Tuesday, September 19: New York City, 9:00AM
Today’s the day! Alongside our partners at UVA Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society and Concordia, we’re awarding this year’s P3 Impact Award. Five partnership finalists are in the running. Who is going to win!?
I’m not the only one ready to kick off Day 2 at the Concordia Summit. The morning begins bright and early with a strategic dialogue focused on partnership building. During the session, P3 Impact Award finalists present their partnership and convince this year’s judges why they should win the P3 Impact Award. I’m seated at the table with representatives from last year’s winning partnership (Project Nurture); this year’s judges, who include leaders in the pubic-private partnership space; and representatives from both Concordia and UVA.
First up in the presentation section of the session is Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women. The partnership has helped foster economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs in 56 countries with business education and access to capital since 2008. The initiative is now expanding to provide access to capital for 100,000 women through a global finance facility in partnership with International Finance Corporation.
Next, we hear from The Accenture and Upwardly Global Partnership, who are working together to leverage technology to help skilled immigrants and refugees with previous advanced education and professional experience find sustainable employment and better integrate into the U.S. economy.
Then, we visit Central America where Care USA and Cargill’s Partnership: Nourishing the Future in Central America is fostering more prosperous and resilient farming communities by promoting sustainability, food security, and nutrition across 66 of the most marginalized communities in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. They’ve worked together for approximately 50 years— partnership longevity at its finest.
As we move around the table hearing from each partnership finalist, we’re simultaneously transported to different areas of the world. Partnering for Poultry, USAID’s Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Program and EthioChicken’s partnership shares how they’re integrating a nutrition-centered marketing campaign and sparking a more vibrant local economy in two regions of Ethiopia, Amhara and Tigray.
Finally, we hear from Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh, a partnership between the Bangladesh Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Unicef, iDE, and Rangpur Foundry Ltd. (RFL) focused on strengthening the sanitation market system in Bangladesh and prevent the spread of disease by facilitating scalable, sustainable access to improved sanitation.
After a round of questions from strategic dialogue participants, it is now up to the P3 Impact judges to deliberate and select this year’s winner. For the first year, Summit participants also have the opportunity to select an audience-choice winner. I’m looking forward to finding out who will win!
Seven hours later
The judges have made their decision. Alongside Mary Margaret Frank from UVA’s Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society and Concordia’s Matthew Swift, I take the stage to present this year’s award. As we each remark on the impressiveness of this year’s finalists, I’m struck with an appreciation for the partnership itself that makes the P3 Impact Awards possible. Now in its fourth year, our partnership with UVA’s Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society and Concordia is a remarkable example of three different entities coming together due to an acknowledgement that the best public-private partnerships taking place around the world need to be recognized and honored. Every year, the partnership finalists impress us with their impact and desire to further scale. They serve as exemplary partnership case studies and this year’s selection is no exception.
“And the audience-choice award goes to…The Accenture and Upwardly Global Partnership,” announces Matt.
A well-deserved recognition for them! Now, I have the pleasure of awarding the official P3 Impact winner.
“2017’s P3 Impact Award goes to…Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh!”
They take the stage and I join the audience in a round of applause for a partnership that not only exemplifies successful tri-sector collaboration but is tangibly helping save lives in Bangladesh and exhibits an immense potential to further scale in other regions that experience similar issues in accessing quality sanitation products.
I share how this desire to increase public-private partnerships’ capacity to scale has inspired my team in the Office of Global Partnerships to embark on an accelerator program for partnerships addressing pressing global challenges. Called Boldline, the program will launch in the week lead-up to March 5, 2018’s Global Partnerships Week Forum and will provide mentorship, resources, and exposure to a vast network. Though spots for the program are competitive, I hope Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh, The Accenture and Upwardly Global Partnership, and this year’s other P3 Impact finalists are able to share with Boldline’s selected participants their success stories, challenges, and resources that have helped them grow.
As we collectively walk off the stage, I’m left inspired by the future of public-private partnerships: both by an increasing number of cross-sector entities who are just starting to get a partnership off the ground and by more mature partnerships , like some of this year’s P3 Impact finalists who are continuing to scale up their impact. The public sector, private businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions—we’re all going to have to work together to bring solutions to top global challenges. Thank you to this year’s P3 Impact winners and finalists who are already well on their way.
Join the conversation on Twitter using #P3Impact.
About the Author: Thomas Debass serves as the Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.com