THE REAL TRANSFORMATION
“ The impact economy is a system in which institutions and individuals give equal priority to social impact and financial impact when making decisions about how to allocate resources. In an impact economy, consumers and shareholders will challenge entrepreneurs and executives to show that they generate their profits in a manner that contributes to the public good.”
(McKinsey & Company: Catalyzing The Growth of the Impact Economy).
For the past 8 years, with Ship2B and the Impact Forum, we have insisted on the notion of impact economy and the idea that impact investment is profitable. In this eighth edition, we want to understand what difficulties this change of logic entails. Impact investing is much more than complying with the SDGs or publishing ESG indicators. It involves facing profound transformations, which are not necessarily easy. It involves questioning business models, strategies and organizational cultures, rethinking how we define success and how we measure it, and assessing the basis on which we make decisions.
Impact-driven decisions, investments and projects infuse into all parts of the economy, regulation and society. Are economic and social models mutations leading to more impact investment and awareness or are more impact conscious societies, corporates and public institutions leading to structural transformations? There is no straight answer and it depends on the sectors, the actors and the geographical zone. But eventually, real impact goes hand in hand with a deep transformation of our business and society models. Impact fuels structural mutations as much as these mutations are needed to propel real impact.
While impact-driven decisions and organizations are becoming more mainstream, it is all the more important to measure and assess what is real impact. In particular, across all segments, what are the difficult transformations stakeholders need to undergo if they want their impact to be real and not merely cosmetics? In segments that are not impact-specific, is impact penetrating the decision-making process, how are investment decisions made and how do companies approach impact from a business perspective?
We will hear from representatives of the whole ecosystem, from start-ups and foundations to more established corporates and the public sector, both Spanish and international players. They will shed some light about the structural changes they are operating and observing and that lead to positive impacts. They will also share the challenges they face and the opportunities that arise from the impact economy. We’ll also discuss what is needed to pursue this transformative journey.