Today the Disruptors took part in an event at Deloitte with NCOSS
to continue the journey around innovating for social impact. The attendees from government, agencies dealing with disadvantage, and industry all came together to try to improve understanding and brainstorm ideas for improving the lives of people dealing with mental illness, abuse, social inequity and youth opportunities. While there wasn’t enough time to deal with things in detail, it’s good to see that more organisations are answering the call to innovate for social impact.
Engaging with social impact projects has a series of benefits, even if the process does not easily align with the core business of a firm. Not only do distributed personnel get to come together to help solve problems that have a significant social and economic impact on a region, but the act of engaging can positively affect brand perception among clients. And if cooperation on social impact projects leads to better cooperation within the firm, there’s an added layer of value for organisations investing in social impact projects.
Obviously for these events to be successful, they must be respectful of the target market (homeless people, survivors of abuse, those enduring mental health issues), and they must be organised to reflect the time pressures of participants. Clear details of the scope and shape of a problem should be understood, and parameters for engagement need to be shared, so that your teams have an opportunity to dive in to problem solving.
Finally, if we are going to sustain interest in social impact innovation, there needs to be commitment to investing in projects that will generate real change. Key here is to ensure that there are pathways between the current practice and some future state for the beneficiaries.
Innovating for social impact is both socially important and rewarding for all. We’re glad to see Deloitte and other organisations pursuing these ends and we hope to see more firms come and join in on the vision.