The United Nations Global Compact
This is our second yearly Communication On Progress Report, issued as part of our responsibilities as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact.
While we are required to communicate our progress as part of being a signatory to this important set of principles we do so with much gladness and enthusiasm.
Adopting the Sustainable Development Goals as our ‘North star’ has been a hugely-transformative decision for ThinkPlace. As we have gone about enacting this transformation, the Global Compact has been our way of codifying that commitment. It allows us to set out our intentions for all to see and calls on us to explain how we have acted upon them. It gives us the opportunity to outline how instrumental the adoption of the goals has been in driving and shaping our development as a company.
During the past 2 years, ThinkPlace has increasingly hardwired the Sustainable Development Goals into everything we do. Whether it is our work around the globe creating positive change for governments, companies and NGOs or the internal processes and decisions that govern how we function as a company we place the SDGs at the centre.
The past 12 months has seen us further entrench this relationship as we have used the goals to redefine our entire organisational structure. With new roles and accountabilities in place and another 12 months of culture and leadership behind us it is gratifying to see the ongoing impact that adopting the goals has made on our business.
We have seen our impact multiply across areas like global nutrition, disease prevention, family violence and renewable energy as our designers across the globe take on challenges for clients such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Johns Hopkins University. These projects involve working with communities and partners to create interventions that will save or improve the lives of millions.
Committing to the goals has also helped our company grow. In the past 12 months we have won major awards in Germany, Africa, Australia and the United States. We have been named Social Changemaker Of The Year at Australia’s peak business awards. We’ve opened a new studio in the United States, taken on projects in more than 30 countries around the world and seen our social media profile skyrocket as interest grows in what we are doing.
Commitment to these goals is not an abstraction, to be kept separate from the everyday operations of our people. It is at the core of what we do. In order to reflect that, we wanted to know: How might we more consciously connect the SDGs with our everyday practice as designers, as changemakers and as employees of the company called ThinkPlace.
We decided to hardwire the SDGs into our company’s organisation structure.
ThinkPlace has created four new positions, filling each of them with a member of our leadership group. The four ‘sector leads’ each have responsibility for a number of connected SDGs.
There is no doubt that these 17 goals have transformed our company. They have given laser-like focus to our already-strong determination that we will collectively and collaboratively work to create a better world.
They have created a shared purpose that motivates our staff, our leaders and our partners. And they give us a standard that we can both aspire to and track our progress against.
With that spirit in mind, I invite you to read this report as we proudly communicate to the world our progress on advancing the 17 SDGs.