Opinion: The world’s biggest problems won’t be solved by the social impact sector alone — here’s what’s needed

Being able to work with people in corporate and public sectors is key, but it’s not easy

Why It Matters

While the social impact world makes big commitments to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, the complexity and scale of those problems mean the sector simply cannot do it alone. Leaders with experience in the corporate world, government, and other sectors can help build bridges and get things done.

Addressing the world’s most pressing challenges — like the climate crisis, income inequality, and the COVID-19 pandemic — increasingly requires collaboration between governments, social impact organizations, and corporations. For instance, delivery and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine requires cooperation between governments, social service organizations, and businesses. 

No policy, social innovation, or technology is likely to single handedly solve our most intractable social issues. David Smith and Jeanine Becker write that too often problems are addressed with “piecemeal and even siloed solutions, and with efforts that aren’t sufficient to address the problems at the scale at which they exist.” The social impact sector must acknowledge the co


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