AlphaSights in Action With Our Knowledge for Good Partner, Ashoka
Not-for-profit organisations tackle some of the world’s toughest issues, from access to education and healthcare, to poverty and human rights. The AlphaSights Knowledge For Good initiative (KFG) aims at leveraging AlphaSights’ core capabilities - helping senior professionals close knowledge gaps - in a sector where such knowledge is either hard to access or simply unavailable.
I have always been intent on making a positive impact on causes that I care about. It therefore seemed natural for me to get involved in Knowledge For Good, the AlphaSights pro-bono initiative, since its inception. In January 2015, I became part of the global KFG advisory committee as one of the London representatives.
The AlphaSights Knowledge For Good initiative (KFG) aims at leveraging AlphaSights’ core capabilities - helping senior professionals close knowledge gaps - in a sector where such knowledge is either hard to access or simply unavailable.
Over the past 18 months, the team successfully expanded the reach of the KFG initiative. We initially partnered with two organisations - Acumen and the Clinton Health Access Initiative- and we now work with seven inspiring, nonprofit institutions across the globe. I have primarily been involved with setting up and growing two of our partnerships here in the UK: Ashoka, the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, and Nesta, a UK innovation charity with an impact investment division focusing on healthcare and education.
Our partnership with Ashoka is twofold. In a similar way to how we work with our paying clients, we provide the Ashoka social entrepreneurs (“Fellows”) with direct access to senior industry experts and we have brokered numerous high-value introductions on a wide range of topics; from mental healthcare in the US to social finance in Latin America. One of the most exciting projects I personally worked on was for Integrity Action, which aims to redefine anti-corruption work from top-down finger pointing to bottom-up promotion of integrity at the community level. They were looking to speak to someone who had delivered a successful, open consumer review website and who was willing to share their best practices around scaling up this offering and marketing it most efficiently. Within 48 hours, we managed to introduce the President of Integrity Action to two senior experts from TripAdvisor, one of whom they even met in their offices in London.
AlphaSights has also partnered with Ashoka on their Globalizer initiative, through which a few selected Ashoka Fellows with scalable social innovation ideas benefit from extra support and resources to rapidly and effectively achieve greater impact. Practically speaking, the Fellows spend three months working on establishing a credible scaling strategy with a team of Advisors made up of two Strategy Consultants, two Senior Advisors from the Ashoka Support Network, and one AlphaSights Experienced Associate or Manager. Over the past year, I have also taken part in two Globalizer programmes, the first one on Education & Technology worldwide, and the second on Fuel Poverty in the UK. I found working alongside the Fellows and such an exciting team of senior business leaders extremely rewarding. It was a great chance to learn more about how to set up and grow a business using various scaling delivery models (fully owned replication, affiliation, dissemination etc.), as well as getting a better understanding of the social enterprise sector.
We recently met with the Ashoka UK team here in London to review the Ashoka/AlphaSights partnership and how we can increase the impact of our services on their work. AlphaSights will develop some training material for the Ashoka Fellows, and we have also agreed to organise a joint event towards the end of 2016/early 2017, where a couple of their most impressive social entrepreneurs will present their ideas before a Q&A session. Watch this space, and in the meantime you can learn more about Knowledge For Good here and Ashoka here.
Rébecca joined AlphaSights in May 2014 and heads up a team within our Capital Markets segment and is a key member of our Knowledge For Good committee.