Three, Sixty: With Nisha Kamat
This is an extract from Issue 22 of SDG Alpha, my newsletter that casts an Irish lens on the world of Impact Investment, Innovation, and Sustainability. In each issue, I pose three questions on the theme of sustainability to an impact entrepreneur or innovator, to get a better understanding in sixty seconds of how they’re working to achieve the SDG targets. In this issue, I was excited to speak with Nisha Kamat, who has recently launched Impact Consulting Dublin, which aims to help Irish businesses, social entrepreneurs and non-profits to achieve their sustainable development goals through accessible impact consulting.
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On a personal level, what impacts of the climate crisis are you most concerned about?
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown in stark reality how intertwined the life of an individual is with the planet we live on. It has highlighted the need for different parts of society to unite and work together to solve global issues like the climate crisis and sustainable development. And this is precisely what we aim to target with Impact Consulting Dublin, creating collaboration for sustainability. One area I personally believe in is the need for systems based approaches and connected thinking. There are a lot of innovative organisations out there trying to build solutions to help solve different aspects of the climate crisis and it is important to foster an ecosystem whereby these organisations are supported. “Our unity is our strength, and our diversity is our power” — Kamala Harris. One thing the pandemic has shown in everything from gathering data to developing and distributing treatments at unprecedented speed, is the urgent need for combined effort of the private and public sectors and a break away from a siloed approach. I personally believe that a holistic perspective and combined effort is required to tackle this crisis and create social impact and am concerned that we might lose the momentum of this collaborative approach. From my own experience in a corporate background, I truly believe that there is immense potential for the private sector to address the climate crisis. I wanted to play my part in solving this problem and create a lasting impact. This is how I came to found Impact Consulting Dublin alongside a fantastic team. It struck me that “If you can’t find a way, create one”. We are in a time of unprecedented need for new approaches. That’s why I am excited to lead Impact Consulting Dublin, a group of committed and experienced professionals who are focused on sustainable development and purpose. Our mission is to help Irish businesses, social entrepreneurs and non-profits to achieve their sustainable development goals through accessible impact consulting. With Impact Consulting Dublin, we are creating opportunities for people to open up their minds to new and creative ways of using their skills and experience to advance sustainable development in Ireland. We will create opportunities for professionals who volunteer their expertise to support impact.
Which of the UN SDGs did you start Impact Consulting Dublin to address?
SDG 17 — Partnerships for the goals. For me, SDG 17 on Partnerships, is fundamental to the implementation of the SDG’s by 2030. Partnership approaches are central to our ethos at Impact Consulting Dublin. We want to create a movement that connects different parts of society and encourages them to come together to create social and environmental impact. We believe that it is only by collaborating that we can create lasting change. Impact Consulting Dublin is the Irish arm of a global organisation. It has brought people from across the world together to create a powerful movement towards sustainability. It has shown the passion and urgency of individuals to contribute towards solving the climate crisis. Impact Consulting Dublin will provide tailormade, accessible impact consulting services to businesses, social enterprises and non-profits who have committed to the SDG’s to tackle their most challenging problems as they grow sustainably. Our business model allows us to work with a range of organisations. We also provide a new and unique solution to organisations who might not normally be able to access this kind of expertise. We will create a space for social impact and facilitate our consultants to reach their career goals and support their personal development while giving back to Irish society. We also aim to partner with different organisations who support both the clients and professionals.
How does your business model enable the transition to a low carbon, or more sustainable future?
We will only work with clients that have a business model that aims to achieve SDGs or is in the process of transitioning to focussing on the SDGs. We ensure that these organisations are aligned in their aim to create sustainable impact. At Impact Consulting Dublin we realise that Covid-19 has created a renewed focus on purpose for both companies and employees and we are in a unique position to deliver that. We recognise that the ‘Great Resignation’ a phenomenon that describes record numbers of people leaving their jobs after the pandemic, stems from a feeling of disconnect. This has reinforced the need for people and companies to rethink their business models. It has highlighted the importance of building a sense of purpose into the culture of an organisation and the career path an individual may choose to follow. As more and more people are searching for a sense of purpose to their career, Impact Consulting Dublin is uniquely positioned to allow professionals to give back to society in a way that may benefit their careers. It also affords companies to deliver on their ESG commitments in a tangible way, particularly where they don’t currently know how to. We support diversity of thought and perspective and create an environment of inclusivity in our activity by ensuring all perspectives are heard. With this novel business model, our vision is to support a more sustainable world through strengthening purpose-driven Irish organisations and working with passionate professionals with unique skills to offer.