Latest publications

Irene Bengo

Associate Professor



Irene Bengo, Ph.D. in Management Engineering, is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. She is the scientific coordinator of TIRESIA, a research group of the Department of Management and Engineering, and she teaches the course “Sustainable and Social Innovation Lab” and “Economics and Business Organization (EOA)”.

Her research focuses on social and innovative approaches, practices, and management tools for hybrid organizations, impact finance, and public-private partnerships. She is an expert in impact measurement and management. Professor Bengo is the coordinator of many national and international projects in collaboration with universities, public and private institutions, and she is a member of the scientific committee of “Social Value Network”.

In 2015 she was a consultant on gender integration process assessment systems (Ministry of Labor). In 2014 she was a member of the ” Social Impact Investment Task Force” established by the G8. In 2012 and 2018 she was National Consultant of UNIDO on social business and performance measurement systems.

She was awarded “heroine of human rights” 2012 by the Association for Human Rights and Tolerance for her activities in water management and the creation of local social businesses in Congo and Colombia. She was the founder of Engineering Without Borders Milan in 2004, and since 2009 she has been the voluntary president of the association.

Publications

  • Bengo, I., Boni, L., Sancino, A. (2022). EU financial regulations and social impact measurement practices: A comprehensive framework on finance for sustainable development. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
  • Gerli, F., Chiodo, V., Bengo, I. (2021). Technology Transfer for Social Entrepreneurship: Designing Problem-Oriented Innovation Ecosystems. SUSTAINABILITY, 13(20), 1-19
  • Bengo I., Borrello A., Chiodo V. (2021). Preserving the integrity of social impact investing: Towards a distinctive implementation strategy. SUSTAINABILITY, 13,1-19
  • Bengo*, I., & Arena, M. (2019). The relationship between small and medium-sized social enterprises and banks. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 68(2), 389-406.
  • Al Taji, F. N. A., & Bengo, I. (2019). The Distinctive Managerial Challenges of Hybrid Organizations: Which Skills are Required? Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 10(3), 328-345.
  • Bengo*, I. (2018). Debate: Impact measurement and social public procurement. Public Money & Management, 38(5), 391-392
  • Arena, M., Bengo*, I., Calderini, M., & Chiodo, V. (2018). Unlocking finance for social tech start- ups: Is there a new opportunity space? Technological Forecasting And Social Change, 127, 154- 165
  • Bengo*, I., & Calderini, M. (2016). New development: Are social impact bonds (SIBs) viable in Italy? A new roadmap. Public Money & Management, 36(4), 303-306.
  • Arena, M., Bengo, I., Calderini, M., & Chiodo, V. (2016). Social Impact Bonds: Blockbuster or Flash in a Pan? International Journal of Public Administration, 1-13.
  • Bengo*, I., Arena, M., Azzone, G., Calderini, M. (2016). Indicators and metrics for social business: a review of current approaches. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 1 (2), 1-24.
  • Arena, M., Azzone, G., Bengo*, I (2015). Performance measurement for Social Enterprises. VOLUNTAS, 26(2), 649-672
  • Arena, M., Bengo, I., Calderini, M., & Chiodo, V. (2015). Social Impact Bonds: New Finance or New Procurement. ACRN Oxford Journal of Finance and Risk Perspectives, 4(4), 168-189.
  • Zubiani, E.M., Cristiani, C., Dotelli, G., Gallo Stampino, P., Pelosato, M., Bengo, I., Masi, M.
    (2013). Polymers modified clays for separating rare earths from WEEE, Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, No. S11, Supplement, 23-26
  • Bengo, I., Mereu, R., Ramírez, C., Silva, J. (2010). Participative Methodology for Local Development: The Contribution of Engineers Without Borders from Italy and Colombia: Towards the Improvement of Water Quality in Vulnerable Communities, Systemic Practice and Action Research, 24(1), 45-66.
  • Arena, M., Azzone, G., Bengo, I., Duque Ciceri, N., Garretti, M., Terzi, S. (2009). A State-of-the-art of Industrial Sustainability: Definitions, Tools Metrics, International Journal of Product Lifecycle, 4(1-3), 207-251.

The latest Irene Bengo's contents

Papers

EU financial regulations and social impact measurement practices: a comprehensive framework on finance for sustainable development

BENGO  I., BONI L. & SANCINO A. (2021), Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2235

Graphicus | L’integrità della sostenibilità (it)

November 2021

Negli ultimi anni la sostenibilità e l’impatto sociale sono stati messi al centro del dibatto economico e di conseguenza sono diventati parte dell’agenda politica di molti degli attori globali. Si tratta di un cambiamento di paradigma a livello mondiale che ha portato a una progressiva sensibilizzazione dell’opinione pubblica sul tema. Il fatto che eventi importanti, come la definizione degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (SDGs) delle Nazioni Unite, l’Accordo di Parigi, o il manifesto del Business Roundtable, abbiamo conquistato le prime pagine dei giornali di tutto il mondo ha inevitabilmente influenzato il dibattito pubblico.

Siamo di fronte a un processo che non si è interrotto, benché il rischio in questo senso ci fosse, nemmeno nel periodo della pandemia da Covid-19. Nonostante la retorica dell’economia di guerra che ha caratterizzato l’emergenza, la sostenibilità è diventata un imperativo assoluto, riconosciuto da tutti gli agenti economici. Tutti hanno sottolineato la centralità dell’impatto, ma solo in questo modo è stato possibile vincere la battaglia dell’advocacy su questi temi: al giorno d’oggi risulta quasi impossibile trovare qualcuno che non si dichiari “sostenibile”, attento dalle tematiche ambientali e di lotta alla diseguaglianza sociale.

Di pari passo con questi cambiamenti culturali, la normativa che regola la possibilità di essere definiti “sostenibili” a livello ambienta

“Blockchains for social good” EIC Horizon Prize

The specific challenge of SEED is to stimulate and support the establishment of four Social Innovation Competence Centers in Italy, Greece, Romania and Slovenia. Researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and civil servants will work together to create public and open infrastructures capable of assisting national European Social Fund (ESF) managerial authorities to better imply the ESF+ funds for the mainstream of SI as a Public Sector Innovation approach to societal challenges.​ The ultimate scope of SEED is to prepare such an environment that related actions in the field of​ social innovation under the next ESF+ programme are established and developed more robustly, and their potential can be fully exploited at a national and european level.​

Fondazione Cariplo | ICC for InnovaMusei – Get It!​

The innovation project aimed to encourage innovation and technology transfer in the cultural field, supporting institutions in rethinking their activities and functioning by establishing collaborations with companies active in the cultural and creative sector. ​
The central part of the project was a call for innovators directed to companies and startups active in the cultural and creative sector. These companies could access an entrepreneurial incubation program, carried out by Cariplo Factory, with the support of other realities and sector experts in the cultural, museum, impact, and business sectors. The incubation program aimed to provide tools and methods to strengthen the skills of the ICC’s team members and validate and develop a service-product offer to respond efficiently and effectively to the museums’ needs. After the incubation, cultural and creative companies were invited to take part in the Match-Making Day. During that day, they had the opportunity to present their product-service to potential partners represented by the participating Lombard museums to generate mutual development opportunities. The projects jointly developed were supported by a tender launched by the Lombardy Region to implement pilot projects. ​
TIRESIA had a double role in the project: providing capacity building sessions on impact measurement and social business modeling; measuring the overall impact generated by the project Innovamusei. ​
​ ​

Legacoop – Sociabilita, social value in regeneration and placemaking.

SociABìliTA’s goal is to relaunch the distinctive role of cooperation in real estate and infrastructure investments aimed at providing Services of General Interest through the recognition of the social value generated.

Unicredit – Road to Social Change

Tiresia is a partner of the project Road to Social Change. The project consists of a training programme for social economy organisations.

LEAP_RE: Long-Term Joint European Union – African Union Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy

83 research partners in Europe and Africa supporting innovation and building renewable energy solutions together.

An ecosystemic model for the technological development of social entrepreneurship: exploring clusters of social innovation

GERLI, F., CALDERINI M. & CHIODO V. (2021). European Planning Studies from Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

1.21 How the regulation 2019/2088 meets the social impact measurement practices: a comprehensive framework

This first publication is on the EU SFDR Regulation. It redefines the boundaries of financial actors’ investment approaches to sustainability, aiming at reducing information asymmetries and the risk of greenwashing.     Since financial actors consider sustainability under different perspectives, their arising need to report social and environmental impact poses doubts on how to measure social [...]

Preserving the Integrity of Social Impact Investing: Towards a Distinctive Implementation Strategy

BENGO I., BORRELLO A. & CHIODO V. (2021). Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052852. This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability

Technology Transfer for Social Entrepreneurship: Designing Problem-Oriented Innovation Ecosystems

GERLI, F., CHIODO F. & BENGO I. (2020). Sustainability 2021, 13, 20 (This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Businesses and Social Entrepreneurship in the Face of Sustainable Development Challenges)

Measuring a Blended Performance: Managerial Insights from the Field of Impact Entrepreneurship

I.BENGO, V.CHIODO and V.TOSI (2020). In book: Entrepreneurship [Working Title] DOI:10.5772/intechopen.94441 ;

Capability Approach in VET as a Strategy to Reduce Dropout: The “Job High-School” Case in Italy

ARENAS DIAZ, G. ; GUZZETTI, G.; IRIGOYEN, S.; NARDI, P (2020). . In C. Nägele, B. E. Stalder, & N. Kersh (Eds.), Trends in vocational education and training research, Vol. III. Proceedings of the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Vocational Education and
Training Network (VETNET) (pp. 19–29). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4005697

The Potential of Social Enterprises as Milestones for a Place-Based Inclusive Innovation Strategy

CALDERINI, M., FIA, M. & GERLI F. (2020). presented at 80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management 7-11 August 2020 titled “Broadenining our sight” Published Online:29 Jul 2020. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2020.19088abstract

Investors’ Aspirations toward Social Impact: A Portfolio-Based Analysis

BONI, L.; TOSCHI, L.; FINI, R. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5293. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095293. This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Venture Capital and Social Impact Investment Management

The relationship between small and medium-sized social enterprises and banks.

BENGO, I., ARENA, M. (2019). International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 68(2) DOI:10.1108/IJPPM-02-2018-0066

The Distinctive Managerial Challenges of Hybrid Organizations: Which Skills are Required?.

AL TAJI, F. N. A., & BENGO, I. (2018). Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 1-18.

Debate: Impact measurement and social public procurement.

IRENE BENGO (2018). Public Money & Management, 38:5, 391-392, DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2018.1471817

Hybrid organizations and governance issues: a focus on benefit corporations

CALDERINI, M. & FIA, M. (2018). Presented at the EURAM Conference 2018 under the track “Rethinking the Form, Governance & Legal Constitution of Corporations: Theoretical Issues & Social Stakes”

Unlocking finance for social tech start-ups: Is there a new opportunity space?

ARENA, M., BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M. & CHIODO, V. (2017).  Technological Forecasting and Social Change.  127, 154-165

New development: Are social impact bonds (SIBs) viable in Italy? A new roadmap.

BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M. (2016). Public Money & Management, 36(4), 303-306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2016.1162999

Social Impact Bonds: Blockbuster or Flash in a Pan?

ARENA, M., BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M., CHIODO, V. (2016). International Journal of Public Administration, 39(12), 927-939. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2015.1057852 

Indicators and metrics for social business: A review of current approaches.

ARENA, M., AZZONE, G., BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M. (2016).Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 7(1), 1-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420676.2015.1049286

Research projects

EU financial regulations and social impact measurement practices: a comprehensive framework on finance for sustainable development

BENGO  I., BONI L. & SANCINO A. (2021), Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2235

Graphicus | L’integrità della sostenibilità (it)

November 2021

Negli ultimi anni la sostenibilità e l’impatto sociale sono stati messi al centro del dibatto economico e di conseguenza sono diventati parte dell’agenda politica di molti degli attori globali. Si tratta di un cambiamento di paradigma a livello mondiale che ha portato a una progressiva sensibilizzazione dell’opinione pubblica sul tema. Il fatto che eventi importanti, come la definizione degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (SDGs) delle Nazioni Unite, l’Accordo di Parigi, o il manifesto del Business Roundtable, abbiamo conquistato le prime pagine dei giornali di tutto il mondo ha inevitabilmente influenzato il dibattito pubblico.

Siamo di fronte a un processo che non si è interrotto, benché il rischio in questo senso ci fosse, nemmeno nel periodo della pandemia da Covid-19. Nonostante la retorica dell’economia di guerra che ha caratterizzato l’emergenza, la sostenibilità è diventata un imperativo assoluto, riconosciuto da tutti gli agenti economici. Tutti hanno sottolineato la centralità dell’impatto, ma solo in questo modo è stato possibile vincere la battaglia dell’advocacy su questi temi: al giorno d’oggi risulta quasi impossibile trovare qualcuno che non si dichiari “sostenibile”, attento dalle tematiche ambientali e di lotta alla diseguaglianza sociale.

Di pari passo con questi cambiamenti culturali, la normativa che regola la possibilità di essere definiti “sostenibili” a livello ambienta

SEED – Social innovation Ecosystem Development. Competence centres for social innovation​

The specific challenge of SEED is to stimulate and support the establishment of four Social Innovation Competence Centers in Italy, Greece, Romania and Slovenia. Researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and civil servants will work together to create public and open infrastructures capable of assisting national European Social Fund (ESF) managerial authorities to better imply the ESF+ funds for the mainstream of SI as a Public Sector Innovation approach to societal challenges.​ The ultimate scope of SEED is to prepare such an environment that related actions in the field of​ social innovation under the next ESF+ programme are established and developed more robustly, and their potential can be fully exploited at a national and european level.​

SER: Maximising social impact and boosting clean energy investments in the non-profit sector

Social Energy Renovations (SER) project stimulates sustainable renovation in the third sector.

“Blockchains for social good” EIC Horizon Prize

The specific challenge of SEED is to stimulate and support the establishment of four Social Innovation Competence Centers in Italy, Greece, Romania and Slovenia. Researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and civil servants will work together to create public and open infrastructures capable of assisting national European Social Fund (ESF) managerial authorities to better imply the ESF+ funds for the mainstream of SI as a Public Sector Innovation approach to societal challenges.​ The ultimate scope of SEED is to prepare such an environment that related actions in the field of​ social innovation under the next ESF+ programme are established and developed more robustly, and their potential can be fully exploited at a national and european level.​

Fondazione Cariplo | ICC for InnovaMusei – Get It!​

The innovation project aimed to encourage innovation and technology transfer in the cultural field, supporting institutions in rethinking their activities and functioning by establishing collaborations with companies active in the cultural and creative sector. ​
The central part of the project was a call for innovators directed to companies and startups active in the cultural and creative sector. These companies could access an entrepreneurial incubation program, carried out by Cariplo Factory, with the support of other realities and sector experts in the cultural, museum, impact, and business sectors. The incubation program aimed to provide tools and methods to strengthen the skills of the ICC’s team members and validate and develop a service-product offer to respond efficiently and effectively to the museums’ needs. After the incubation, cultural and creative companies were invited to take part in the Match-Making Day. During that day, they had the opportunity to present their product-service to potential partners represented by the participating Lombard museums to generate mutual development opportunities. The projects jointly developed were supported by a tender launched by the Lombardy Region to implement pilot projects. ​
TIRESIA had a double role in the project: providing capacity building sessions on impact measurement and social business modeling; measuring the overall impact generated by the project Innovamusei. ​
​ ​

Legacoop – Sociabilita, social value in regeneration and placemaking.

SociABìliTA’s goal is to relaunch the distinctive role of cooperation in real estate and infrastructure investments aimed at providing Services of General Interest through the recognition of the social value generated.

Unicredit – Road to Social Change

Tiresia is a partner of the project Road to Social Change. The project consists of a training programme for social economy organisations.

LEAP_RE: Long-Term Joint European Union – African Union Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy

83 research partners in Europe and Africa supporting innovation and building renewable energy solutions together.

OECD: Social Impact measurement for the Social and Solidarity Economy​

The consortium involves 20 to 30 leading social entrepreneurs, investors, experts and governments representatives from the countries concerned by the project (United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and India and other five European countries: France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium) in the Peer-learning experience on social impact measurement.Social impact measurement is a common stake worldwide since there is a wide range of methodologies

Benefits of SOCs in the provision of social services and interventions ​

Social outcome contracts (SOCs) is a relatively new type of mechanism in public service procurement. It focuses on harnessing the resources of the public, private, philanthropy, and civil society sectors to jointly implement effective interventions in the public domain. This tool should provide potential to modernise public services and European welfare regimes: by encouraging a culture of performance measurement, supporting cross-sector partnerships and allowing new intervention models to be piloted and scaled — thereby fostering learning and social innovation. Nevertheless, little empirical research compares SOC models with traditional financings (TF) mechanisms such as subsidies, grants, fee-for-service contracts, block contracts and in-house delivery.

1.21 How the regulation 2019/2088 meets the social impact measurement practices: a comprehensive framework

This first publication is on the EU SFDR Regulation. It redefines the boundaries of financial actors’ investment approaches to sustainability, aiming at reducing information asymmetries and the risk of greenwashing.     Since financial actors consider sustainability under different perspectives, their arising need to report social and environmental impact poses doubts on how to measure social [...]

Unlocking finance for social tech start-ups: Is there a new opportunity space?

ARENA, M., BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M. & CHIODO, V. (2017).  Technological Forecasting and Social Change.  127, 154-165

New development: Are social impact bonds (SIBs) viable in Italy? A new roadmap.

BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M. (2016). Public Money & Management, 36(4), 303-306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2016.1162999

Social Impact Bonds: Blockbuster or Flash in a Pan?

ARENA, M., BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M., CHIODO, V. (2016). International Journal of Public Administration, 39(12), 927-939. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2015.1057852 

Indicators and metrics for social business: A review of current approaches.

ARENA, M., AZZONE, G., BENGO, I., CALDERINI, M. (2016).Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 7(1), 1-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420676.2015.1049286