Today is my anniversary at the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment. Three years ago I received a laptop in the post and off I went. In this weird and wonderful world that is the GSG, I went from being programme manager to head of knowledge development, learning the intricacies of impact investment across 33 countries along the way.
In a burst of excitement in remembering this anniversary, I wrote some of my reflections last night:
- Change can happen overnight
What was unthinkable a year ago is now reality. Progress on impact measurement, on individual demands of their savings, and on company and investor disclosures through regulation has happened so quickly that many of us in the sector have found it hard to keep up. Maybe it would have happened without Covid, or maybe not, but in any case it’s here to stay and it’s happened faster than we could have predicted. I am genuinely excited to see what happens next.
- People really care about ‘Impact’.
And it isn’t just about millennials, or the rich. Nor is it about social and environmental as as separate themes. I have friends and colleagues from all over the world, from across generations and backgrounds who care about this — and they are making it happen, from supporting women micro entrepreneurs in rural India to providing services to informal settlements in Argentina. And that’s really important. For impact investment to work it needs to speak to all people — across regions, across ages and, possibly most importantly, across classes. The most privileged of us, though started the movement, are no longer leading it. And that’s fantastic.
- Having the right colleagues matters more than I realised
I know it’s a cliché, but it’s landing for me today. My dad was recently taken ill, and for a couple of weeks, I put him first. No questions, no explanations, no apologies needed. The hours I put in didn’t matter. We’re all human — and having our work laptop in front of us doesn’t change our personalities. Our first ‘pulse’ survey at the GSG showed that every single one of us (that’s 18!) believe in the mission of the company — I’m grateful for getting to work with such impact oriented colleagues. Oh, and by the way… did I mention that we’re hiring?