workforces. Traditional
By Sandy Blackburn-Wright, Managing Director, Social Outcomes We are told at every turn that we need to measure impact, whether we are a not-for-profit (NFP), philanthropic foundation, business, or government department, and it’s all very confusing. There are lots of measurement tools and approaches, and we’re not always sure whether we should use these, or build something ourselves, so we end up doing a bit of both. Here are a
In Australia, the combination of a long-standing commitment to the ‘Aussie fair go,’ along with an increasing strain on government resources, creates a fertile environment for various forms of blended social and financial value to thrive. A number of businesses, social sector organisations, private foundations, and government agencies across Australia, are spearheading innovative models that create social value for our communities, but are structured or funded in ways that we
The following article was published in Conscious Company Magazine, Spring (USA) edition, 2015. The article is available here. Photo credit: GAVI Alliance In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama spoke of the importance of using the lesson of Ebola to “build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.” What if this “investment” he mentioned wasn’t just
By Anna Bowden, Social Outcomes It seems almost impossible to go a day in Australia without the topic of property coming up, and more specifically, the rapid rate at which housing prices are escalating. For low-income earners in Australia, access to housing is a serious concern. Across the country, the proportion of households spending more than half their incomes on rent rose from 20% in FY2007-08 to 25% in FY2009-10.
The first Financial System Inquiry (FSI) in over 16 years has called out impact investing as a valuable and needed mechanism to fund social service delivery in Australia. The FSI called impact investing an important tool in the Australian context, especially given reduced government capacity to fund social services. The Inquiry also noted that impact investing presented an opportunity for Australia to: Reduce costs, and improve the impact of social