Daniel D. Rubino is the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ImpactWayv. He is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GCA Capital Group, a business development, financial and legal services advisory firm in New York. Previously, he co-founded and was Chief Executive Officer of 787 Capital Group LLC, a privately-held merchant banking firm in New York. Mr. Rubino was Partner and Advisor to the 52nd Governor of the State of New York, Mario M. Cuomo, for over 15 years. Governor Cuomo was Chairman of the Board of 787 Capital. In addition, Mr. Rubino was a Senior Partner in the Corporate and Financial Services Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York and was with the firm for more than 25 years.
Storytelling about ImpactWayv with Dan Rubino
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 181. This week we have storytelling about Dan Rubino on from ImpactWayv, and we’re going to talk about the use case, the business case, cost benefit analysis for why his prospects and customers choose ImpactWayv.
ImpactWayv is a pioneering global Social [Impact] Media Platform that unites people, businesses and nonprofits to drive collective impact across causes and communities. The platform operates as an entirely new kind of digital ecosystem, enabling users to effect, engage in and share social impact on a global scale.
Show length: 29 minutes
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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case Podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens, or should happen, when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better as we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment in HR tech. That’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to The Use Case Podcast. Today we have Dan on from ImpactWayv, and we’re going to talk about the use case, the business case, cost benefit analysis for why his prospects and customers choose ImpactWayv. So why don’t we jump right into it? ImpactWayv, by the way, is spelled impact, as you would normally spell it, and then W-A-Y-V, so wayv. And so, Dan, would you do us a favor, the audience a favor, and introduce both yourself and ImpactWayv?
Dan Rubino: Would love to, and thanks for having me, William. My name is Dan Rubino. I am the CEO and Co-Founder of ImpactWayv. And you could see the name impact, and it’s meant to mean social impact, and wayv is sort of the wave and the momentum of impact and social good that has been in and about us for the last couple of years. So what we’ve done is, over the last two years, but we just launched within the last few months, we’ve created a new social media platform. And the platform revolves around social impact. And the purpose of it was to capture, as I said before, this wave of momentum with respect to social impact. And that has been through people throughout the world, through businesses throughout the world and not-for-profits throughout the world.
And each of those categories, those are the categories that we look to in terms of, okay, people want, and there’s a greater hunger and a need, for purpose in their life, whether it be social, business or professional. Businesses, they have this imperative now, and like they’ve never had before, with respect to why they exist, what they do, how they make money. But there’s an imperative to demonstrate to all their stakeholders, including shareholders and suppliers, and just as importantly, all of their employees, what they do from a social good perspective in addition to the sale of products and services. And the last category is not-for-profits throughout the world. And that’s just a general need and desire for global connectivity to support their mission achievement.
So what we wanted to do was, because we thought it was severely lacking, we wanted to get technology, we wanted to mirror and match technology with businesses and not-for-profits. Put it on a social media platform and allow this ecosystem to develop, where people could, on a 24/7 basis, engage with each other, with businesses, with not-for-profits all around the concept of social good. And it’s an amazing concept. And it’s an amazing platform. We’re coming at the right time, because there is this urgent need for it. And we see that in every aspect of what we do. When you look at the evolution of CSR, and ESG, and the United Nations, STGs, and you name it, it goes down the list, environmental issues and so on and so forth, businesses need to do things, need to position themselves in that sphere because everybody expects them to do that.
And then when you look at businesses generally, you look at the component parts. And one of the main things is let’s say, employees. Employees want to work for companies that have values, core values, that align with theirs. And we see this as an amazing tool for companies to attract employees, because of all the great things that the companies do. And it’s a platform where employees, stakeholders generally can see what those companies do. The interesting thing about it is in terms of this global mega trend or the momentum, the wave that we call it, you look at some of the statistics, William, and the Gen Z and Millennial categories, it’s over 2.5 million, about 85 to 90% of them are strongly committed to social impact. And then, where do they go for that? They don’t necessarily go to a Facebook, or a TikTok, or an Instagram for that. And that’s why we built the platform.
We want them to come to our platform to sort of show, demonstrate and act upon social good on our platform. And the same thing holds true with respect to the percent of Millennials, generally, with respect to the ability of Millennials to tailor their investments to things and companies that align with their values. And also in terms of customers, they would rather buy products from organizations who share their core values, which is an amazing thing. And that number approaches 80%. So you have this new ecosystem without a social media platform. And that’s what our social media platform does. It provides that platform to aggregate all this engagement and the momentum.
William Tincup: So first of all, I love it. Second is for let’s say, candidate, is ImpactWayv a way to vet, I would say, Glassdoor for social good? Is it a way to then vet companies that might say they do certain things, but maybe they don’t do exactly some of the things that they say they do, or don’t do them at the level, et cetera? In one part of it, is it a way for candidates to vet companies?
Dan Rubino: Yeah, the answer is absolutely yes. And that would apply to candidates, potential employees, existing employees, any kind of stakeholder, where you could go on the site and you could actually probe into a particular company and actually find out what they’re doing, how long they’ve been doing it, what their causes are, what their relationships are on a going forward basis. So all that is available within the site itself. If you look at the number of for-profits, for instance, in the world, you have more than 200 million for-profits in the world. And then with respect to not-for-profits, you have more than 10 million not-for-profits in the world.
They really don’t have this fully-baked, centralized ecosystem where they could put what they’re doing on a platform to demonstrate to all their stakeholders, and that is their existing stakeholders and potential stakeholders, what they’re doing from a social good perspective. This could be done on our platform, because it is that type of an ecosystem.
William Tincup: What’s interesting is, I mean, there’s several things that are interesting, but one thing that comes to mind is you’re not really putting a value judgment on this. You’re not really saying good or bad. You’re just saying, “Here’s what it is.” So if somebody says that they’re investing heavily in, let’s say, Black Lives Matter as a cause that’s really important to them and they are, then you’re not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s not like a grade, but you’re extending the air of transparency and relating it back to something specific within the company. It’s like, companies they either do, or they don’t. Again, no value judgment. You do or don’t. If they do, here are the things that they’re involved with. Here’s their level of investment. Here’s their activity layer, the volunteerism, et cetera.
And so people can sort, people can, without looking at the technology, I would assume that people can then search for things that are important to them. If it’s AIDS research, you can search for companies that spend money on that and-
Dan Rubino: Yeah. It’s an interesting point that you raise, because it is somewhat agnostic. And it doesn’t take positions. It provides the platform where people could have that interaction, engagement, and dialogue. But there is one thing that we do have on the platform and that is with one of our data partners. Our one partner, they have ascribed a call it a social good, or an ESG, or a CSR value. And we allow access to that on our platform. So you’ll be in a position to look to a Nike, or look to a tire company, or an oil company, or anything else, and then see where that company lies in terms of this global score. And it’s just sort of a tidbit of information to look deeper. And it gives the companies the opportunity to put more information on the platform to even better their score. We don’t control the score. We just try to put all the aspects of information together to provide sort of an educated kind of a platform for the stakeholders.
William Tincup: Yeah. And again, a score is fun. If they’re interested in that, it’s great that it’s there, it’s available to them. If they’re interested in the causes and that they’re actually fulfilling on those causes, but maybe they don’t score as highly on some of the other things, I think again, you’re just giving them the information for them to make informed decisions. So I love that.
As it relates to employees, because you said something that kind triggered kind of this will help you attract talent. I also thought about engaging and retaining talent. Currently, is ImpactWayv, are you working with companies in terms of kind of how to actually engage with their employees? Time, talent, treasure, what do you want to unlock? And then towards what good do you want to unlock that? How do y’all work with companies?
Dan Rubino: Yeah, the bottom line is that we provide a healthier and more meaningful alternative to existing social media platforms. So that’s number one. So we give companies this sort of exact expansive platform. And yeah, we have been working with a number of companies to do not only the outreach to employees, but as I said before, to the population of stakeholders. And if you go to an AT&T, for instance, you’ll have hundreds of thousands of employees and so on and so forth. And then you get to the shareholder body and to the supplier body, you’re talking well in excess of a million or two.
This is a type of platform that can be utilized, not necessarily to replace a social media platform that a company already has, but as a supplement or a healthy alternative to existing platforms to demonstrate to all those employees and stakeholders what they’re doing. And for it to be a sort of an ecosystem that the company would be part of to demonstrate what they’re doing from a social good perspective.
And when you look to employees, specifically, they do want to go to companies who have values that align with their own. And this is a perfect opportunity for companies to see that in the form of not just the company website, but more importantly, through something which is a little bit more objective, is in a social media platform type of form. And they’ll be able to interact not only with each other, but with other companies as well as other not-for-profits on the platform. And it also gives you the ability not just to hire, but to recruit and certainly maintain and retain these employees, because of the company’s involvement in a platform like ours.
William Tincup: With your customers on the corporate side, who typically manages it? Because it’s a communications tool of sorts so that they can communicate. Is it more marketing, PR, employee comms? Who’s over there that’s active and telling the stories?
Dan Rubino: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, every company these days, as you know, William, they need to demonstrate what they’re doing from an EMD-CSR perspective, whether that’s because they think it’s in their best interest, or they want to do it because they have it in them. Regardless of motive, they need to do that. So now, the question is, how do they do that? And they do that through their annual report. They do that through their shareholder communications, employee communications, things of that nature, maybe their website. And then, they also utilize social media platforms. We go to the people who are in charge of all of those and that’s typically internal Communications Department/Marketing/Advertising Department, Investor Relations Department.
But once we sit down and talk to a company, they realize that it really runs the gamut with respect to all those departments. And they come to the conclusion that indeed, this is what we consider to be a cross-platform media network that they could plug into with relative ease and really put out the information that they put out, as well as allow people to interact with that information and with them on a different basis. And the basis is the social good.
William Tincup: So first of all, thanks. What if they don’t have a great story to tell? Okay, we’re just, we’re here now. And we’ll put judgements aside. But they just don’t have a great story. Is there a way to interact with ImpactWayv and either coaching, or mentoring, or consulting, or services, or whatever, to help them kind of start down this journey?
Dan Rubino: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s a very, very interesting question. And the answer is yes, because we have a team that… We’ve been involved in the social good sphere for more than 20, and in my case, 30 years. It just wasn’t called that 25 years ago. And with the advent of technology and the ability to do things on a social network, it’s a different environment. So what we do, and what we’ve done over the past 20, 25 years, there’s a concept of a service as it relates to social good. And it relates to how to implement CSR-ESG policies within the corporation that we would do almost like a social impact as a service concept. And to the extent that an entity or corporation, whether it be public or private, if they don’t have a story, or if they have the germs of a story, we would help them with that. Not just the story, but the actual implementation of it in a big way.
So how do you develop what you want to do again, not just a communications perspective, but how do you actually implement it? How do you start a foundation? How do you reach out to your constituents or your employees with respect to the things that the board of directors want to do? That kind of stuff. So we would actually package that. That’s been our, in different forms, our bread and butter over the years. But we thought it was essential that we develop this social impact media platform in order to bring it all together. And that’s what’s happened.
William Tincup: Oh, a hundred percent. It’s interesting, a hundred years ago, I studied cause related-marketing, which is where companies and nonprofits would kind of co-market. They’d come together and do some things together. But it was at that nascent stage, it was still a little bit more corporate, like, what-am-I-going-to-get-out-of-it type stuff. This seems a bit more pure. And again, I think that’s where we are societally. So it mirrors kind of where people are. Tell us a little bit about the nonprofits and their interaction with ImpactWayv. What do they do? And how they interact with the platform?
Dan Rubino: Yeah, the most important thing for not-for-profits is that they traditionally have not had a place where they could plug in and get connectivity to the world. You’ve been on not-for-profits. We’ve been on many not-for-profits. We’ve headed many not-for-profits. And that’s what they need. They needed the ability from a technological standpoint and in particular, through social media to do something that supports their mission achievement. And you have local not-for-profits, national, international. What we do is we give them the ability to plug into a unified platform and have access to the world with respect to that platform. A couple of examples, we have Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation on the platform.
Now, that foundation and the company that it relates to, Bristol Myers Squibb, of course, is a worldwide company. They have hundreds of thousands of employees and stakeholders. And they do work throughout the world, specifically in Africa, but elsewhere too, with respect to diseases and things of that nature. And you have little in terms of attention as to what do they do. Now, all of a sudden, you have a platform where they could come on and start to trumpet, for lack of a better phrase, what they’re doing. And that thesis sort of replicates with almost every company and certainly with almost every not-for-profit. We have Autism Speaks on the platform. We have the National Alzheimer’s Association on the platform. And the list just runs.
All of a sudden, now, with this platform, you give them keys to the internet, to social media, where they could connect with others who don’t know of them and with others who do know of them and are of like mind and interest. So we see that as an amazing stepping stone to better the not-for-profit community throughout the world, as well as getting down to the cause really do great things through those not-for-profits, because now all of a sudden, they’re getting the attention that they deserve.
William Tincup: So I love that. And again, you’re doing not just with not-for-profits, NGOs. Around the world, you’ve got all kinds of different ways that people think of those. If not now, down the road, are you exploring kind of volunteer opportunities so that one can connect, if they find something that they really like on the platform? And they’re like, “Maybe I just want to write a check.” Okay. So that’s fine. Or, “Maybe I want to volunteer. I want to be an advisor or I want to step in and donate my time,” et cetera. Is that a mechanism that you see as a part of the future of ImpactWayv?
Dan Rubino: The answer is yes. It’s not the future. It’s actually here now, because in the platform what we do is you could… I don’t know what your favorite kind of charity is, but whatever the charity is, it’s on our platform, because of our data partners or even the general cause that you’re familiar with or that you would like. And we have 50 different waves on the platform. You could go into a wave, let’s say environmental justice, and you could dig deep into the wave and determine who’s involved, who’s not involved, what corporations are involved, what not-for-profits are part of it, that type of thing. And then you could dig deeper to the organization itself with a link to their website, facilitating not only money raising, but also volunteer work and things of that nature.
And then, what you could do is you could start to post on a regular basis that you’ve had a good experience with this particular organization. You’re volunteering. And then it just opens up. We’ve had, for instance, I’m in Connecticut. The company’s headed in New York, but one of our major participants is the Yale School of Environmental Justice. That organization is quite interesting, because it is somewhat worldwide. They’re on our platform. And anyone in the world can now volunteer with them or for them. And certainly if people wanted to write a check, they could do that, too. But things like that, organizations like that on the platform, all of a sudden, has the publicity that it needs in order to help drive their mission.
William Tincup: Yeah. And they’re unlocking a corporate audience that maybe they didn’t have great access to before for whatever reason. It just wasn’t easy. All the executives, the middle managers at these large corporations, they just weren’t easy to get to. They had to fight other fires. You probably don’t get the ROI question as hardcore as maybe some other kind of software players. But I’m sure people like to know how they define success or what metrics that they should look at. And how they not just justify the investment, but just what they should be looking for. Is it engagement? Is it usage? What is it that you should be looking for? So how do you typically answer that question?
Dan Rubino: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, as I said we launched the platform a few months ago. And we’re now here in a position to download it in the Apple Store, on Apple phones. Within two or three weeks we’re going to be on Android, which will be major for us. And we’re looking forward to that. But the bottom line is that our measure of success is the number of companies and not-for-profits on the platform. And certainly, the number of people who are using the platform and engaging within the platform. And it’s just a matter of time where we think the numbers will be as good as the numbers of some of the other social media platforms because of the wave, because of the momentum, because of the need.
And people want this, because they’re a little bit fed up with methods of social media and whether it be the clutter, or the lack of trust, lack of authenticity, all of a sudden they see something. And they say, “Well, that’s really purposeful and meaningful and I’d like to get into it.” But as you point out, William, it’s a function ultimately of user engagement. But it runs the gamut in terms of people, businesses and not-for-profits. And that’s why we wanted to create this new ecosystem with respect to social good.
William Tincup: Dan drops mic, walks off stage. That is fantastic. I love what you’re doing. It absolutely speaks to me. With my MBA, I have a certificate in nonprofit management. Thought I wanted to be an art curator of an art museum. So it speaks to me on a lot of levels. I love what you’re doing. I’m so glad that you’ve built ImpactWayv, because I think it’s just going to help people. And it’s still right time. I mean, again, 30 years ago, maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe we weren’t intellectually or emotionally in the right spot. It is. It’s absolutely the right time. So continued success. I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing. And thank you for coming on The Use Case Podcast.
Dan Rubino: And William, thank you so much for having me. And shout out to all your viewers and listeners. We love what we are doing here and we want to try to get more people involved. So please follow us on ImpactWayv and you can download it right now.
William Tincup: Absolutely. And again, please do that. And thanks for everyone listening to The Use Case Podcast. Until next time.
Dan Rubino: You got it.
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William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.