First impressions are made to last

Isabelle de Morlhon

First impressions are made to last…and I hope they will. After 7 years working in brand management I joined the social sector in January as an associate at OnPurpose, the 1-year leadership programme for professionals starting their career in social enterprise. I am spending the first half of the year applying my business and marketing skills to support social innovation at the Shaftesbury Partnership.

Three early observations from a newbie to the social sphere:

The diversity and passion of people is fascinating.

Here at SP I am surrounded by a talented team covering a huge range of experiences (teacher, nurse, entrepreneur, business owner, public sector senior manager, banker and more…), with an impressive combined expertise. What brings everyone together despite these very different profiles and styles are shared values, a common purpose, and a passion for innovating and creating social change. 

Bridges between the business world and the social sector are strengthening.

Going well beyond the out-dated, one-way “cheque-writing” approach there is now a well-spread recognition of the benefits for both worlds to work together. This collaboration is taking various forms - partnerships, sharing business expertise or employee time, developing  appropriate commercial products and services... Business collaboration is particularly key for the Shaftesbury Partnership as a vehicle for scaling our ventures and accelerating social impact.

There has never been a time with more opportunities for the social sector to grow and scale the impact it’s already proven to have.

The economic crisis has uncovered the limits of capitalism as we knew it, and is opening the space to develop and innovate with new models. Risk-takers who accept the possibility of failure will be the ones creating successful social innovation in this incredibly fast-changing environment.  

Passionate people, bridges between business and social sector and a time of opportunities are very compelling reasons for young professionals to move their careers to the social space. I am glad to be part of it!

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