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Better Know a B: Impossible

Impossible is a global digital innovation agency founded by Lily Cole, that seeks to use technology and product design to solve some of the world's most seemingly impossible problems.

Tell us a bit about Impossible?

Impossible has developed a marketplace which connects people to share more easily with one another, and a shop that drives product transparency. 

The online platform and app allows users to trade small favours within their extended networks more easily. Users can post offers or requests which are matched to the people who are most likely to be able to help. 

Impossible has launched a shop which promotes transparency and responsibility in product supply chains, by aggregating brands who are making products that have a positive impact, from using recycled materials to empowering communities.

Why did you become a B Corp?

We really believe that businesses need to be part of the solution - rather than part of the problem - for many major world issues. Businesses have a profound impact on most people on the planet, and the environment, so any systemic change needs to involve business. 

Impossible was originally founded as a Yunus Social Business. Under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, we wrote into our articles of association his seven tenets of social business, committing to a core social and environmental mission. 

B-Corp is an attractive paradigm for operating as a social business because it has provided a recognisable framework that looks at impact in multidisciplinary and complex ways, so we were happy to see that B-Corp had launched in the UK.

What is the change that Impossible seeks?

We want to create products and services that create a more caring world: connecting people in more meaningful ways, and making sustainability easier to achieve. So far this has manifested in two services: 

In the UK the gift economy (people doing things for others for free) is bigger than GDP, and yet there are very few tools that have been built to help facilitate real sharing. Real sharing has been documented to create social cohesion and economic resilience, and so we seek to use technology to better enable this behaviour, especially in complex and large cities where it is easy for individuals to become alienated from one another. 

Impossible launched the shop to try and drive consumer awareness around conscious consumption, and the political agency of buying things. Impossible has been working with Provenance.org on telling the stories behind products. We want to see more transparency in supply chains, and more consumer engagement with brands that have responsible ways of making.

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