WDI’s Esper Leading Summit Session On Assessment
Thursday, July 16, 2015
WDI Program Manager for Performance Measurement Heather Esper led a working group on July 16 at the 2015 BoP Global Network Summit at the University of Vermont. Esper’s panel, “Evaluating the State of Assessment: Focusing on Value Creation,” highlighted tools and methodologies businesses are using to understand the impact they are really having and how to improve mutual value.
The session also explored how such metrics can evolve as a business progresses from design to scale. Epser said attendees left the session with a resource list that will help guide them in getting more value out of their assessment activities.
She said the recent misguided debate regarding impact assessment has focused on whether or not businesses should assess impact. Instead, Esper said, the focus should be on collecting data that is right for a business.
Assessment is an iterative process that can evolve as a company grows from design to scale.
“Businesses should focus on collecting data that helps them improve their operations, such as data that can lead to them creating more value for their customers, producers and/or the communities where they operate,” Esper said. “Creating impact and improving performance is thus tied to creating value for both the business and stakeholders all along the value chain.”
Joining Esper at the session were: Mayke Harding of BoP Inc.; Emily Shipman of Sustainable Food Lab; and, Rob Michalak of Ben & Jerry’s.
Also at the summit was WDI Senior Research Fellow Ted London. He was a panelist at the July 17 session, “Beyond Silos: Systems Thinking for BoP Sustainability.” It focused on the challenges and opportunities of systems thinking, boundary spanning, ecosystems, and interconnections in creating and scaling BoP innovations.
The summit was organized by Enterprise for a Sustainable World, the University of Vermont, and the BoP Global Network Labs. Its main objective was to present and discuss real-life BoP business initiatives being implemented by entrepreneurs and corporate innovators who are driving sustainable innovation from the bottom up.