Impact Valuation Research Summer Internship

Kelvin Choy

The impact valuation partnership between Global Initiative for Sustainable Tomorrow (GIST) Impact and INSEAD’s Hoffmann Global Institute for Business Society (HGIBS) was kicked off in the summer. GIST Impact is the global leader in impact valuation, with data and analytics that harness the power of impact economics to understand the value contribution that businesses make to the world. This partnership seeks to measure the impact that MBA and more specifically, INSEAD MBA alumni have on their organisation across natural, human, social and produced capitals.

This virtual internship focused only on natural and human capital due to resource and data constraints and hopefully, this marks the start of a multi-year partnership will continue in the coming years to explore the other capitals. 

For the natural capital analysis, over 100 companies were analysed for their year-on-year impact reduction. Various hypotheses were tested to ascertain whether variables such as the proportion of the board and senior management having MBA, or more specifically, having the INSEAD MBA degree, had a significant correlation with the impact reduction.

At the point of the analysis, no significant correlation was observed. However, this could be potentially be due to the fact that most of the companies that showed the greatest year-on-year impact reduction were from Asia and that the INSEAD Asia campus only started in 2000. It is recommended that this study should be continued in subsequent years to obtain a larger sample size that spreads across wider geographical regions as one of the means to ascertain the effectiveness of INSEAD’s campaign as a force for good.

For the human capital analysis, the year-on-year human capital addition to INSEAD MBA alumni was determined and extrapolated based on variables such as their post MBA roles and region.  

All in all, besides the technical data analysis, we learnt more about impact valuation and particularly, how externalities can be quantified in an economic manner to make tangible and quantifiable conclusions to facilitate decision making. This is especially meaningful since the impact measurement and valuation is often mudded without a clear and consistent framework applied across all organisations. 

It was a great collaborative experience to work with GIST Impact.

As there were some issues in getting the data, the team came together to brainstorm and align on an alternative yet structured approach to analyse the research topic at hand. It was also an opportunity to see how GIST Impact was able to use their data and valuation engine to appeal to the mainstream focus on capitalism and hence, enabled organisations to effectively use this data to ensure that their overall impact is sustainable.

We will also like to thank HGIBS for their support for setting up the partnership and providing both financial and data support in order to allow students like us to devote our time towards such impact focused internships. 

This internship experience was supported by the INSEAD Hoffmann Institute Impact Internship Stipend and gifts from alumni.