I have always had a keen interest in social impact, even at a young age. In high school, the club I was highly active in was called Global Concerns. Global Concerns was focused on making a social impact by primarily focusing on the Millennium Development Goals set up by the United Nations. Over the four years that I was there, we were able to raise money for those affected by natural disasters and we even raised money for a water hole in Africa. My passion for social impact has continued to be a fire in my life, but unfortunately has been mostly through volunteer work outside of my professional career. Thankfully, that was able to change this year.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with Impakter. Impakter is a human-centric ecosystem entailing a publication and a community to make sustainability easy, as well as a Marketplace to make sustainability a standard. Imapkter creates stories, experiences and tools for a better future. I was able to find the opportunity to work with Impakter by searching through the portal Angellist.
Impakter’s key mission is to make sustainability the standard. However, one of the current issues is understanding what is sustainability. Impakter has created a proprietary sustainability scale that allows users understand to what degree a product or service is sustainable. This score is assigned to each product and service that will be advertised on the platform.
Impakter is still a very early stage start-up. My role at the firm was to be the Go to Market strategist. I led a team of designers and interns to develop a strategy on how we can on-board sellers onto our platform. We were targeting both for-profit companies that sell sustainable products, as well as NGOs. I helped prepare documentation targeting sellers, as well as influencers, to get them on board our marketplace. Even though I was headquartered out of Rome, many people on my team were located all around the world. In addition, the marketplace is global and therefore it was crucial to get key stakeholders from different countries on board.
INSEAD has provided me some of the skillset that I needed to utilize over the summer. One that was key was the ability to work with different nationalities and people located in different parts of the world. The ability to work with a diverse team is a skill that has been fostered at INSEAD. In addition, I was able to leverage the INSEAD network to develop the Go to Market strategy. Not only did I receive the INSEAD Social Impact Award over the summer, but I was able to rely on my peers at INSEAD to draw on their expertise in the space.
This summer was very rewarding. I was able to work for one of my passions in a work context and make an impact. I truly believe that focusing on sustainability and making it a priority is the best way to go forward and make the world a better place to live. Even though my internship officially ended in August, if I find an opportunity to help Impakter out, I try my best to provide some assistance. Working at Impakter was a very fulfilling and insightful experience.
Cynthia D’Andrea is a current INSEAD student graduating in December 2018. She has worked in the financial services industry for 5 years in both Spain and the United States. She is passionate about social impact and looks for opportunities to make a difference in the world.