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Commentary

A Pivotal Moment for Impact

Vitoria Junqueira, Head of Mobilisation and Institutional Relations at Aliança Pelo Impacto, offers insights from the GSG Summit 2023 on mobilising capital and action for global impact. 

As we approach the final seven years to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and grapple with our commitments under the Paris Agreement, it is becoming increasingly evident that the clock is ticking. The urgency to act with greater speed and effectiveness to address global challenges is paramount. The GSG Summit 2023, conducted over just two days this week, served as a powerful testament to the growing strength of the global impact ecosystem.

However, it also underscored the need to expedite our efforts. This article delves into the key discussions and initiatives that took centre stage at the event, highlighting the crucial role of impact measurement, the significance of impact economies, and the imperative of mobilising capital to shape a more impactful world. 

Impact measurement

At the forefront of the GSG’s agenda lies the imperative of impact measurement, often referred to as ‘impact transparency . The ability to quantitatively gauge the impact of businesses, especially impact-driven enterprises, is essential for making informed decisions regarding the allocation of resources.

While the event celebrated the introduction of new impact measurement standards by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), it also candidly acknowledged the enduring need for the refinement of these metrics. The aim is to translate impact data into tangible, concrete results that can be seen and felt.

Impact economies 

While impact measurement is undeniably indispensable, it is imperative to recognise that data is a means, not an end. It serves as the foundation upon which compelling arguments and powerful narratives are built. The GSG Summit 2023 dedicated substantial attention to highlighting the flourishing impact economies worldwide. These are ecosystems where enterprises and initiatives are generating tangible and meaningful results in addressing social and environmental challenges.

Moreover, the event emphasised the importance of sharing knowledge and best practices among nations to foster the growth of impact economies globally. A standout example of success is Brazil’s National Impact Economy Strategy, commonly known as Enimpacto, which has provided a robust blueprint for other nations to emulate.

Global perspective: Latin America and Africa

The GSG Summit underscored the indispensable role played by Latin America and Africa in the pursuit of global social and environmental impact. These regions are at the forefront of some of the most pressing challenges, including inequality and a lack of opportunities. However, they are also home to some of the most innovative and impactful initiatives.

It is crucial to recognise that true impact cannot be achieved without addressing these issues at their roots. The event applauded the unwavering commitment and ongoing efforts in these continents, highlighting them as foundational to achieving global success. The resounding message is that while progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. Our collective mission is to ensure that capital and resources reach those who need it most.

Mobilising capital for people and the planet

Beyond the discussions on impact measurement and the growth of impact economies, the GSG Summit 2023 brought to the fore the critical importance of effectively mobilizing capital. Capital must be strategically directed toward initiatives and projects that are positioned to drive positive impact on both people and the planet.

The work of the Gaia Group, which focuses on financing sustainable family farming practices, and the remarkable case of Estímulo, a social fund providing support and empowerment to small entrepreneurs, were highlighted as examples of how capital can be harnessed to create significant change. The Gaia Group and Estímulo have collectively impacted thousands of jobs and improved the lives of countless individuals. 

A collective commitment to global impact

We hope the GSG Summit 2023 will served as a pivotal moment in the global mobilisation for social and environmental impact. The discussions surrounding impact measurement, impact economies, and capital mobilisation underscored the urgency of taking swift and effective action to address the pressing challenges facing our world. It is not enough to simply acknowledge the issues; concrete actions and tangible proposals are needed to bring about meaningful change. The power of the GSG Summit lies not only in the diversity of voices that convene but in the collective commitment to turning those voices into action. 

In conclusion, the GSG Summit 2023 was a call to arms—a resounding reminder of the urgency and importance of accelerating our efforts to mobilise more capital towards impact, and doing so we can dream about achieving the SDGs and honouring our commitments under the Paris Agreement. It is a testament to the fact that the global impact ecosystem is growing stronger by the day.

However, it also serves as a stark reminder that we must do more and do it faster. As we move forward, it is imperative that the diversity of voices and perspectives that came together at the summit translate into concrete actions and tangible proposals. Only then can we hope to create a world where impact is not just a concept but a reality, where our collective impact is indeed greater.

The article was co-authored by Aliança Pelo Impacto Executive Director Ricardo Ramos, and Chair Marcel Fukayama. 

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