Preface: Putting our money where our mouth is
(SDGs), and, at home, the introduction of policies like the Living Standards Framework, we seek ways to combine prosperity, now, with a viable legacy for future generations.However, the efficacy of these strategies often seem at odds with the size of the task we face; sometimes even naive. They are undermined by data that tells us that we’re not moving fast enough, and diluted by both compromise and cynicism. We continue to lack the collective conviction to truly get on top of any number of persistent and pressing issues.There is good reason for the common expression ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. Investment, perhaps more than any other action, reveals the sincerity of an intention. It demonstrates material commitment, prioritisation, and a willingness to take risks in order to achieve a considered, and desired, future gain. Finance has been one of humankind’s key tools, building and adapting civilisations for thousands of years.
If we, citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand, and the world, wish to realise aspirations of long-term prosperity and well-being, we need to have a new conversation about money. How we invest, what we invest in, and what we value, in both senses of the word.
‘Impact Investment’ is a concept around which we can have this conversation. Coined in 2007 (at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy), ‘impact investment’ is not a new idea. However, it is providing a unifying language for a range of progressive financing practices and enabling new thinking about the fundamental purpose of capital. Practically speaking, it now represents a growing global movement and the most convincing financing strategy we have to realise a stable and desirable future.
Pure Advantage champions economic models for green growth, and sees an opportunity to help catalyse greater uptake of impact investment by raising the profile of trends and developments, and shining a light on market opportunities that are specific to the New Zealand context.
We aim to promote the mainstreaming of financial investments that can progress New Zealand’s wellbeing across environmental, social, and economic outcomes, and through Financing the Future, we seek to raise awareness and promote action to that end.
Financing the Future is a mixed-content project that combines a briefing on impact investment, with video interviews with thought leaders, investment case studies, and provocations from experts working in the areas that offer immediate opportunities for impact investment.
We have aimed to keep the content succinct, as we are well aware of the mass of information just one google search away. Where we do cover definitions and concepts, we have sought to synthesize the most credible thinking from around the world.
Where Financing the Future is different from other resources, is in the platform it provides for discussion specific to Aotearoa New Zealand. As a country, this is our domain, and only we can determine appropriate strategies to grow impact investment here. To this end, we conclude Financing the Future with some specific recommendations for market development.
Impact investment bridges the interests of investment, grant making, business, non-profits, social change, evaluation, policy, standards bodies, research, and accounting. It represents a converging world and a future-focussed agenda. With that in mind, if any of these practices or professions are of interest to you, we invite you to read and watch the content we have provided, and then also respond with your own thoughts and perspectives.