Why Sustainable Investment Means Investing in Advocacy
In a recent email to a newly acquired Universal Commons friend I observed that my adventure had coalesced into four parallel paths:
For the curious and the intellectual in me - soaking up as much economic and political knowledge as I can,
For the iconoclast and entrepreneur in me - imagining wild and radical solutions,
For the philanthropist in me - supporting worthwhile projects and
For the hard-headed businessman in me - directing our commercial operations towards sustainability.
His reply was reassuring:
I'd be very happy to stay on the journey with you. This adds up to a great life, I reckon
This simple exchange raised an important question for me. Was the Universal Commons Project simply a personal journey that I was sharing with like-minded people or was it broader – applying the moral framework of the Universal Commons to examine the shortcomings of capitalism and to promote Mutualistic Capitalism? If it was only the former, the language of our web site was too grand – almost cringeworthy.
So, I sought advice from my dear friend Simon Longstaff who replied as follows:
I would encourage you to stick with the broader vision. To do so does not limit your ability to realise personal goals. Perhaps more importantly, it will help to ensure that you keep your eyes on the horizon, and not your toes, as you advance.
Buoyed by these votes of confidence I continue the adventure, supported by many cherished friends and acquaintances – both old and newly acquired.
The linked article, written with Reuben Finighan, has been recently published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It describes a radical idea we are developing in our family office that can be more broadly applied by asset management firms. By combining traditional - no trade off - impact investment with investment in advocacy we believe it may be possible to fully align profit and value – thereby creating a new model for Mutualistic Capitalism.
We hope you enjoy reading it.