The Welfare State is dead – long live the Kinky State

Kingofnetherlands

I don’t mean the type of adulterous scooter socialism enjoyed by French President Francois Hollande – I mean an agile and nimble State that is deftly able to do more with less. Kinky like an inflection point in a trend line. Kinky as in ‘crinkled’ and ‘intertwined’ and ‘complex’ and ‘strikingly unconventional’. Kinky like talk about the rise of smart power in a multi-polar world – because this is the new practical reality, not because the laissez-faire types won the ideological debate about the size of the state. Quite the contrary, it’s dangerous to mistake coincidence for causality.

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A new Crystal Palace: phoenix rising or setting sun?

20131005-124326cropped Local residents ‘outside the tent’. Photo: Sarah Glover.

Local residents, who were excluded from a media conference in Crystal Palace Park, pressed their ears to the windows so that they could hear what was being said. On 3 Oct 2013, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Chinese billionaire Mr Ni Zhaoxing announced plans by Mr Ni’s ZhongRong Group to resurrect the Victorian Crystal Palace. News of the scheme has for some time been leaking disorderly via the media – a PR faux pas without question.

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How to accelerate social investment – my interview/ podcast for Cambridge University, Judge Business School

Discussing the opportunities and challenges of bringing together finance and social investment. Social investment is still a small market segment but has tremendous potential. There are more investors who are looking for projects that can deliver both social impact and financial returns, while organisations that historically relied on grants look for alternative sources of funding without losing sight of their social purpose.

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The fancy names aren’t helping – let’s call it investment and get on with doing it properly

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The extent of debate (and often disagreement) about the definition of social impact investment is fascinating – exploring in great depth the nuances and prerequisite principles for investing in a way that seeks both positive social outcomes and financial returns. But this discourse risks being divisive and self-defeating. Does this complexity actually attract or repel new investors from engaging in this exciting market?

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Evidence Submission – UK Parlimentary Commission on Banking Standards

The Houses of Parliament

The Commission on Banking Standards is appointed by both Houses of Parliament to consider and report on:

  • professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector, taking account of regulatory and competition investigations into the LIBOR rate-setting process
  • lessons to be learned about corporate governance, transparency and conflicts of interest, and their implications for regulation and for Government policy and to make recommendations for legislative and other action

A copy of my evidence submission 8 February 2013 is published below, read the invitation from the Commission to submit here.

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Osborne’s 2013 Budget for the UK – giving love a chance?

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A committed fiscal conservative like UK Chancellor George Osborne was never going to deviate from Government’s hard-wired policy of austerity. Nobody really expected a change of course in his 2013 Budget, not even after his recent humiliation by Moody’s downgrade of Britain’s triple A credit rating – a humiliation not because of the fundamental impact of the downgrade, which was negligible, but because Osborne himself had placed such high importance on retaining the AAA status.

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World’s first financial index for impact investing unveiled

Press release: 11 December 2012, London (reblogged here 12 Dec)

Logo9-FINAL_Engaged_X_medresEngaged Investment has launched a pilot to test the creation of the world’s first investment index for the growing emerging market of social investment (‘impact investing’, as it is called globally). This is an important next step forward towards creating the infrastructure needed for the global expansion of social finance.

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Impact Measurement – A conceptual framework

347484441Tomorrow (5 Dec) in Brussels I will be presenting my views on the impact measurement discourse at a conference on “Measuring the Social Impact of Social Enterprises”. My approach will be to explore how to frame the discussion in the context of a market centric perspective as part of developing EngagedX – the world’s first financial index for impact investing. For the purposes of compiling an index, we are agnostic about specific metrics used and instead seek to determine a meta-framework approach for how to map and categorise the data of all metrics in use.

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Press release: Making Good in Social Impact Investment

Thursday 6th October 2011

UK at watershed moment for social impact investing with potential to be global leader

Social impact investment has the potential to evolve from being an emerging market to a very large, mature investment market attracting mainstream investors, according to a report published today. Making Good in Social Impact Investment: Opportunities in an Emerging Asset Class argues that the UK is well placed to be a global leader in the field, as social impact investment builds on our record as home to a well-developed, not-for-profit, charitable and voluntary sector and our historic strengths in financial services.

Available for download:

Adobe PDF (Free)

Amazon Kindle (£0.77)

Apple iTunes (Free)

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