“It is one of the perennial questions facing the nonprofit world: Why, despite the sectors’s collective resources and best efforts do so many social problems remain so persistent?” (Jeff Walker)
This question resounded strongly with Kurt Peleman – after having been active for more than 25 years in the impact space, for organisations such as Ashoka, Doctors Without Borders, EVPA, Foundation pour les Generations Futures, Toolbox, and a number of family foundations… His main quest had always been to help advance impact organisations & social entrepreneurs in their scale-up journey.
But despite impressive success stories of several of those initiatives, Jeff Walker was right: the social challenges were still omnipresent. This was not that easy to accept – althought it is easy to understand.
Most of the underlying issues are not stand-alone situations which can be solved by scaling up specific approaches. Societal challenges should rather be seen as wicked problems with several interdependencies playing out. The key lies, then, in our capacity to bridge differences and to develop new levels of collaboration to deliver the systemic change which we need. In a nutshell, we need to complement social entrepreneurship with system entrepreneurship.
Building on these insights, Kurt became a member of the founding team of Co-Impact – which has become a global role model in collaborative philanthropy & system change. More recently, he decided to dedicate more time to the local – so Belgium – with the launch of The Pond & The Waterfalls – an initiative focusing on supporting emerging collaborations.
During this impact Monday, Kurt will use his own journey as a basis for a conversation with the participants.