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  • Writer's pictureJarratt Ong

Tackling the Sustainability Talent Gap Together

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Why is driving impact challenging? Most of the time, founders do not have the luxury of accessing a wide range of talent pool since the pool faces heavily competition, especially when we include heavy players from the lucrative companies such as Apple.

Is this the end for sustainable cities and communities without the talent pool?

The right mindset and right skillset is needed. Talents not only need to care about the issues enough to want to make change but also require the skillsets and knowledge to help founder succeed.

In the end, founders may feel like they have to make do with the people they meet, spend time training them, and may even lose them to the bigger private sector.

Sometimes, founders feel that they might as well go on the journey alone and do everything by themselves.

Interseed's Approach to Making Impact 1/2

Our approach is on emphasising the understanding of key issues from a systems level in a multidisciplinary manner and we believe that better systems understanding would result in more innovative solutions with the help of a sustainability community.

However, Talents are needed! 2/2

While having a strong belief is good, however, talents are needed to help impact players make the change they want by first understanding the impact landscape and then assisting founders to challenge the way things are done and helping them identify new opportunities they can look into and thus help push the boundaries of change and create sustainability opportunities for all.

We need good, thoughtful, and driven people to drive social and ecological good, now more than ever to breakthrough the ceiling of progress.

Impact entrepreneurship is a (potentially) effective way to drive change, and a great way to attain a deeper understanding of complex issues first-hand but we need talents to help keep the momentum going in the sustainable society.

Talent Gap in Southeast Asia for Impact Entrepreneurship!

To make matters worse, Southeast Asia is lagging behind in talent availability!

With information provided by the Thomson Reuters Foundation 2019, in the top 3 places in the world, out of 44 countries, the easiest place for social entrepreneurs to attract staff with the required skills were Denmark, followed by Finland, and then Italy.

For Southeast Asia, only Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand's data were available, and these countries are ranked between 30 and 43.

30: Thailand

31: Philippines

33: Indonesia

41: Malaysia

43: Singapore

2016: A more optimistic time?

In 2016, the ranks were more higher for countries like Philippines and Thailand while countries like Singapore still hovered low on the list.

2016 2019

22: Philippines 31 (-9)

28: Thailand 30 (-2)

32: Indonesia 33 (-1)

35: Malaysia 41 (-6)

41: Singapore 43 (-2)

As you can see, Southeast Asia is not making the progress that we need to help push the envelope of the impact, that we could be making, when the talent aspect is holding us back.

What can we do?

For the founders, you might be on the hunt for competent talent that have both strong capabilities and passion to work in the sustainability field.

For the talents, you might be on the look out for effective entry-points to understand and navigate the sustainability space.

What we aim to do is to create a thriving eco-system that lets founders and talents come together and make the impact they want to create.

We want to achieve this by equipping talents with analytical skills on how to tackle the sustainability scene and make an educated decision on how to push the boundaries of the impact landscape.

This could be done by bringing them through landscape analysis and sustainable business breakdowns to equip them with the sharp critical skills and language to verbalise what areas need attention, suggest concrete ideas on how to direct resources to those pressing needs, and help identify opportunities for the business to grow.

This is to help reinforce Interseed's belief in the approach of maintaining the understanding of core issues from a systems level and in a multidisciplinary manner in order to produce more innovative solutions.

Interseed aims to create a pool of regional talent eager and available to be tapped into by founders to help them supplement their business and sprint with them. Silo and single efforts may not go far and we believe that a thriving eco-system can help make the change we want with diversity of ideas. We envision the talents to be equipped with a strong and knowledgeable foundation of the impact space and help drive change with the founders together.

What is an environmentally sustainable society without talents? I can't imagine one.

Want to be a part of a sustainability community for founders and talents? Check out our platform for founders and talents!


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