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Spring 2014: Think Outcomes

From the Editor: Associate Professor Kristy Muir, Research Director (Social Outcomes), the Centre for Social Impact Around one in five people in Australia have a mental illness and almost one in five a disability, increasing their risk of being out of work, having a lower level of education and being socially isolated. We have rising health and aged care costs, but a shrinking workforce and the highest level of youth unemployment in more than a decade. … Continue reading

Posted in Demonstrating Social Impact, Issue 20: Spring 2014, Issue Front Page, Issues | Leave a comment

Winter 2014: Does social procurement deliver social impact?

From the Editor When buyers use their purchasing power to achieve social outcomes beyond the products and services they require, they are undertaking social procurement. Social procurement is a strategic approach to procurement which allows organisations to achieve multiple outcomes through their procurement spend including: • The creation of employment for marginalised groups and those excluded from the labour market; and • Regenerating of local economies; and • Ensuring fair work practices in developing countries. … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 19: Winter 2014, Issue Front Page, Social Innovation | Leave a comment

Winter 2013: Building a marketplace for social impact investment

Social impact investment aims to place capital and capability to create positive social and environmental outcomes, while maintaining some financial return. It is not a new idea but has in the last few years has reached unprecedented global scale and the depth and sophistication of research supporting the market has grown. This year saw the release of the Federal Government’s Impact: Australia report, which issued a call to action for all of us to tip Australia … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 18: Spring 2013, Issue Front Page, Issues | Leave a comment

Autumn 2013: Intelligence for purpose and meaning: foundations for achieving social impact

It is appropriate that this Knowledge Connect follows Issue 16 on Leadership and Systems Thinking. The guest editor of that issue defined systems thinking as entailing a ‘consideration of the whole and its parts, and the complexity, paradox and interconnections within them. It also involves examining a situation from multiple perspectives, looking for long term as well as short-term effects and consequences, and recognizing patterns, cycles and relationships’. Many people would not dispute the power … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 17: Autumn 2013, Issue Front Page | 1 Comment

Summer 2012/13: Leadership and Systems Thinking

‘If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.’ – Robert Pirsig (1974 p92) In the quintessentially ‘70s book Zen and … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 16: Summer 2012/13, Issue Front Page, Leadership | 3 Comments

Spring 2012: Why does philanthropy matter?

As guest editors of the Spring 2011 edition of Knowledge Connect on Philanthropy: Impact over Intentions, Paul Flatau and Elena Douglas at CSI (UWA) examined the emergence of a generation of philanthropists who value impact and effectiveness over intentions. They looked at the principal global forces guiding these changes and how that was impacting Australian philanthropy. In the then Federal Government’s 2005 Giving Australia: Research on Philanthropy in Australia, it was estimated that a total … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 15: Spring 2012, Issue Front Page | 2 Comments

Issue 14: Winter 2012: Fair Trade (the movement) and Fairtrade (the label)

Fairtrade’s roots can be traced back as far as 50 years ago, anchored in a mixture of charity and solidarity, and what has become known as the Fair Trade movement. Before looking deeper into the topic of                 Fairtrade, I would like to establish an important distinction the public may not have yet fully grasped: the distinction between Fair Trade (2 words) and Fairtrade (1 word): Fair Trade is a … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Responsibility, Ethics, Issue 14: Winter 2012, Issue Front Page | Comments Off

Autumn 2012: Design and Social Innovation

There is a growing interest in the role that design can play in catalysing, harnessing, spreading and scaling social innovation around the world.  This is expressed in two key ways: •    by a growing number of professional designers and design disciplines applying their skills to addressing social issues; and •    by the adoption of design tools, techniques and methods by a growing number of other disciplines focused on developing social innovation. Perhaps the most recognisable … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 13: Autumn 2012, Issue Front Page, Social Design, Social Innovation | 2 Comments

Issue 12: Summer 2011-2012: Social Entrepreneurship – The Revolution Matures

The discourse around social entrepreneurship continues at a pace: more international conferences, research interest, journals and university courses are some of the identifiers. Alongside the continuing emergence of innovative start-up social enterprises and          businesses is the reality that the field has matured sufficiently to begin to measure impact: some established social ventures have scaled up and succeeded and some have failed. Hence I have included the recently published case study of … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 12: Summer 2011-2012, Issue Front Page, Public Policy, Social Enterprise | Leave a comment

Spring 2011: Philanthropy: Impact over intentions

In global philanthropy today we are seeing the emergence of a generation of philanthropists who value impact and effectiveness over intentions. These philanthropists are beginning to demand rigorous evidence bases to underpin their investment allocation decisions. And in doing so, they confront the problem of the gap between the theory of social impact measurement and the enormous practical difficulties in measuring social value in the real world setting. In this edition of Knowledge Connect, we … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 11: Spring 2011, Issue Front Page, Philanthropy | 1 Comment