In 2013, during the UK’s presidency of the G8, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the establishment of an international Social Impact Investment Taskforce, and set it the ambitious objective of ‘catalysing a global market in impact investment’ to improve society.
Chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce involved eight countries and the European Union. Australia was the only country outside of the G8 invited to participate. Sir Ronald Cohen’s speech at the launch of the Taskforce can be viewed below.
In September 2014, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce delivered its seminal report: The Invisible Heart of Markets, alongside 13 country and issue-based reports to chart the way forward. The Australian report and strategy, Delivering on Impact, can be viewed here and the reports published by the other countries participating in the Taskforce here.
As part of Australia’s participation in the Taskforce, the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing was established in 2014. The Board brings together a number of Australia’s most experienced leaders in impact investment with the mandate of examining ways to accelerate the growth of the local impact investment market, as well as informing global market development.
In August 2015, the Taskforce handed the baton to the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group, building on the Taskforce’s success, to act as a vibrant force in spreading expertise in and policy for impact investment globally and welcome new member countries committed to developing impact investing. Australia remains a participant in this Group, represented by Impact Investing Australia’s co-Founder and Chair Rosemary Addis.
Australia’s opportunity to participate in this Group is unique, recognising the quality of our thought leadership and delivery in key initiatives to take the field of impact investing forward. Linking with the forefront of global leadership to develop the impact investing market is helping Australia better participate in the global market and learn from global players.
‘What’s interesting about Australia is you’ve got a set of cultural values and institutional forces that make the country very ripe for tackling social issues. So I think Australia should become one of the leading countries in the impact investment space.’
– SIR RONALD COHEN, CHAIR, GLOBAL SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTMENT STEERING GROUP