“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” argued Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century US lecturer, philosopher, and essayist. In other words, if scientists and engineers invent a better solution to something, scaling and deployment will happen automatically. Although Emerson was writing in the 19th century, we are
Cambridge University’s Investment Leaders Group has developed a framework that allows investors to measure the impact of their investments against the Sustainable Development Goals. The Investment Leaders Group (ILG), a global network of pension funds, insurers and asset managers convened by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), has created a dashboard, called the Cambridge Impact
More than three years into the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not one country is on track to achieve them by the 2030 deadline. This conclusion, reached in a recent Brookings Institution report, highlights the enormous human costs associated with not meeting these goals, and implores countries to do more. With heads of state slated
Successful businesses continuously update their knowledge of what customers want. Walmart collects more than 2.5 million gigabytes of customer data per hour and Yelp users post 26,380 reviews per minute. So why do many impact investors, who seek social, environmental, and economic returns on patient timelines, park customer insight at the door when they want to achieve multiple bottom lines?
“We are past, ‘Should we?’ The question now is, ‘How?’” At a recent event in New York, New York, Mehmood Kahn, chief scientific officer at Pepsico, framed the challenge on the mind of many company leaders who have committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In other words, the ambition is set, but how will companies deliver? The
Can the world end poverty by 2030, the target set by the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development? The UN General Assembly recently reaffirmed this deadline but conceded that meeting it will require “accelerating global actions” to tackle poverty’s causes. As the international community explores new solutions, lessons from the past could be instructive. Poverty reduction has
Investors are increasingly aware of the system-level effects of their investments. In a previous post I have written about how the very large asset owners and asset managers have to consider whether their investments are making a positive or negative contribution to the financial, environmental, and social systems that support human life on Earth. Sudden shocks (e.g.,
Three years ago the world lined up behind an ambitious set of targets – the sustainable development goals – for 2030. The checklist included the eradication of extreme poverty, ending preventable child deaths and delivering quality universal education. As part of the pledge, governments committed to achieving the most rapid progress among populations left furthest behind. To
The United Nations made headlines around the world in September 2015 when it adopted an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to end extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure health and prosperity for all by 2030. Delivering on these goals won’t come cheap. The UN estimates that it will require
Between mid-2017 and mid-2018, the value of the impact investing market roughly doubled to $228 billion in assets under management, according to a survey from the Global Impact Investing Network, a nonprofit that works to increase the scale and effectiveness of financial bets with social and environmental returns. But that’s still a drop in the bucket
Google recently announced plans to bring free high speed Wi-Fi to 200 public spaces in Nigeria through its Google station initiative. The most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria will be the fifth country to launch Google station and the first on the continent. Increased online users equates to more people using various Google products and increased advertising
Last September, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released its annual Goalkeeper’s report, highlighting the extraordinary progress made in reducing extreme poverty around the world, while also warning that sustaining this progress would not be easy. We now have the first actual data points that ring the alarm bells about a new, unfolding story on global poverty
A number of experts on philanthropy, poverty, and development are amping up efforts to show how the Sustainable Development Goals could apply to the United States, just as much as they do in any other country. But the version of the Global Goals that is emerging in the U.S. looks and sounds a bit different
Instead of just using the stock market, more and more foundations putting their endowments into projects that help the world–including hitting the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015, the United Nations laid out its Sustainable Development Goals to track global progress against massive social and environmental challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change. But hitting
The Global Opportunity Explorer connects businesses to cutting-edge ideas for solving the world’s problems—and the big profits that come with those solutions. For every threat to the planet, there’s an opportunity for a company to step in with solutions. For every risk to humanity, there’s a potential business model and boost to the bottom line.
As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the year's most noteworthy events and trends in the world of social enterprise and impact investing: Social enterprises embrace the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 2016 saw a spate of social enterprises and impact investors adopting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals