Over 1,800 delegates came together at the annual Co-Creating Impact Summit to explore how understanding ‘impact’ is a crucial step in ensuring business makes a positive contribution to the world.

Feb 08, 2022

Impact is a change in an aspect of people’s well-being or in the condition of the natural environment caused by an organization.

Novartis is among the leaders in the field in developing and implementing a systematic approach to valuing impact. As part of our commitment to ensuring our own contribution to the world is strongly positive, and our leading role in the conversation on how we measure and value impact, we were proud to host the fourth annual ‘Co-Creating Impact Summit’, on December 2nd 2021.

Held in collaboration with the Novartis Impact Valuation Advisory Council, chaired by John Elkington, the annual summit is gathering considerable momentum. With a record 1,854 registered guests from 55 different countries, this year’s event attracted thought leaders and experts from business, academia, governments, institutions, and financial markets. They came together to explore environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics under the broad themes of sustainability and impact, discussing what we achieved so far and where we’re heading as a community.

What we set out to do

Our objective was simple: to create awareness of impact, how it fits into rapidly evolving global themes related to society, the environment, and the economy, how it can be transformative when properly applied, and some of the areas that have yet to be explored and developed.

What we saw

There was certainly something for everyone in an action-packed agenda. Prof. Colin Mayer and Prof. Éliane Ubalijoro provided seminal keynotes; Sir Ronald Cohen, the Right Hon. Nick Hurd and Paola Castillo engaged in highly informative conversations.

Panel discussions further explored the topics of impact investing, global health and access, financial and sustainability reporting diversity, equity and inclusion, what it takes to embed impact in business, and what the role of leadership is in all of this.

The 12 sessions of the summit, involving a total of 47 speakers, were dynamic and immersive, and deeply appreciated by our highly engaged audience, who asked some 150 questions. A success for the organizing team, clearly, but also an indication of the growing global interest engagement in this important topic. Notably, younger voices contributed more actively to the event – an aspect to be further developed in the future.

What we learned

The summit proved to be electric. It was fascinating to hear real-life stories of work in the impact space in action, as well as use-cases from across the world, and to feel the energy that comes from bringing together great minds and passionate advocates from businesses, governments, investors, standard setters, and institutions.

Have a look at the highlights here Highlights – Co-Creating Impact Summit 2021 - YouTube

The different perspectives surfaced showed clearly that the impact agenda and linked concepts are now mature enough for businesses to start applying them and integrating the impact-lens in their business activities.

While many methodological gaps remain to be closed, the summit revealed how embracing impact enables business leaders, governments, and investors to be changemakers towards a sustainable future, ahead of regulatory action. More summits will be needed until impact is fully mainstreamed but one thing has become crystal clear: impact mindsets and metrics are here to stay.

Experience the Summit for yourself

You can experience aspects of the summit for yourself, by deep diving into the Virtual Exhibition space at Co-Creating Impact (cci-summit.com). There you can find the building blocks of our Co-Creating Impact Roadmap, inspiring best practices from inside and outside Novartis, and key publications that highlight relevant impact developments.

The virtual exhibition is available for a year, until we launch the 2022 summit in December. We also recommend watching this space for further information as our activities evolve.

We would love to hear what you think. Why not share your thoughts, ideas, and comments on impact valuation in our guestbook? Click on “guestbook” on Co-Creating Impact (cci-summit.com).

And if you’re just starting out on your impact valuation journey, watch some explanatory video clips on YouTube: Social, Environmental and Economic (SEE) Impact Valuation - YouTube.

Finally, if you’re already engaged in impact valuation, let’s connect – reach out to the Novartis Impact Valuation team at [email protected].