Concordia Launches P3 Global Index
By Michael McLaughlin (MBA’15)
The Concordia Summit is now in its third year as a leader in the public-private partnership (P3) world. While the first summit in 2011 focused on combating extremism around the world, Concordia has hit its stride with an emphasis the importance of P3s to build a thriving global society. With a mission to identify new avenues of collaboration for governments, businesses, and nonprofits to create a more prosperous and secure future, the annual Concordia Summit has attracted global political leaders from Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton and President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia to business leaders like Luis Alberto Moreno of the International Development Bank and Intel Corporation.
Georgetown University alumnus Matthew Swift, co-founder of theConcordia Summit alongside Nicholas Logothetis told us that the idea for the Concordia Summit came from the intersection of the power to convene, which he discovered was very strong after working on the Wall Street Journal and News Corp’s annual CEO council and the global nature of conflict, which he clearly understood after a visit to the EU with the President of Poland and the former Prime Minister of Spain.
Concordia has grown fast for a new organization and Swift credits that to avoiding explicitly political issues and a belief that Concordia is only as strong as its reputation as a non-partisan thought leader. The organization attempts to point out not just the best places for a P3, but more importantly, where it will have the most impact. Swift said, “Successful public-private partnerships are partnerships where both sides, sometimes three, actually want a public-private partnership. It’s sounds too simple, but that’s all it is. Concordia convenes forums and does research, but doesn’t make P3s happen.”
He pointed to the Concordia Index as a good example of this. The index currently includes 17 countries, ranked based to how much the public has to gain and how much potential there is for the private sector gain from a P3. The three broad factors contributing to the rankings are the political environment, the investment climate, and the infrastructure deficit in a given country. Interestingly, the index ranks Chile, the United States, and Ghana as the top three countries ready for and standing to gain the most from P3s. “There are certain places with lots of private sector opportunities but the government slows them down,” Swift explained. He also emphasized that “social good” can happen even when private corporations make money and that shouldn’t be reason not to engage the private sector.
In the long-term, Swift would like to broker P3s and become more involved in the impact aspect of such partnerships. He believes the future of international stability and development will stem from uniting governments and businesses to improve the lives of people everywhere. As private corporations become increasingly committed to social responsibility, Swift hopes to demonstrate that P3s are an excellent way to accomplish social goals while also meeting their bottom lines.