December 2022 Social Impact News Roundup: From Treating Symptoms to Changing Systems

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

Corporates Shifting Towards a Systemic Approach to Social Impact

There’s a mindset shift happening in the world of corporate social responsibility, from addressing symptoms of problems to addressing the root cause of structural problems themselves for a more equitable and sustainable world. In a recent reflection, LinkedIn’s Head of Social Impact, Meg Garlinghouse, shares lessons learned from the company’s own journey towards systemic social impact, and tips for companies who also want to take an “up-river” approach that incorporates all stakeholders. Our partners at SAP are a great example of what this kind of embedded social responsibility looks like in practice, and in this blog post, we outline how SAP creates shared value along the different dimensions of corporate stewardship and how your company can, too. 

Financial Inclusion at a Global Scale

According to Research and Markets, the global market for microfinance was estimated at US $156.7 billion in 2020, and is projected to grow to US $304.3 billion by 2026. In an op-ed for NextBillion, Grameen Foundation CEO Zubaida Bai explains how the industry’s evolution has created new opportunities to extend financial inclusion to people that banks consider unprofitable (particularly women) as an enabler of poverty reduction and prosperity. A new report from the Better Than Cash Alliance and Unilever shares findings about how to digitize payments responsibly, and highlights key drivers of success for adoption of digital payments by small women entrepreneurs. 

Ramping up Adoption of ESG Frameworks

Executives at large U.S. companies are rapidly increasing sustainability reporting efforts, with nearly all actively investing in ESG data and reporting technology and internal roles to meet rising stakeholder demand and approaching regulatory requirements, according to a new survey released by Deloitte. However, there is still no international consensus on ESG reporting, and most international ESG frameworks have been developed from a Northern-facing perspective. The implications of asset owners and regulators pushing the adoption of these frameworks globally raises concerns about the implications for companies operating in the Global South. To better understand whether implementation of ESG frameworks will be a source of risk or opportunity from a Global South perspective, the Swiss Capacity Building Facility and its partners interviewed leaders from 32 financial institutions, ranging from banks to fintechs to microfinance institutions – check out the findings in the full report here.

Social Impact Job Openings

Upcoming Events & New Programs

  • January 15: Deadline to apply for Changemakers for the Planet, a program open to young changemakers aged 18-35 with innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. 
  • February 15: Deadline to apply to The Ripple Center Fellowship, a fully-funded immersive social entrepreneurship program for young adults aged 18-24.
  • Ongoing: Diversity in Sustainability is accepting applications to its “Inclusion Blueprint Dialogues,” an ongoing series for sustainability leaders or practitioners, students, HR professionals, recruiters, and professionals in higher education looking to build a more inclusive field.
  • Ongoing: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is building a Circular Startup Index — a growing, searchable database featuring hundreds of startups across a range of sectors, industries, and geographies. If your social enterprise advances principles of circular economy, apply to join the index here.

Congratulations to….

A Final Bit of Inspiration

“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all it takes a willingness to try.”
Atul Gawande