Finance and Investment for a Better World

The global challenges confronting us — climate change, poverty, inequality, and many others — can feel overwhelming. Those of us who believe in market-based solutions to these challenges become even more disheartened when we regularly see our existing capitalist system failing us, often causing more harm than good.

Yet we know real progress is being made — whether measured by average life expectancy or by the quality of how we live those lives. Never have humans experienced a better time to be alive on planet Earth. Many examples show how the capitalist tools of finance and investment can and do make a real, positive impact. Approaches like blended finance and impact investing can help accelerate progress against the world’s biggest remaining collective challenges.

Nevertheless, the use of these improved capitalist approaches remains far below its potential to do good. Blended finance and impact investing remain up to 200 times smaller than traditional approaches to finance and investment. How can we make capitalism work better by scaling these approaches and others?

This book looks at how we can start making these necessary changes using strategies, structures, and practices that take advantage of capitalism’s strengths. Its goal is to demonstrate how a reimagined financial system can be more inclusive and accountable to all. By shifting away from extractive, short-term practices in the name of shareholder primacy, we can move toward a system that values the role of all stakeholders — shareholders, yes, but also workers, communities, and the physical environment.