what kind of world do we want to live in?
Envision a world that moves in only one direction: forward.
A world where inequality is shrinking. Where natural resources are regenerated, and people can unlock their full potential and benefit from shared prosperity. A world focused not only on minimizing harm, but on doing measurable good.
We don’t need to tell you that we’re not there yet. As the planet is wracked by human and environmental crises, this vision can seem achingly far away. Governments and philanthropies are doing their part. But things are not changing fast enough.
Our current systems for creating positive social impact are more than a century old. Our problems have changed, and so too must our response.
This moment calls for nothing short of a revolution. We must actively shift impact to the center of our consciousness. Instead of relying on governments and philanthropies to achieve social improvement, we must usher in a third force to accelerate the pace of change: the private sector.
When we ignore the damage we create in the private sector, we spend precious resources cleaning up our own mess. When we harness our powers for good, however, we can accelerate social progress, amplify the impact of the public sector, and prevent similar messes in the future.
Impact entrepreneurs are powerful allies. When they prioritize impact, they are perfectly positioned to fill the gaps that governments and philanthropies leave behind. Like it or not, capitalism is everywhere, and we must engage capital markets in order to address our most pressing issues.
Innovation. Risk-taking. Achieving scale. These are hallmarks of entrepreneurship. They are also key to solving complicated problems with urgency and ingenuity. Impact entrepreneurs have access to investment capital that philanthropists can only dream of. And they are quick to take calculated risks and intervene decisively to effect change.
Whether public or private, all organizations make an impact. It’s time to include impact as a key driver for all business and investment decisions. In the 19th century, investors focused on returns; in the 20th, they shifted to measuring risk and return. From now on, we must adopt a new paradigm of risk-return-impact.
We can create profits through impact, and vice versa. When a business is genuinely impact-conscious, it is more appealing to consumers and investors, better-positioned to tap into latent demand, and less likely to be taxed by governments to offset the harm it might otherwise cause. This in turn can boost profits and lower long-term financial risk.
Measuring impact is possible. What we need to do is standardize our measurement. By bringing together all parts of society, we can measure outcomes in a consistent, comparable, and transparent way. This will amplify our impact a thousandfold.
It’s time to raise our voices. Achieving the risk-return-impact model is within our reach. Join the movement and use #ImpactRevolution to share this message on social. There is a will. There is a way. And there has never been a greater need or better time, as billions of lives and the future of the planet depend on it.