A look back at ImpactFest 2021 – If you are not doing good in business, what are you doing?

On November 4, together with Global Compact Network Netherlands, we hosted a corporate-friendly session to share insights and have a meaningful dialogue on if, why and how businesses need to adapt. 

The meetup started off with an active icebreaker. Every participant had to write their name on a post-it and stick it to the poster hanging on the wall. Then it was time to make connections. The participants had to draw one line between their name and someone else’s when they had something in common on a personal level and draw another line with something in common related to business/work.  

Then three “shots of inspiration” followed:

  • Marco Swan from UN Global Compact talked about their business accelerator program. He presented a set of concrete, measurable business benchmarks that translate the SDGs for businesses and focus on where businesses can drive the greatest impact. 
  • Najib Bajali from International Alert gave an inspiration pitch about understanding societal impact as a business, focusing on peace building. The question that he asked and gave answers for were: “What can businesses do to help foster peace?”. He argued the importance of collaboration with non-business actors, creating dialogue spaces for different actors of conflict and working in network and alliances with other businesses of different sizes.
  • Mert Kumru from the Dutch Youth Council talked about how Dutch youth is living “a postponed life”, and that, when making policy, much more attention should be paid to the impact on the lives of young people. He talked about what businesses can do to attract today’s purpose-led youth talent.

After the 3 inspiration pitches, there were 2 rounds of 15 minute during breakout discussions in small groups. Participants could choose themselves whom of the three speakers they wanted to join for a meaningful conversation! After each breakout session, Jill Wilkinson asked for some insights from each group and wrote some key takeaways on the flip chart.

After the breakout sessions everyone gathered for the plenary closing and participants were asked for feedback!