In my earlier article titled, Storytelling Needs To Follow Impact Reporting Based On SDGs I propounded the idea of telling stories that flow from social impact aligned to specific and relevant Sustainable development goals (SDGs). At core SDGs are grand vision statements, universally accepted and based on common social good. Thus understanding the spirit of the individual goals and the sub-goals therein will be essential for social entrepreneurs to design their impact metrics accordingly. Stories of impact should then reflect the spirit of the SDGs in the efforts of the organization.
Here I take 2 hypothetical examples of startups in the education sector and elaborate on how they could tell stories of impact that showcase their achievements as per the SDGs.
Education Startup 1: Helping children in municipal and affordable private schools gain key life skills through pedagogy
Let’s look at the applicable SDGs to your startup and startups of similar nature.
SDG#4 Quality Education
4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
Indicative Storytelling theme
Defining and showcasing key skills acquired by children
Main characters in this story are the children, teachers and parents. Such a story should showcase some key skills acquired by your chief impactees- children. A film around this theme should primarily have first-hand accounts of a few students who are good examples of the pedagogical outcomes achieved by your organization. They symbolize the desired impact of your work. Each child chosen for the story can represent a certain target age bracket. This film should also encapsulate views of the municipal teachers and members of your pedagogy staff on defining the minimum levels of proficiency required in different skill areas and the challenges of meeting them. Perspective on the role of parents in helping their wards achieve proficiency in life skills is highly valuable. The film can end with some key impact metrics of your organization and a glimpse of your vision.
A film on this theme should have the final objective of educating all the stakeholders on the minimum levels of proficiency in various key skills required by children to have a sound footing to have a bright future.
Please note there are various possible storytelling themes to convey the impact and the social outcomes achieved by your organization. What I have stated above is just indicative and meant to serve as food for thought.
Education Startup 2: Imparting vocational skills to youth to make them employable in the formal sector
SDG#4 Quality Education; SDG#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
Indicative Storytelling themes
Discussing technical and vocational skills required for employability
This story should delve into those technical and vocational skills that are required to help today’s youth acquire jobs with decent wages and sustain their personal economic growth over next few decades. It should primarily provide perspectives of your organization’s trainers, training partners and experts on the skills that fetch productive employment for youth.
This story should also highlight the reach and scale of your operations and how your organization is improving the employment and micro-entrepreneurship environment in the geographies you operate in.
Showing social outcomes achieved
This is an impact story that explores the positive change in the life of your impactee- a young man or a young woman who is now placed in ‘full and productive employment’ by your organization. It can be centered around one person or show a glimpse into the lives of a few individuals who have risen to socioeconomic well-being. Increase in the income levels of a family has profound effect on many other aspects related to health, education, and marriage. This story should capture these changes as well.
SDGs are grand vision statements, universally accepted and based on common social good. Social entrepreneurs and changemakers should not only create impact metrics that align with them but also tell stories that reflect the spirit of the SDGs in the impact efforts of their organizations.