September 19th, 2022
Knowledge Impact Network (KIN) is among the newest members of SustainChain™, the action hub for innovation, investment, and impact for a vast network of sustainability changemakers across sectors and industries.
The US Coalition on Sustainability (USCS), a startup nonprofit organization established in collaboration with the United Nations, developed SustainChain as the digital technology platform for accelerating sustainability solutions and climate action.
KIN CEO Elaine MacDonald says SustainChain is “all about promoting collaboration to accelerate pace of change”. Interviewed for SustainChain’s latest newsletter (see video of interview here), Elaine said “Frankly, it was a no-brainer to partner with SustainChain. SustainChain is all about bringing together diverse parties, breaking down silos, and promoting collaboration to accelerate the pace of change to meet the SDGs. Similarly, KIN is about bringing together parties to work together with social ventures to accelerate their impact.”
KIN, Elaine said, will leverage SustainChain “to market our social venture opportunities and see if we can find knowledge experts that can support them. And as SustainChain works with organizations that are moving quickly to create impact but need a little bit of help, we're here to identify knowledge resources that can potentially support them, too.”
Asked what it takes to move the needle to achieve the SDGs, Elaine said the world needs to see everything through a sustainability lens. “Having worked with organizations large and small, I believe the interest to work towards sustainability is often there, but the challenge is to transform the mindset, culture, and metrics within companies to look at all decisions from a sustainability lens,” she said.
“I think it's very easy to be attracted to a shiny new opportunity that may reap short-term benefits but may not be sustainable in the long term. We should always be asking the question: is there a more sustainable way to achieve our objectives?”
KIN will be using the SustainChain digital platform to identify social ventures that have a proven track record of success in creating impact in their specific market,
and are “looking to grow and accelerate. That's where we can help with our KIN leadership network,” Elaine added.
“We’re also looking for leaders with a proven track record of success, so they can provide useful counsel, connections, knowledge, and insights to these social ventures. Specifically, those with experience in expanding and identifying new financial resources, developing partnerships and sustainable business models, and marketing skills.”
At Knowledge Impact Network, Elaine said “our movement is about leveraging knowledge as a sustainable asset in itself as it can be reused, repurposed, and regenerated. This asset can in turn support organizations in their quest for a more sustainable operating model. Through greater collaboration, I do believe we can do a better job in advancing the SDGs.”
Elaine explained KIN’s knowledge exchange platforms, the first called a Catalyze Session, where a team of Knowledge Partners are paired with a social venture that
has a very targeted question. “During this facilitated 90-minute session, Knowledge Partners ideate how they can break through that challenge or seize that opportunity identified in the question. At the end of the session, they make a “Knowledge Pledge” - a commitment to follow up, make an introduction, review a pitch deck, or build awareness by talking about the organization with other contacts.,” she said.
“We also offer Deep Dive Projects, where we have a team working side-by-side with an organization for three- to six-months for deeper support. Finally, we offer KIN Circles, online communities where people with a common area of interest can discuss a topic and figure out how they can work together to advance the topic area. It's a great way to connect thought leaders and social ventures who cannot commit to a long project, but can facilitate introductions and collaboration through the Knowledge Impact Network.”
Launched in 2021, SustainChain unifies the efforts of innovators, impact investors, businesses, NGOs, and public-private alliances as they contribute to rebuilding
supply chains and make critical progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Powered by machine learning, SustainChain users can discover products and solutions to their existing challenges, join forces with others in a collective venture to maximize their impact, or create new initiatives to fill in sustainability gaps.
SustainChain was recently named as one of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas for 2022.