Year in Review: Top 5 Achievements
This year, the Global Business Coalition for Education continued to build a strong movement of companies committed to ending the global education crisis, working with our network to have the greatest possible social impact.
From environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, in-kind contributions and philanthropic investment, our activities brought together the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector for public good.
1. Laptops and Learning in Ukraine
In July we announced the Digital Equity for Ukraine initiative, a $30 million partnership with HP to deliver 74,000 laptops to schools, teachers and other people in need, both inside Ukraine and in neighboring countries. Microsoft provided software support for local charitable organizations receiving and distributing the devices.
About half of the donated computers are going to civilians displaced within Ukraine and half to Ukrainian refugees who have fled the war. Millions of children have been caught in the middle of war since it began in February – fleeing their homes, communities, and schools and being forced to learn remotely both inside and outside the country. The Ukrainian government says more than 2,000 educational institutions have been hit by bombs or shelling.
Distribution began in November in two regions of Ukraine with the assistance of the Olena Zelenska Foundation, the charity of Ukraine’s First Lady, and the cooperation of the Ukraine House Foundation. It is due to expand to another ten regions early in the new year.
Charities in Poland and other border countries also started delivering laptops to Ukrainian refugee teachers and children to enable them to continue lessons, contact friends and families back home and stay in touch with the world.
In addition, companies made contributions to our humanitarian relief fund for education, allowing us to directly support several local organizations deliver high-quality education support for displaced and refugee Ukrainian children and youth, and report back to our members’ employees on the impact of these contributions.
2. Putting Education at the Center of ESG
In September we published a report that offers a new approach to educational investment, by focusing on the link between education and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. It put forward a new blueprint designed to show how companies that commit to education as a social impact priority can integrate these efforts into a new framework.
“Unlocking Impact and Equity through Education: A New Approach to ESG” showed how education has significant and measurable impacts across all ESG priorities and should belong at the heart of ESG strategy.
It was commissioned in part as a response to common concerns about whether ESG is a risk framework or a method for improving performance with positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes.
The report and the issues it raised were the focus of a panel discussion hosted by GBC-Education at the United Nations General Assembly, chaired by our Executive Director Justin van Fleet. The panel featured valued members of our network from Snap Inc, People’s Postcode Lottery, American Express and Estée Lauder.
3. Investing in disability inclusion
Published in February and launched at the Global Disability Summit in Oslo, this report offered an evidence-led, how-to guide for businesses on improving their education, training, and employment for young people with disabilities.
Investing in Inclusion contained advice to business leaders seeking to improve their performance on disability inclusion and made clear why disability inclusion plays a vital role in modern business and should not be treated as an optional extra.
The report showed how companies can not only make a transformative contribution to the lives of people with disabilities but improve their own performance at the same time.
It featured candid interviews with persons with disabilities about their experience in education, the workplace, and society generally.
It also took a closer look at businesses that are leading the way on disability inclusion, from global corporations to a Kenyan start-up and a mobile phone operator in Jordan.
A new report was published on assistive technology in education by Theirworld’s Vibhu Sharm, who also acknowledged by Reed Smith at their Disability Inclusion Summit 2022 with the Rising Star award.
The "Investing in Inclusion" handbook shows how businesses can become more disability-inclusive and improve their bottom line.
4. Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge winners
Our inaugural “Big Ideas, Bright Cities” challenge was designed to help to solve an urgent problem in the US, where one in ten young people are not in school or not employed, and millions more are underemployed.
The Challenge invited cities to develop bold, innovative ideas that equip young people with the skills to participate in the workforce. After receiving a large number of applications, we selected 15 city finalists to receive grant funding and come together as a community of practice of change makers in cities across the US.
The Grand Prize Winner was Action Greensboro (NC), which received a $100,000 grant for its program linking young people from low-income backgrounds and first-generation college students with paid internships with local minority- and women-owned businesses. It will also financially support students in a summer skills development program.
The runners-up were Sidekick Education in Madison (WI), with a text-based chatbot service that acts as a career advisor for low-income youth, and Orlando Community Youth & Trust in Orlando (FL), which provides career guidance and preparation, job training, and job placement to youth between 15 and 25. Each received a $10,000 grant. The remaining finalists will each receive a micro grant to support their work.
The initiative is made possible with the support of Dell Technologies and Deloitte.
5. Enhancing Business Impact in Education
In 2022 we developed new approach to our Coalition model, which allows more companies to work with GBC-Education through fee-free engagement, so participating companies can learn from one another, form organic alliances and hear from GBC-Education about the latest developments and issues in global education.
In collaboration with the BHP Foundation, we have developed additional tools and resources to support companies make more informed, evidence-based decisions about their work to drive education equity. For companies looking to learn more about how to invest in education or refocus their programs, we now offer our Journey to Impact guides and coaching on how to incorporate the guides’ advice into company practice. Companies can also tap into the GBC-Education team as an extension of their own team, to consult on specific challenges or create bespoke solutions. These avenues offer a variety of options to companies who may be at different stages on their education journey.
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Joining forces with the Global Business Coalition for Education provides companies unparalleled access to our team’s expertise and vast networks of companies, foundations, international organizations, NGOs, and youth partners engaged in shaping education policy, programs, and public campaigns.
Our coalition’s success this year has been made possible thanks to our partners and supporters.