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MARK FLORMAN

Mark is a businessman and entrepreneur active in policy making. His mission has been focused on driving and measuring economic & social impact and harnessing human potential.

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Transparency Index

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.

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The meaning of purpose

“In 1962, Milton Friedman set out a framework for business in which he described the social responsibility of businesses as being to increase profits so long as they stay within the rules of the game. It was a powerful and influential proposition that established the conventional framework for business around the world. However, it has…

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Show me the money

“Prior to December 2015, I didn’t have a clue we had a problem with human trafficking in Canada. And as I learned, and others learned, we found new indicators that we could immediately share with each other.” – Peter Warrack, Bank of Montreal and Project Protect   A powerful and rousing short film by The…

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The age of forgetting

From our smartphone culture to the rabid reductiveness of our sound-bite media cycle, we live in a time of momentary, meaningless distraction. It drains our productivity and it devastates our policy debate.  But England’s ageing crisis cannot be forgotten away – and we’re not adapting. The number of British people needing round-the-clock care will double by 2035. As the FT reminds us, ‘Public spending on the average 80-year-old is about four times that spent on the average 40-year-old. It is a similar story for tax payments, but in reverse…

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The UN launches the Sustainable Development Capital Initiative 

What does it take for an idea to seed? What are the specific conditions that must be met, what mind-sets cultivated, what context needed to achieve mass adoption? Two weeks ago I spoke at the UN’s General Assembly in New York City alongside Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, Rwanda’s President Kagame, and…

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Remembering Kofi

Last week, the world laid to rest Kofi Annan: father of Africa, great statesman, and profound humanist.    With his form of leadership, he taught grace to the world’s powerful, and gave strength to the world’s most lowly: boundless in his compassion and emphatic in his belief that you are never to young, or too…

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Aiding and abetting: rewriting the rules of giving

If there was ever a moment to redefine the meaning of international aid, it is now. The population of Africa is now greater than the entire developed world combined. There has never been a more compelling moment to challenge the diseased philosophy of moralised giving that sits at the heart of our Big Charity and Big…

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Twelve Platform Policies for Global Equilibrium

The tide of global fortune is shifting at an unprecedented pace. Fuelled by the rapid dispersal of technology and newly educated workforces, the economies of developing nations are growing at remarkable rates. China is expected to overtake the USA as the world’s largest economy in around 2027, while India’s population is forecast to grow to 1.7bn by 2050, creating the world’s largest workforce. These statistics reflect the fast-changing global hierarchy of economic and geopolitical power. In broad terms: the Old World (North America, Europe, Japan, Australia) – partially sclerotic, stagnating, ageing and indebted…

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The defining decade: lessons from Lehman and radical re-visioning

“I studied economics and went to business school, but neither taught me to think critically about the purpose of finance. Most people in finance look at spreadsheets and screens all day, having only learnt one type of economic theory. It’s not surprising that they don’t think about the real big-picture impact of their work. I…

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