Happy New Year and Introducing New Strategy for 2016

By Zahid Torres-Rahman, Business Fights Poverty

Happy New Year and Introducing New Strategy for 2016

We’re excited about the year ahead: in response to the feedback and advice many of you have kindly given us, including through our survey, we have been working hard on a new strategy for 2016, and I can’t wait to share the details with you!

One message that we have heard consistently is that people like the daily, curated online articles, the events and our reports, but feel we could have greater impact and value if we bring these individual activities together into a more task-focused framework that helps people tackle specific, practical challenges.

So from this month, we are launching Business Fights Poverty “Challenges” as an overarching framework for how we focus our knowledge and engagement activities. Over the year, we will run a series of time-bound Challenges: high-priority, strategic questions on how to harness and scale the positive impact of business on people and planet.

We will actively reach out to members and partners for Challenge ideas, and for each we will co-create an integrated programme of original analysis, in-person and online working sessions and targeted expert engagement that will run over a specific period, such as 6, 9 or 12 months. Outputs will be defined up-front with Challenge partners. Business Fights Poverty members will be able to “join” a Challenge to stay informed of opportunities to engage in focused activities and events.

We also plan to contribute towards the cost of local member-led events that help address specific Challenges, and we’ll be providing more details shortly on how to apply for funding.

I have been particularly struck by the wealth of expertise that exists across our community: collectively we have over 250,000 years of experience! What’s more, our members come from a diverse set of backgrounds and sectors: from business, NGOs, academia, donor agencies and government. The new Challenges framework will give us all a way to work together in a more creative, action-focused and purposeful way.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll start to see some big improvements to our site – with simpler navigation based around the Challenges framework. We will trim some of the less-used features, including our jobs board and generic news page, to create a clearer focus. We will still run daily stories, related to Challenges and beyond, and we encourage you to continue to share your stories (check out the top 10 most popular articles of 2015 here).

We have started identifying the first wave of Challenges and potential supporters. Early topics are likely to include the implementation the Sustainable Development Goals, which take effect this month, as well as microenterprise, women in value chains and education.

We are very excited about the potential impact we can have as a community. There is an African proverb that has been an inspiration to me ever since we started on our journey 10 years ago: if you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together. For me that is at the heart of what the global Business Fights Poverty community is about, and I believe the new Challenges framework will help us take that idea to a whole new level.

On behalf of the Business Fights Poverty team, thank you to all of our supporters, partners and members for making 2015 such a successful year. I’d like to wish you all the best for 2016 and I look forward to working with you!

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