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New ‘global brainstrust’ to put impact governance on the agenda


1 March 2022 at 7:55 am
Wendy Williams
“The vision is that we can help more leaders and decision makers to engage positively with sustainability.”


Wendy Williams | 1 March 2022 at 7:55 am


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New ‘global brainstrust’ to put impact governance on the agenda
1 March 2022 at 7:55 am

The vision is that we can help more leaders and decision makers to engage positively with sustainability.

A group of pioneering impact leaders from around the world have joined forces to launch a new venture hoping to rethink governance for the 21st Century.

Mondiale Impact, which launched on Tuesday, brings together the skills and experience of Rosemary Addis AM, Dolika Banda, Mario Calderini, Karim Harji, Rajiv Lall and Laurie J Spengler, with a shared mission to accelerate the governance response needed to meet the urgency and scale of sustainability issues and opportunities confronting leaders today.

Each of the partners are experienced chairs and directors in their own right who have built track records in shaping impact and sustainability markets.

Their aim is to work alongside leaders across corporate, investment and policy to help them progress quicker as they navigate ESG, sustainability and impact policies within their organisations, and engage a broader set of stakeholders.

Addis, who previously co-founded Impact Investing Australia and now has the role of founding managing partner of Mondiale Impact, told Pro Bono News she believed that it was the right initiative for what is needed now.

“We see that there are a number of leaders in business, in investment, in government and other multilaterals who want to engage positively in how we are going to shape a more sustainable world,” she said.

“But when they get to looking at what is needed, there are some difficult choices to make, it’s not clear where to get started. We want to work with those leaders who are really trying to make this happen to help them move faster.

“The vision is that we can help more leaders and decision makers to engage positively with sustainability.”

She said she was particularly excited about the global nature of Mondiale Impact.

We think of it in the vernacular as kind of a global brainstrust that we can bring together,” she said.

“As individual practitioners we’ve been at this for a long time, including at board tables and shaping the market of how impact and sustainability become mainstreamed. 

“For us it is exciting to work together to be able to raise up some of these issues by bringing our collective voice to it and helping people unpack the themes and to really ensure that impact governance is on the agenda.”

Their advisory role is expected to take a number of forms, from working with boards to look at how they are currently addressing sustainability, to working one-on-one with leaders providing a sounding board for how they carry this work forward.

Founding partner Harji, managing director of impact measurement advisory firm Evalysis and founding programme director of the Oxford Impact Measurement Programme, said the social and environmental imperatives today required leaders to frame some choices differently, and to make some different choices. 

“Every company and every board will have to confidently confront this changing context – responding to their employees, customers, investors, and regulators – and progressively strengthen the evidence behind their commitments and claims to delivering positive impacts on society,” he said.

The team at Mondiale Impact all agree that governance is the lynchpin to maintaining trust and seeing commitments translate to action.

Spengler, CEO of Courageous Capital Advisors, said accountability for stewarding strategic commitments to action across a company or firm started and ended with the board. 

“Directors need to be equipped to respond to the risks and successful organisations will embrace the opportunities,” she said. 

“In the next five years, leaders can expect to have to answer not just whether they took impact into account but why their entire approach has not been oriented to avoid harm and do more good.” 

The group has coined the term 21st century governance, integrating what they know about impact to reflect a system of governance that is responsive to what’s needed for the times. 

“We’ve had frameworks and systems that have served us well during the last part of the 20th century but in the 21st century they haven’t really responded, and increasingly are not fit for purpose,” Addis said.

“21st governance [is about asking] how do we respond, how do we carry out these fundamental stewardship duties of setting strategy and setting the organisational course, and embedding that in a way that is not just fit for purpose today but also future looking and responsive to what we know is the change that needs to happen over the next 10 or 20 years.”

Banda, chair of ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc and the former CEO of African Risk Capacity Insurance Ltd, said there was no choice but to accelerate and bring impact, in all its dimensions, into the equation. 

“The legacy of boards leading through challenges including climate change, inequality and the pandemic will include whether and how effectively they engaged and what they did to be part of the change our times demanded,” she said.


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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