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Impact Investing Won’t Save Capitalism

I have spent the three years since my Harvard Club speech exploring the flaws of capitalism and trying to evaluate the various solutions being proposed.

This is what I said about Impact Investment:

Our family office and our foundation have dived in enthusiastically, making a number of impact investments in some excellent social enterprises. We are so excited to see the emergence of a new asset class that seeks to integrate “profit” with “purpose”. For the first time, a range of stakeholders, from government to private investors, are asking for social impact to be quantified and integrated with profit.

But while social enterprises and impact investing are a hugely important and positive development, I suspect they will not provide the solutions needed to address my irritations. Too often I am seeing impact investments and social enterprises that seem to draw on the worst aspects of the “for profit” and “not for profit” sectors.

In this article, published by the Harvard Business Review, Reuben Finighan and I examine Impact Investment and conclude that my suspicions were well founded: Impact Investing won’t save Capitalism.

I hope you enjoy it.



Alan Schwartz
Alan Schwartz

Hi Brian

Many thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging email. It’s much appreciated.

Can you please send me your email address and I will sign you up to receive further updates on our work

Very best




Greetings again,

Thanks for the opportunity to read the attached recent posts.

l found them most inspiring and challenging. Love the concept of Universal Commons, and the explanation of the related concepts of Parasitic Capitalism and Mutualistic Capitalism. Strikes me you and your team are searching for ways to improve our understanding of what it is we actually aim for in society. Once that goal might have been described as “prosperity “.Today , because that term has been abused, it might need to redefined as “authentic prosperity “. I mention this because , as you point out in your posts, “ measurement” is a very important issue. Many countries today, in fact 18 of them,; which account for …

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