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My Impact Portal

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MIP (My Impact Portal)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31

Context and social relevance
2015 marked the beginning of a global agenda for transformative change, as world leaders adopted the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs provide goals and targets for the international community to tackle global issues including poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. The goals are time-bound and universal, encouraging stakeholder networks to come together around a common purpose. Additionally, they provide an opportunity for actors across sectors and regions to collaborate, sharing knowledge and practices in order to achieve better results . Since the establishment of the 2030 Agenda, there has been evidence of such collaboration, noticeable from the proliferation of online platforms, data engines and coalitions aspiring to contribute to the SDGs.

While overall a positive development, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda has also brought several delivery challenges to the fore. First, it is clear that even those organizations operating at the forefront in sustainability often lack the internal systems to manage their impact strategically and connect to the resources and partners they need to deliver on their mandates. For example, a 2016 CEO survey by UN Global Compact showed that only 13% of participating companies had the systems in place to manage their impact . Second, while the delivery of the 2030 Agenda requires greater collaboration between actors, a highly fragmented ecosystem of coalitions, platforms, and marketplaces complicates our collective ability to achieve this.

To validate our belief that today’s systems are not ‘fit for purpose’, we asked close to 200 practitioners in sustainability about their single largest challenge at work. Their response: Not having the insights, networks, and resources they need to deliver on their mandates at their fingertips. Time for a ‘systems rethink’. Specifically, the ‘change makers’ we interviewed – expert practitioners from all sectors, geographies, value chains and impact areas – flagged four acute pain points in achieving impact success:

1. Many actors struggle to attract the resources they need to maximize their impact or, at a minimum, spend a lot of time identifying the right actors and networks to connect with;
2. The data needed to make the right investment and management decisions – and to make the business case for sustainability – is lacking as information systems fail to surface basic information about ongoing impact activities or portfolios. This is true at a market level but also inside organizations;
3. Top level agendas struggle to connect with on-the-ground needs and actions, an acute challenge that limits SDG success, and is experienced among global coalitions as well as inside large organizations;
4. With every new coalition, hub, or platform that is launched, our collective ability to be noticed, flag, or take notice of promising, high-impact, replicable solutions diminishes.

IMPACT PRO(FILER) is our big bet to transform our collective ability to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. It is a silo-busting impact technology built on one simple idea: empower change makers to multiply their impact through a single profile capturing their work, impact, and support needs. IMPACT PRO(FILER) captures and amplifies the value of existing networks and community portals by injecting the tools needed to connect and multiply what’s already there. The benefits of IMPACT PRO(FILER) for all sectors is clear. It empowers:
- Governments to accelerate and report out on their SDG commitments, contributions, and activities - connecting their policies to concrete on-the-ground actions in an unprecedented way.
- Corporations and investors to multiply the value and impact of their investments in sustainability by seamlessly integrating local partners, funders, and authorities in their supply chains.
- Social enterprises to attract the resources they needed efficiently and tap into a global universe of peers and certifications through a single account.
- NGOs to collaborate with their global donors and partners through a single portal that captures all their on-the-ground activities.

1.2 Objectives
The specific objectives of this H2020-SMEINT Phase 1 feasibility study were:
• Determine how C-Change should launch its SDG product offerings to the 50 most promising corporations.
• Elaborate a bankable business plan for the global expansion of C-Change.
As part of the ‘quick scan' outlined in the H2020-SMEINST Phase 1 proposal submitted in November 2016, the C-Change team had numerous meetings and interviews during the first half of 2017 with senior stakeholders from large global corporates with a clear sustainability and social impact agenda such as Philips, Unilever, DSM, Salesforce and Deloitte. While these interviews confirmed the identified needs, and surfaced a number of pain points, it became increasingly clear that addressing these within the boundaries of a corporate organization would not sufficiently contribute towards the multi-stakeholder partnerships which are seen as a vital strategy for successful delivery on the SDGs and require collaboration between actors from the public, private, NGO and investment worlds. The main pain points (summarized in Figure 1) and opportunities for successful collaboration that exist within the corporate context also clearly exist across organizations and sectors and at an even larger scale. Therefore, the market sizing activity was expanded to include other segments, consisting of national governments and city social enterprise networks.

The market sizing activity was conducted across the three prioritized segments and shortlisted targets according to their potential market value, demand for the product, relationship with C-Change or local delivery partners and perceived multiplier effect. This market sizing contributed to a business plan, which was also developed for the Phase 1 Technical Report.
Main Results
The feasibility study resulted amongst others in a business plan for C-Change’s global expansion. As well as the results of the market sizing activity and a further discussion of priority targets, the business plan included the following elements:
1) Introduction to the C-Change product - IMPACT PRO(FILER), a license-based, white-label portal which allows community managers to map, share, and multiply their success.
2) Competitive comparison – an overview of platforms aiming to perform a similar function to IMPACT PRO(FILER). It was found that the landscape is fragmented and none of the identified platforms have the scope or networking abilities of IMPACT PRO(FILER).
3) Risk assessment –SWOT analysis and discussion of how the identified technological and economic risk factors are being addressed.
4) Partner strategy – Outline of C-Change’s globally dispersed knowledge, content & delivery and network partners.
5) First results and milestones – A significant milestone is the creation of the Dutch SDG Gateway, the first example of a country-level IMPACT PRO(FILER) portal. This section also contains further discussion of the convening and consulting work undertaken by the C-Change team.
6) Market introduction and rollout – An explanation of C-Change’s three distinct routes to scale, consisting of country and city portals, city social enterprise networks and existing SDG coalitions and partnerships.
7) Financial projections – Projected revenues for 2017-2021.

Progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project
A key element of progress beyond the expected results of the feasibility study was the identification of further actors who will benefit from IMPACT PRO(FILER). This resulted in a more extensive market sizing activity than originally expected. In addition, during the project, the C-Change team developed an ‘ImpactMultiplier’ concept, where individual communities have their own portal which is linked to a global profile database. This solution effectively overcomes the fragmentation and silo-effect discussed in section 1, making these profiles more powerful and effective, at the same time as incentivising individual change-makers to keep their profiles attractive and up-to-date.

Potential impacts of the project
This H2020 feasibility study has contributed to the development of a business plan for the global expansion of the C-Change business. Successful implementation of the business plan and the resulting proliferation of the IMPACT PRO(FILER) technology will have significant socio-economic benefits for many actors throughout the world.

The UN has recognized the requirement for a stronger commitment to partnership and collaboration in order to achieve the SDGs. This is reflected in SDG 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development . The work of C-Change aims to contribute to SDG 17 and thus progress the wider SDG agenda, most pertinently through the use of IMPACT PRO(FILER). The technology acts as a valuable tool to prevent fragmentation of the landscape, injecting what is required to connect, surface, multiply and evaluate what is already there. By making it easy and worthwhile for initiatives, organizations and communities to capture and share their work, a standard of record and an efficient SDG market place will result.

On a smaller scale, through the use of IMPACT PRO(FILER) individual organizations are empowered to work towards the SDGs and are better equipped to deliver on their mandates, which will have socio-economic benefits for those they are trying to serve. Furthermore, there are economic benefits for those organizations using IMPACT PRO(FILER) to profile their work, due to the cost savings associated with the sharing of knowledge and resources with other actors and the streamlining of working practices.