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.
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.
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?
Press release: 11 December 2012, London (reblogged here 12 Dec)
Engaged 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.
Tomorrow (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.
Capitalism – in its current form – has let us down. We have seen this truism manifest itself globally, from the disruptive protests of the “Occupy” movements to mainstream debates such as Capitalism in Crisis, the in-depth series that the Financial Times ran at the beginning of 2012.
#OccupyLSX camp outside London Stock Exchange/ St Paul’s Cathedral in 2011 (image digitally altered from original)
I recently went to Washington to learn about the new global impact economy being advocated by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and specifically to find out whether it is aligned with social business and social investment initiatives in Europe. Indeed, there is much more commonality than disparity, and (hopefully) this is the beginning of […]
Promoters of the new high speed rail line (HS2) between London and Birmingham claim that it will generate £2 of economic benefit for every £1 spent. The Government says the benefit will be lower, around £1.40. But if a number is the answer, then people are asking the wrong question. What is the real benefit […]