This is the third post in a series on social impact ecosystem building. The first post, “What is a Social Impact Ecosystem Builder?” and second post, “How The Social Impact Sector Can Become More Transformative” are available on LinkedIn and

What are the criteria for identifying social impact ecosystem builders?

Social impact ecosystem builders represent an emerging ‘meta’ role within the impact sector. They are part convener, part content creator, part consultant or coach, all with an eye on co-creating a better and robust system for social impact.

In this post, we get down to the brass tacks of articulating, sharing, and inviting discussion about the criteria that define impact ecosystem builders.

I find that I focus on 4 key factors: (1) does the individual or organization provide coaching, consulting, speaking; (2) does it create content; (3) does it convene at least some gatherings open to anyone?; (4) and, is social impact a driving focus of #1-3

However, when thinking about creating a list of impact ecosystem builders that could fit the bill, a few questions related to additional criteria came to mind:

  • Must the individual or organization necessarily have a level of autonomy within the broader impact sector (i.e. does not have loyalties or duties of care limiting acting in the best interest of the system as a whole)?
  • Does the individual or organization need to work with a variety of ‘nodes’ within the system (i.e. does not only work with a single client or type of client)
  • Does the business model matter? Does an impact ecosystem builder need to value key contributors (i.e. business model is not based on volunteers, unpaid leadership, etc.)

The science and art for this new categorization are evolving and iterative. I invite you to be part of the discussion. Fill out the questionnaire, comment below, and connect on social media to further delve into and contribute to this exploration.

What criteria do you attribute to an impact ecosystem builder?

Your input is valuable as we work to create actionable resources to make it easier for companies, universities, leaders, cities, and governments to engage with impact ecosystem builders.

I’m Neetal Parekh, the founder of Innov8social, author of 51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship, and convener of Impactathon®. I work with social entrepreneurs, foundations, and universities to help build ecosystems for social impact through designing convenings, content, and communication strategies. To learn more, schedule a call and follow @innov8social.

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