Towards the end of the year, I attended a special gathering at the Social Innovation Lab: “Taiwan GSG NAB warmup meetup.”
🇬🇧 Most people probably don’t know what “GSG” and “NAB” stand for. The full name of GSG is “Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group”. Launched by Britain’s Sir Ronald Cohen at the G8, the group is dedicated to connecting the financial, commercial, and public welfare communities. Since 2015, it has established National Advisory Boards in 21 countries.
🌏 Why is it called “warmup meetup”? Ray Chen, general manager of the Living Water Enterprise Investment Development Company which helped facilitate this meeting, has exchanged with GSG several times to study the possibility of establishing NAB in Taiwan. In February 2018, NTU Professor Feng Yan, Corey Lien of the B Corp Association, and Ray Chen were invited to Seoul to take part in the first “Asia-Pacific Impact Investment Workshop”, jointly organized by GSG, British Culture Council, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
💡 The two-day workshop started off with the launch of the Korean NAP. With the assistance of Ray, I participated through telepresence in the discussion of NAB representatives from various countries, and have gained a better understanding of GSG. It turns out that GSG hopes to promote Impact Investing to drive the capital market and achieve the UN sustainable development goals, which will lead to more social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
📈 GSG argues that social and environmental challenges often come from the adverse long-term consequences in the pursuit of short-term profits by investors. In addition to socially responsible practices corporations implement to avoid harm and promote public interests, Impact Investment hopes to go further and encourage innovative teams committed to proposing solutions to global problems, to scale mature solutions and build credibility.
👪 GSG emphasizes five pillars of the social innovation ecosystem: “demand, supply, intermediaries, ecosystem enablers, and government”. Many people in Taiwan have long been working in these five areas and there are sufficient conditions to establish NAB. Everybody’s enthusiasm is reflected in this small gathering — there were more than a dozen attending representatives from the financial industry and investment funds alone. If all goes well, Taiwan’s NAB will have the chance to become GSG’s fourth member in Asia at the end of this year.
🙏 In the past year’s column, I have shared with you 12 stories — Social Enterprises, Regional Revitalization, Land Rehabilitation, Food Reuse, Circular Economy, Indigenous Culture, Smart Pipelines, Autonomous Vehicles, Civic Technology, STEM Education, Human-computer Interaction, and Democratic Innovations. In the new year, I hope that more people can support Taiwan’s warm power and establish a closer partnership with the global sustainable community.