B4SI were joined by over 70 social impact practitioners from 42 businesses, representing organisations locally, nationally and internationally. Kindly hosted by IHG, the partnership event provided a space for social impact practitioners to come together, share learnings, discuss best practice, and explore emerging issues related to social impact.
The agenda was jam-packed with a series of insightful sessions throughout the day: attendees heard from industry leaders on how their respective businesses are tackling inequality in the value chain and building trust in social impact reporting. In the afternoon, attendees joined two workshop sessions, with a choice between four topics; employee engagement, diversifying the field of corporate social impact, what good social impact programs look like, and community engagement.
Throughout the day it became apparent that, while attendees represented diverse global geographical regions, the issues were universal. There are regional nuances when managing social impact, be it varied reporting regulations, levels of investor pressures, and especially language used (be it ‘corporate citizenship’, ‘social impact’ or the increasingly politicized ‘ESG’). Regional differences aside, a global truth is clear: social impact needs to happen. Businesses need to create programs, to generate impact, to ‘walk the talk’. Businesses must have the systems in place to measure, manage and report this impact internally and externally. Social impact is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a business imperative.
To paraphrase an event attendee, every business has a ‘footprint’, both positive & negative, which it leaves behind in its wake. Similarly, every business has a ‘handprint’ which is more intentional. It is with this handprint that a business uses its resources for positive change. Businesses have a responsibility to harness their handprint in an impactful way. Whether they supported communities in Atlanta, across the US, or across the globe, this is something that all attendees could relate to.
B4SI would like to thank all involved in making the event a success: for all attendees and for their active engagement throughout the day, to the speakers for sharing their time and expertise, to B4SI’s partners at ACCP and CVC for working so diligently to craft the event, and to the event hosts IHG for allowing use of their space and for making the event possible.
B4SI look forward to connecting with our network in the US in the near future.
Author: Orlaith McGuinness, B4SI Client Account Manager