The Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing is one of 13 National Advisory Boards leading international efforts to catalyse a global market for impact investing through the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group.
The establishment of an international forum
In 2013, during the UK’s presidency of the G8, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the establishment of a Social Impact Investment Taskforce to ‘catalyse a global market in impact investment’ to improve society.
Chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce involved eight countries and the EU. Australia was the only country outside of the G8 invited to participate.
All countries participating in the G8 Taskforce established National Advisory Boards, with the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing established in 2014. In the Australian context, this also fulfilled what had been a recommendation of the Senate References Committee in 2011 to establish a body that brought together senior leaders from across sectors to bring focus and attention to the field and assess mechanisms and options for driving development of impact investing in Australia.
These National Advisory Boards had two initial functions: to contribute to the global picture being developed by the G8 Taskforce, including a clear understanding of their domestic impact investing ecosystem, and leading action in their local markets to take impact investment to a tipping point and accelerate growth.
In September 2014, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce delivered its seminal report: Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets – Harnessing the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and capital for public good. 13 country and issue-based reports were also published to chart the way forward, including he Australian Advisory Board’s strategy to catalyse the market in and from Australia, Delivering on Impact. The OECD led work to develop the evidence base for impact investment, published in early 2015.
Global Working Groups to the G8 Taskforce also examined cross-cutting issues ranging from impact measurement to asset allocation, mission alignment of impact driven organisations and international development.
In all, the G8 Taskforce effort brought together over 250 leaders from across the globe to drive momentum for a global market in investments that have positive benefit for society.
This Taskforce is becoming the international vanguard of the revolution…More than 200 able figures are engaged across the G8, Australia and the EU, focused on establishing impact investment as a powerful force in each country.Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair, Social Impact Investment Taskforce, 2014
Click here to find out more about the work of the G8 Taskforce and view country reports from the 12 fellow National Advisory Boards.
See more on the work of the G8 Taskforce, its work and why it matters in the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC) report Impact Investing Policy in 2014: A Snapshot of Global Activity.
International leadership goes global
In August 2015, the Taskforce handed the baton to the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group, building on the Taskforce’s success, to act as a vibrant force in spreading expertise in and policy for impact investment globally and welcoming new member countries committed to developing impact investing. Another five countries joined in the first wave: Brazil, India, Israel, Mexico and Portugal. Others, from South Africa to Peru, Bangladesh to South Korea, Eastern Europe and Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and the Nordic countries have leaders actively engaged in developing National Advisory Boards or equivalent.
Other organisations are part of driving the market forward. Collaborating organisations include the World Bank, World Economic Forum, OECD, Global Impact Investment Network, and the European and Asian Venture Philanthropy Networks. A second wave of OECD-led work is underway and Australia is playing a leading role in shaping the work on data.
See more about the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group and its Org Chart here.
It is urgent that governments throughout the world commit themselves to developing an international framework capable of promoting a market of high impact investments and thus combating an economy with excludes and discards.Pope Francis, June 2014
Participating at the centre of this global movement positions Australia to maximise the benefits of increasing global momentum. It accelerates progress and shortens the runway from ideas to implementation. The strong networks through the global community can readily be connected into networks and initiatives locally, regionally and globally. Australia has the opportunity to create significant value for the Australian economy and society including positioning Australia as an attractive destination for impact investment, and taking up opportunities in our region to build sustainable development and local economic activity to growing markets and building trade connections with other countries.
As demand and momentum grows, there is growing commitment to developing the role of the Global Steering Group and having a dedicated team to drive engagement, knowledge sharing and communications. The forward strategy for the Global Steering Group will be refined over the next 6-9 months to July 2017 when the next Plenary meeting is scheduled to take place in Chicago.
See the feedback from stakeholders at the Plenary meeting in Lisbon in July 2016 here.
Impact Investment: the Invisible Heart of Markets
In September 2014, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce launched its global report Impact Investment: the Invisible Heart of Markets. This groundbreaking report calls on governments and the financial sector to take action to unleash this investment for tackling social problems, and makes key recommendations for building a successful global market for impact investment.
Each of the 13 member countries has done significant work in identifying the major opportunities and challenges surrounding impact investment both locally and globally. Leaders from the National Advisory Boards worked together with other bodies from the OECD Taskforce to report on these important issues and develop subject papers to help inform action and strategy development in the future. Click here to view the subject papers developed by the Taskforce and associated bodies.