The Social Impact Investment Taskforce (SIITF) established under the U.K. Presidency of the G8 was formed in June 2013. Its remit was nothing less than to catalyse a global market for impact investment by identifying what can be done to grow the market and reporting findings. The series of publications released in September 2014 included.
The SIITF work brought together over two hundred leaders from across the globe to inform its work. These leaders, in turn, engaged with an even wider network, including impact investment practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and philanthropists. Together, their efforts have shaped not only a report of the SIITF as well as contributions on policy and from each of the participating countries: G7, Australia and the EU, but a collective vision for what a global market could and should be, and what needs to happen to achieve it. The headline for this vision is enormous potential for a global market that could quickly unleash up to $1 trillion of new investment (SIITF Report, 2014).
The SIITF was a bold experiment. There is little doubt it has had a galvanizing effect and brought greater coherence to the market building effort. For that, it should be celebrated as a success. Both the process and the outputs underscore the SIITF conclusion – many individuals can and must contribute to growing impact investment in order for the market to develop. At the same time, the SIITF reports reinforce how critical policy and government action are to shaping a market and encouraging participation. As this has been one of only a very few dedicated market building initiatives, learning from what has happened and how it has been done has as much to contribute to next steps as the work that has been produced.
On the strength of work led out of Government, Impact Strategist Executive Director Rosemary Addis was asked to play a role in the otherwise G7 member Taskforce. Australia was the only country to have that opportunity. Joining the Taskforce with ‘observer’ status as non-G8 member, Rosemary recognised the opportunity for Australia to punch above its weight and be the forefront of global market development, which would enable Australia to move faster and more effectively to develop its local market and be competitive. To achieve that, she established and Chaired an Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investment to stand alongside National Advisory Boards in the G7 countries. She led the Australian Advisory Board input to the SIITF process, shaping a picture of the ecosystem, opportunities and challenges. She led development and was lead author of the landmark Australian Advisory Board strategy: Delivering on Impact.
Rosemary also took on a larger role in garnering international participation and engagement from global impact investment practitioners both in high level meetings and online through the Global Learning Exchange.