REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (April 8 2013)–On April 19, 2013, Omidyar Network (ON) will mark the completion of the Harvard Business Review-Bridgespan Insight Center on Scaling Social Impact, an online resource supported by Omidyar Network that launched in January 2013, featuring the latest and most innovative thinking on market-based strategies for social impact, including impact investing. The collection will remain online as a resource for anyone interested in social impact issues.
The three-month series concludes with a capstone webinar, The Future of Social Impact Investment, led by Sir Ronald Cohen, widely regarded as the “father of British venture capital.” Cohen authored one of the most read and commented upon blogs on the Insight Center to date, Social Impact Investing is the New Venture Capital. The webinar will be open to the public and the media on Friday, April 19, 2013, at 12:00 PM EDT. (Register here).
“We are quite pleased with the success and learning opportunities from the Insight Center,” said Matt Bannick, managing partner of Omidyar Network. “It’s clear there’s an appetite in the business and social innovation communities for a smart, engaging and sustained dialogue regarding best practices and lessons learned in impact investing. We intend to find additional ways to continue this critical discussion.”
“Impact investing is the next big thing,” said Sir Cohen in a recent question and answer exchange. “Society cannot continue to cope with prevailing social issues in the traditional way. We need to harness entrepreneurship, innovation and capital to achieve in the social area what they have achieved in the creation and growth of entrepreneurial firms, particularly those in technology.”
The HBR-Bridgespan Insight Center focuses on three areas of interest:
• What are market-based approaches to social change and how should they be funded?
• How to develop talent that makes the enterprise tick.
• How to measure and scale what works using data and technology.
“The goal of this three-month pilot project has been to reach a growing audience seeking content on how business leaders across all sectors can accomplish social change in the world,” said Katherine Bell, editor of HBR.org.
“We are pleased to partner with Harvard Business Review and thank Omidyar Network for their sponsorship,” said Bridgespan Partner Katie Smith Milway, who is co-leading the Insight Center. “The initiative created space for an upcoming generation of socially conscious leaders to connect with founders of the social enterprise movement in powerful new ways.”
In addition to Omidyar Network and the Bridgespan Group, numerous organizations have contributed content to the Insight Center, including the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, INSEAD’s Social Enterprise Center, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, Duke’s CASE program, Unilever, General Mills and a host of nonprofits, foundations and individuals who have worked on both sides of the private sector and nonprofit aisles. Topics cover a range of issues including: how impact investing is evolving; how technology can be harnessed to scale social change; developing talent at startups – where challenges for nonprofits and for profits are similar; and discussions on prevailing approaches to assessing impact.