A business award with a difference

The winners of the 2005 Fast Company Social Capitalist Awards were announced and profiled in the January edition of Fast Company Magazine.  The winners and finalists are drawn from a wide range of areas and taken together they make for a particularly inspiring read. It's clear that there's a lot of passion, creativity and energy among them and a number of very good ideas that have a huge potential to make a real difference.

Fast Company claims that the awards are more than just a way to acknowledge socially and environmentally orientated enterprise and provide some inspiration along the way. The teamed up with consultants at the Monitor Group to develop a methodology which they believe makes it possible to compare non-profits of different sizes and ages across social sectors. The article  by Tammy Hobbs Miracky and Amy Lieb that describes some of the challenges that the awarding panel faced in developing a way of measuring the impact of non-profit organisations is well worth a read.

Refreshingly Fast Company recognise they don't have all the answers or a definitive way of measuring the work of non-government organisations and they're looking for feedback and suggestions from readers on how the process can be improved.

Whatever you think of the process, Fast Company need to be commended for the initiative.

The special section on the Fast Company website  devoted to the awards includes information on the process, profiles of all the finalists and winners and a feature article on the founder of Ashoka , Bill Drayton.

Ashoka? You'll have to read the article.