Ensuring every dog has his day! Project with Guide Dog School for the Blind (ABAADV)
Stone Soup Consulting was commissioned to partner with ABAADV, an association in Portugal providing Guide Dog's for the Blind. The project developed the training programme needed to deliver additional service dogs to people in need. It also enabled the co-creation of the social impact evaluation system related to this programme.
The Guide Dog School for the Blind (ABAADV) is based in Chão do Vento, in the Municipality of Mortágua, Viseu, Portugal. The initial scope of the association is the education of guide dogs for blind people. It was founded in 1999 and is the only organisation of it's type working in this area in Portugal.
Each year, ABAADV delivers an average of 16 trained guide dogs to blind people. However, ABAADV has to start the process with a much larger number of dogs - on average about 25 dogs a year, to ensure enough candidate dogs pass the test and get selected as guide dogs. When the dogs are 3 months old, they are sent to host families for 2 years. In the second year of the programme, dogs spend weekdays training at the school and the weekend with their families. Evaluated every 3 months, not all dogs have the characteristics required to become guide dogs. Therefore, there are approx. 9 dogs left each year, who have not made the final cut for selection as guide dogs.
BLab 2019 Honoree: Best for the World: Customers
We are thrilled to be recognized for the second time as being among the companies creating the most positive overall impact on its customers based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the nonprofit B Lab. Honorees are featured on B the Change, the digital Medium publication produced by B Lab, at https://bcorporation.net/2019-best-for-the-world-customers.
The Best For Customers list includes businesses that earned a Customer score in the top 10 percent of Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment. The full assessment measures a company's impact on its workers, community, customers and environment.To certify as B Corporations, companies like Stone Soup must complete the full assessment and have their answers verified by B Lab.
The Customer portion of the B Impact Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers by focusing on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit and if those products/services are targeted toward serving underserved populations. The section also measures whether a company’s product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (preserving environment, creating economic opportunity for individuals or communities, or increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises for example).
European Investment Bank Institute – a long and mutually enriching relationship
An overview of the seven year partnership project with the European Investment Bank Institute by Sophie Robin, co-founding partner, Stone Soup Consulting
Stone Soup Consulting has had the pleasure to collaborate with the European Investment Bank Institute for more than seven years now, ever since the Social Innovation Tournament (SIT) – a European wide contest awarding the best and most impactful innovations in Europe was established. During the first few years, Sophie Robin was a member of the Jury and acted as the President on various occasions. In order to allow for a healthy turnover of jury members, Sophie Robin offered to step down from her jury duties after five successful and effective years services.
Stone Soup Consulting was then invited to participate in the pre-selection process of the following edition (2018). Sophie Robin and Maria Raurell reviewed more than 300 projects, and participated in the pre-selection of the fifteen finalists for that year's edition (check out this video with the winners).
Why use Agile Methodology in social sector projects?
Stone Soup Academy is offering an Agile Methodology for Social Impact workshop this Autumn, hosted by our consultant Daniel Manitsky. Read his blog post below on the methodology and why it is of benefit to the social sector.
As the world becomes more interconnected, we in the social and environmental sectors are being asked to take on ever more ambitious efforts. We are facing demands to innovate faster, work more seamlessly with other organizations, and tackle increasingly complex problems.
These new demands have created new management and leadership challenges. We find some of the most vexing of these challenges include:
- How to manage projects that involve partners with complimentary but nonetheless different missions, values, and priorities;
- How to create system-level impacts even when your organization is a small part of that system;
- How to measure success, report to donors, and control for first on projects that are so complex you can only figure out the way forward through trial and error.
Traditional methods for designing, managing, and measuring success on projects increasingly cannot stand up to these challenges. In fact, many traditional project management tools might actually be counterproductive when success is dependent on rapid learning, innovation, and coordination among many actors.
A community agreeing their guiding principles: Stone Soup code of ethics
Written by Rowena Hennigan, Communications Officer
Day to day I check in with my professional behaviours, that is, my internal guide with my standards, my morals for business behaviours. That is my own validation, my own internal test on how to behave (or how to try to behave). As one person, it is a relatively simple exchange! So, how did a socially-driven international organisation like Stone Soup Consulting gain consensus on their moral principles and create clear guidelines on their community behaviour?
The Stone Soup Consulting code of ethics was published this month. The result of 16 months of consultation, involving the whole community of “stone-soupers”, it is a remarkable achievement (involving more than 50 consultants, based across 9 countries). An outsider can dip into this document and get a view into the soul of Stone Soup, an insight into their ethos, philosophy and integrity. This code serves as the basis for inquiries, ethical debates and/or dilemmas on the community’s professional practice. In summary, it guides and advises action and behaviours, underpinning their organisational culture.
Introducing Stone Soup Consulting
Stone Soup Consulting is all about maximising social value. A socially-driven international company whose mission is to help optimise strategy creation and implementation for organisations so that they achieve their greatest social impact. This mission is realised in a highly collective and collaborative set of processes, using a wide range of independent social consultants, who make up the Stone Soup community. All of the community work remotely (coming together in person on client sites to deliver project), therefore explicit and clear communication is paramount in all community interactions. What better way to strengthen and unite this community than to create clear set of ethics and guidelines for behaviour. Stone Soup Consulting is also a certified B Corp and in 2018, it was recognised by B Lab as one of the Best B Corps for the world in the customers category.