There is increasing ubiquity in considering the ‘impact’ business has on people and places. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are mapped by corporations, ‘social enterprises’ are abounding, governments are launching ‘social impact bonds’ and there is integration of ESG considerations into financial analyses by traditional investors. Even archetypal profit-focused investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, include ESG and impact activities in their business. The notion of the social impact of business has become so mainstream that government at the highest levels – including G8 leaders and even the Pope – advocate the creation of institutions to give greater attention to driving social impact.
To be or not to be?
‘The world is ill-prepared for the global crash in children being born which is set to have a “jaw-dropping” impact on societies, say researchers. Falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century. And 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their…
Systems and statues
‘Perspective blindness refers to the fact that we are oblivious to our own blind spots. We perceive and interpret the world through frames of reference but we do not see the frames of reference themselves. This, in turn, means that we tend to underestimate the extent to which we can learn from people with different…
Impact Investing in Times of Crisis
Despite the economic crunch, the joint pursuit of profit and purpose may have a very bright future. But first, we need to return to basics. The term “impact investing” has only been around for about 20 years. However, the concepts of good business practice and social responsibility have been with us for centuries. The Covid-19…
Building a Better Britain
“The Financial Times newspaper in a recent Retail article said ‘Shattered stores on London’s Oxford Street, very quickly transmit to closed factories in Bangladesh and Vietnam and stockpiles at the cotton farms of Central India. The article was passed onto me by Mark Florman Chairman and CEO of specialist merchant bank Time Partners Limited which…
The art of war
Our global leaders have adopted the language of war to fight pandemic. From WHO to Whitehall, Covid-19 is the invisible foe/unknown enemy/silent killer we must unite to battle with blitz spirit and war-room tactics. In Britain – where memories of a ‘good war’ stir in us more warming national pride than dread – we are…
A new nation
Every crisis is a war of ideas. The legacy of Milton Friedman – the great architect of shock economics – illuminates how the fever of disaster burns away precedent; and that what is usurped and adopted is largely a question of what ideas are lying around at the time. It is the work of believers…
The hard stop.
It is a particular piece of cosmic humour…. that we have a pandemic that forces each of us to be an island in order to realise what it means to be human together. – Ben Okri The Virus: unprecedented. Incomprehensible. Also predictable, and predicted – many, many times over. Crisis brings clarity. As the dust settles on…
How to argue with a racist
The pseudoscience of racism is nothing new. From the very earliest encounters with people of different colours, dominant groups have used notions of hierarchy, purity, strength and intelligence to justify enslavement, extermination or extraction. We are, as genealogist Adam Rutherford notes, extremely visual creatures. The compulsion to otherise and categorise based on what we see…