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Socrates’ recipe for systems change: know thyself

Alliance Magazine

April 17, 2019

by Priscilla Boiardi and Alessia Gianoncelli

Systems change calls for more collaboration among public, private and civil society actors. But how can you collaborate if you’re not transparent about your impact, financial returns expectations and how much of a risk you are willing to take? How can we drive transparency in the venture philanthropy, social investment and impact investing sectors? We asked 30 practitioners and 15 experts, and this is what we learned.

We all know: in Europe social issues are becoming more acute and the resources needed to tackle them are shrinking. The good news, though, is that funders are becoming smarter in using their resources and new forms of capital are eager to engage in the social impact ecosystem.

The larger the number of capital providers in the space, the higher the chance to solve social issues and achieve system change. Right? Maybe. Systems change is all about collaboration among actors in a social impact ecosystem. As highlighted in a recent piece from Rob Abercrombie, the cornerstone principle of system change is working with others (see point four. in his blogpost). As a funder, you need to ask yourself what is the root cause of a problem, and whether you can engineer a collective solution working with private, public and civil society actors, all providing different types of funding, non-financial support and expertise.

At EVPA we discussed this issue with practitioners and experts during last year’s research. This is what we have learned.

Read the entire article on Alliance Magazine.

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