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Talent Project – a collaboration between GSEN and the BMW Foundation

May 13, 2016

social impact talent

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Network and the BMW Foundation’s Talent Project is a programme to identify and address talent related challenges within intermediaries of the social impact sector.

Organisations around the world individually work on the talent issues they experience yet so far little discussion, knowledge sharing and common learning has taken place. For the corporate sector, waging and winning the ‘talent war’ has become a crucial step to success: talent attraction is addressed by head hunters and career fairs; talent development is achieved through mentoring programmes and significant development budgets; while talent retention is addressed in corporate volunteering programmes and outstanding salaries. Purposeful jobs are attracting more and more people to the social impact sector, but many organisations do not understand the positive effect a thoughtful and integrated talent strategy will have on their impact and mission fulfilment. The social impact sector needs joint talent efforts to continue to attract the right talent, develop their potential and retain them as employees. We believe that organisations that do not invest appropriately in the development and attraction of their staff are putting their most important resource at risk – their employees.

Through worldwide research on talent attraction, development and retention among 40+ intermediaries – foundations, accelerators/incubators, social investors/financial intermediaries (e.g. McConnell Foundation, Big Society Capital, AVPN, Synergos, ANDE, LGT VP) – the Talent project identified common strategies, as well as challenges and actual and potential solutions to them. Besides an article to present the results of the research, 15 thought leaders will be contributing to the talent blog series, which focuses more specifically on different facets of the topic and to present implemented solutions, best practices or challenges around the topic.

Stay tuned for 15 hot talent topics such as: 

Vanessa Reis (Co-Founder, Edge Colombia): Culture eats Strategy for breakfast – You may have the best strategy in your business, but if the team doesn’t interact in a collaborative way you will never reach your goals.

Sarah Davies (Talent Specialist, Big Society Capital UK): When was the last time your leadership team took time to align your values and behaviours with your everyday operations? Sarah will draw on her experience as an HR manager in various companies and share her learning on the definition of values and behaviours, that become the guiding beacon in all we do.

Carmen Di Rito (Director, LifeCo Unltd South Africa): LifeCo UnLtd South Africa has been supporting  social entrepreneurs for 16 years and with time developed a considered and well implemented talent strategy that will inspire you to think about your organisation’s talent management.


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