It’s hard to describe what Volans does in a few words. It’s said best on its own website: “Focusing on the business of social innovation, Volans is a part think-tank, part consultancy and part broker.” Volans began its journey in late 2007, thanks to discussions by John Elkington, Pamela Hartigan, Geoff Lye and Sophia Tickell, and eventually, Sam Lakha and Kevin Teo. John Elkington, who is considered a veteran in the corporate social responsibility arena, is the Founding Partner and Executive Chairman of Volans. Elkington also coined the term “triple bottom line” in his book Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business.
Volans has two offices, one in London, England and the other in Singapore, but its work has a global reach. By incorporating investors, governments, businesses and entrepreneurs into the company’s activities, Volans’ potential impact is large. What Volans does is divided into three different spheres: the Innovation Lab, Client Services and Outreach. Firstly, the Innovation Lab is action-oriented by supporting business agendas and creating scale solutions to environmental, governance and social problems. Secondly, Client Services works with a variety of clients, from governments to businesses, in order to advise them on how they can take innovation to the next level. Some of their clients include HP and Allianz. Thirdly, the Volans Outreach programs focus on creating awareness and encouraging debate. Through a variety of mediums including newspapers, blogs, Twitter, books, television, radio, films, and journals, Volans gets people talking (and thinking) on the numerous issues that cover social innovation and global challenges.
According to its Agenda, Volans’ goal is to “help the future take flight.” The symbol of the flying fish (or ‘Pisces Volans’) symbolizes the leaps that Volans aims to make in the future in order to attain economic and social progress. By working with numerous organizations, Volans encourages innovators and social entrepreneurs to achieve their potential while finding solutions to the environmental, social and economic challenges that the entire world faces.
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