As lead research for Index Initiative, Lisanne is helping to construct the analytical backbone to the World Benchmarking Alliance’s consultation publications, discussions and platforms. Her involvement in the regional and global consultations is connecting her background research on the SDGs and industries with the practical expertise of stakeholders across the globe; helping to direct focus to the areas where benchmarks have the potential to be most impactful. With regards to the regional consultations she reflects, “it’s interesting how discussions vary from region to region. We are discovering much value in meeting personally with multi-sector stakeholders from different regions as this is providing us with important perspectives on relevant SDGs and sectors for each region and on building the alliance. I believe understanding these perspectives is crucial when developing the benchmarks.”
“Participants agreed that for the WBA to be successful, it needs to be inclusive for all stakeholders, giving each stakeholder group equal weight in the conversation. Making sure that everybody around the world can have a say in how the WBA is shaped and built is important to safeguard this inclusiveness. This requires true ability to listen to different stakeholders both when establishing the WBA and throughout the benchmark development process”.
– From the Cape Town consultation
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Through her role as lead research, Lisanne has helped to frame a range of consultation activities including roundtable design and discussions as well as the WBA’s online engagements: “Next to the global and regional consultations we are consulting people all over the world on what they believe to be critical intersections between the SDGs and industries through a series of online surveys. These intersections will then help to inform future benchmark development. Through two surveys, one for professionals and another for the broader public, we are able to gather truly global perspectives on the SDGs whilst at the same time matching these findings with more detailed standpoints on benchmark design and institutional structure.” For Lisanne, it’s about merging stakeholder perspectives with more technical expertise on intersections and benchmarks, as this is what she believes can make the WBA truly responsive. “The global and regional consultations address similar topics covered in the online consultations, bringing together varying participants from multiple sectors through open group discussions and brainstorms. Reflections on stakeholder priorities, benchmark design and the alliance are addressed alongside regional contexts and concerns. It’s a complex, but exciting process, and each consultation channel strengthens the other.”
“Participants concluded…that if the idea is to change corporate behaviour, the needs of stakeholders should be addressed across multiple dimensions – from the engagement of shareholders with a stake in the companies being benchmarked to the consumers buying or relying on the products and services provided by these companies.”
– From the Kuala Lumpur consultation
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With the end of the consultation phase on the horizon, Lisanne is now beginning to look ahead to what will come next. This involves compiling and analysing the vast sums of collected data and findings and making a start scoping some of the potential WBA benchmarks.
“The potential scale and impact of the World Benchmarking Alliance is massive. We are an organisation with a global ambition, and that is at once exciting as it is challenging”