The Center for Social Impact - 2023 Recap and Preview of 2024 Initiatives

 Center for Social Impact


As we start this new year, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the progress and achievements made with our social impact initiatives in 2023.  Additionally, we are excited to share plans and objectives for 2024, as we expand our commitment to foster and highlight the measurable outcomes individuals and their organizations are making throughout the IAOP network.  We believe that one-plus-one equals three when technology and business services buyers work in concert with their suppliers and partners.  Great commercial results are achieved, communities are vitalized and large numbers of people with various situational challenges progress in their careers.  Our mission is not only to track and highlight buyer & provider achievements but to fuel the fire and be a central catalyst as the industry matures.  With the support and knowledge sharing of IAOP partners, The Global Sourcing Association (GSA-UK) led by Kerry Hallard, the Impact Sourcing Alliance, headed by Jon Yarlett, the Global Mentorship Initiative, headed by Jon Browning, along with the dedicated members of the Center for Social Impact Leadership Team and Community, we truly have one voice with multinational reach and common goals.

Guiding Principles for Impact Sourcing:  Guiding Principles for Impact Sourcing were drafted during The Center for Social Impact “Meeting of the Minds” held in San Francisco in September of 2023.  The focus of 2024 will be on revising the excellent work undertaken by the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition to make available and manage a more accessible Impact Sourcing Standard for organizations to become accredited regardless of their size, geography location or area of service focus.  All sourcing contracts and partnerships can have positive social and environmental impact.  Having some reasonable, universal standards will not only raise the bar for service delivery but will also put lesser-known and younger providers on the map.  One of the findings from this past year was that common terminology and language were missing from contracts, making it much more difficult for more providers to compete for business.  And, in the inverse large-scale buyers, who want to have an impact, had growing challenges contracting with specialized providers. A lot has changed in the world since the term Impact Sourcing was introduced and defined by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013.  Nobody predicted a global economic shift from a pandemic, the effect of the shrinking talent pool of available workers or the rapid onset of AI and the need for responsible automation practices.

Multinational Provider Registry:  The need for a dynamic MPR and making this asset available to the technology and business service buying community was identified as an obstacle and something missing in the market.  This became crystal clear to IAOP leadership an investment had to be made to level the playing field and provide helpful non-financial information to potential buyers about all providers.  This is not limited to providers who are IAOP members or members of any other paid association.  IAOP Strategic Advisory Board Chair, Maura Hudson, has enlisted the assistance of Dan Lang, a social impact entrepreneur, and one of the key pioneers.  Additionally, Tim Hopper from Microsoft, a longtime friend of the Rockefeller Foundation and early adopter of Impact Sourcing has joined our steering team.  More key people will be announced as the year progresses.  This initiative has evolved into what will become a valuable resource for businesses seeking to align their outsourcing strategies with social impact goals. This registry will not only showcase the capabilities of impact sourcing providers but also facilitate collaboration and partnerships between organizations committed to making a positive difference in the world.  We believe the comprehensive registry could save potential buyers countless hours of research and validation time; simultaneously helping suppliers, consultants, and providers to avoid expensive marketing campaigns and efforts that don’t reach the intended audience.  The registry will directly benefit buyer organizations, but it will also help providers who have recently consolidated or merged to sharpen their social impact message.  The registry will also assist smaller, single-location providers, and specialty-focused providers to get their message heard and their value known across the globe.  This bold endeavor was officially launched at the end of December, and we look forward to providing frequent updates on our progress.  We welcome all who would like to contribute their input on this topic, simply email

Social Impact Content: Throughout 2023, our IAOP’s Center for Social Impact held its second in-person event plus many webinars marked by a strong emphasis on social impact. These events and webinars have provided a platform to share insights, practices, and success stories related to social impact. The theme for our 2024 content series really centers on “Thinking machines are essential and humanity has to win”.  You will be exposed to next-generation platform providers, network and technology companies, advisors and influencers with tons of value to add.  You will also hear from C-suite executives who have been there, done it and who have stuck their necks out.  We believe that by influencing the broader industry dialogue, we can encourage more organizations to integrate social responsibility into their supply chain and outsourcing practices.  Information is power and the team at IAOP is 100% committed to bringing our members together with highly relevant thought leaders, real-life practitioners, advisory firms and industry heavyweights who have walked a certain path to do more than find the lowest price or by hiring all the available talent in a location and then moving to the next.  Responsible Automation, Information Security, and Measurable Results for People and the Planet is the name of the game, as we hurl towards 2030.  IAOP intends not only to be the industry vanguard but also a catalyzing factor in raising the bar for global delivery.  It is no secret that terms like AI, ESG and DEI can be lightning rods.  Our leadership team is committed to bringing you facts and business cases while avoiding any ideological or polarizing debates.  We are also mindful that in a fast-paced industry like ours, insights and expertise do not get better sitting on a shelf or buried in a whitepaper.  Our network of Academics, Legal Professionals, and Domain Experts is unmatched.  It is our job not only to bring you content but to provide you with access to the best people when you or your organization needs them.  Social impact transcends individual brands and commercial competition.  You will quickly learn that you are part of a not-so-quiet interest group that helps any provider or buyer on their individual journeys.

Placement Hubs for Impact Sourcing: Though we are in the very initial stages of this project, the working group discussions around placement hubs have been significant in our journey toward making a lasting impact on communities. The plan is for these hubs to serve as focal points for connecting skilled individuals from underserved backgrounds with meaningful employment opportunities.

Looking Ahead to 2024

As we turn our attention to the coming year, we are excited to build upon the foundation laid in 2023. And to keep the momentum going, our focus for 2024 will see us move forward additionally with: 

  • Innovative Events: We are committed to organizing and participating in events that push the boundaries of social impact in the outsourcing industry, sparking discussions on innovative approaches and technologies.  
    • March 12, 2024, Chicago, IL: The IAOP Digital Technologies Center of Excellence is presenting a one-day program titled "The Intersection of AI and Social Impact." This event aims to bring the community together to share knowledge and foster connections.
    • May 21-22, 2024, Chicago, IL: IAOP presents OWS24 - "Uniting Minds; Igniting Connections." This two-day event aligns with the IAOP Centers of Excellence and The Center for Social Impact, featuring the annual Awards Reception where this year's awards, including the Global Impact Sourcing Award, will be bestowed.
  • FormIGA:  This collaboration between IAOP and GSA, will be officially announced in the first quarter of 2024 and this marks the launch of the FormIGA: Formation of the Industry for Good Alliance. Both associations will work closely together on developing best practices, assessment frameworks and Standards around all aspects of Sustainable Sourcing, that organizations around the world can align themselves with and become accredited to. This will both drive more sustainable sourcing and create a platform to showcase our industry as a leader in sustainable performance. The first step will be the launch of the Global Advisory Council in February, initiating the journey towards sustainable sourcing excellence.
  • Global Collaboration Initiatives: Building on the success of our impact sourcing provider registry, we aim to foster global collaboration to create a more inclusive and sustainable outsourcing ecosystem.  Working closely with our partners GSA and the Impact Sourcing Alliance, and alongside our committed corporate members and the social impact community, we continue to promote, educate and foster connection through outreach, events and a vibrant Center for Social Impact. All are welcome to join this collective effort!

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our shared mission. We look forward to another year of making a positive difference together.

For more information and to get involved in the Center for Social Impact, email us.

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