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Sir Ronald Cohen: Impact Investing Is the Future

global speaker series#sir ronald cohen#apax partners#bridges ventures#leadership#impact investing#impact#global business#global expansion
71K views|8 years ago
💫 Short Summary

The speaker discusses the evolution of impact investment, the importance of measuring social impact, and the rise of social impact bonds to address various social issues. They emphasize the shift towards businesses prioritizing social and environmental impact alongside financial returns, leading to innovative models like profit with purpose businesses. The speaker shares personal experiences related to education, immigrant assistance, and the creation of a fund for immigrant absorption. They highlight the significance of societal empathy and the potential for impact investing to improve people's lives, drawing parallels to the tech revolution.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Importance of being young, naive, and thinking big when starting a venture.
00:50
Emphasis on focusing on enthusiastic individuals and avoiding cynics.
Growth of impact investment globally highlighted.
Need for societal change in addressing social and environmental issues.
Encouragement for students to have multifaceted careers, with a mention of a French military leader turned venture capitalist.
Transition to Venture Capitalism
05:12
The speaker shares his journey from traditional corporate jobs to venture capitalism, highlighting the challenges and unfamiliarity he faced.
Recognition of Emerging Trends
Emphasizes the importance of identifying emerging trends and taking risks to pursue new opportunities, including impact investments in non-profit and profit-driven companies.
Evolution of Impact Investment Sector
The impact investment sector has evolved to fund social entrepreneurs and address social issues effectively, shifting focus from profit to social impact.
Measurement and Evaluation
Key aspects of the revolution in funding models include measurement and evaluation of social improvements.
Discussion on inclusive capitalism and utilizing the invisible heart of markets for social issues.
09:14
Not all social issues can be addressed by markets, requiring the involvement of non-profits and grants.
Historically, philanthropists played a significant role in addressing social issues before governments took on a more direct role.
Advocate for connecting social entrepreneurs to capital to drive innovation and societal improvement.
Proposal for a social investment bank to bridge the financial and social worlds and create opportunities for social entrepreneurs motivated by empathy.
Creation of social impact bonds for addressing prisoner reoffending rates.
14:11
Social impact bonds incentivize investors to support initiatives that reduce recidivism by focusing on specific outcomes and financial returns.
Importance of addressing issues like accommodation, drug addiction, and financial stability to prevent prisoners from returning to criminal behavior.
Impact bonds have led to a shift in how prisons manage rehabilitation, benefiting both investors and government agencies.
Social impact bonds in the United States address issues like teenage pregnancies and unstable families affected by drug abuse.
21:55
The bonds are also utilized to tackle homelessness, school drop-out rates, and youth unemployment.
Emphasis is placed on measuring social and environmental impact, connecting it to financial returns, and accessing capital markets.
Incorporating impact measurement alongside risk and return leads to new opportunities and innovative business models like profit with purpose companies such as The Gym, Tom Shoes, Warby Parker, and Etsy.
Gym in a poor area operates 24/7 with no membership fee, attracting thousands of low-income individuals.
22:48
Approach taps into latent demand, emphasizing rapid business growth.
Video discusses convergence of social impact and profit-driven business models.
Governments seek capital market funding for social issues.
Social impact bonds ensure accountability and performance in delivering government services.
Family's Experience Fleeing Egypt During Suez Crisis.
28:31
The speaker's family had to leave Egypt during the Suez Crisis, leading to the expulsion of British and French citizens and making it difficult for Jews to remain.
Loss of Nationality Upon Leaving.
Being Egyptian Jews, the speaker's family lost their nationality when they left Egypt.
Importance of Education and Opportunities.
Education provided important opportunities, including a fellowship to Harvard Business School that allowed the speaker to bring venture capital back to Britain.
Importance of Education and Empathy in Immigrant Integration
32:45
Speaker's parents remained optimistic after losing everything in Egypt, leading to his academic achievements and acceptance to Oxford.
Reconnecting with an inspiring teacher highlighted the significance of education and empathy towards immigrants.
Moral Obligation to Aid Displaced Individuals
Efforts to establish a fund for immigrant absorption underscore the moral responsibility to assist displaced people.
Role of Business in Conflict Resolution
Examples of individuals making a difference through impactful approaches and the rise of socially responsible investments demonstrate the potential of business in resolving conflicts.
Rise of impact investing in businesses.
37:43
Companies like Mars and Danone are creating impact funds to address social issues.
More businesses are setting social objectives to prioritize social and environmental impact.
Impact investing expected to expand into public equities, venture capital, and more.
Emphasis on measuring impact for investment decisions, drawing parallels to Adam Smith's focus on empathy in economic theory.
Transition from Supporting Labour Party to Impact Investing with Conservative Government.
41:09
The speaker discusses setting up the Social Investment Bank with government support using unclaimed assets for social issues.
Introduction of the concept of the 'big society' and society's role in addressing government challenges.
Emphasis on dedication to policy over politics and bipartisan nature of impact investing efforts in the US and UK.
The importance of impact investment in addressing social issues and the evolution towards businesses setting social and environmental objectives.
45:42
Investment with impact focuses on businesses that create jobs and improve lives, while impact investment requires measurable social or environmental goals alongside financial return.
Social impact bonds and measurable goals are key components of impact investment that can lead to innovation and improved lives.
The shift towards businesses setting social and environmental objectives will disrupt traditional business models and philanthropy, similar to the disruption seen in the Tech revolution.
The impact revolution encompasses funds that pay out based on social outcomes, development impact bonds, and investment from endowments.
49:00
Disruption is evident in business models, with entrepreneurs seeking capital for both financial and social objectives.
Social sector organizations are prioritizing outcomes over inputs and building balance sheets.
Governments are utilizing outcome measurements to attract capital for innovation.
The impact revolution is predicted to be as groundbreaking as the tech revolution, led by innovators striving to enhance people's lives.
Key Highlights from the YouTube video segment: The Speaker's Journey and the Role of Innovation and Technology.
53:44
The speaker discusses his personal growth from humble beginnings to a bright future, stressing the impact of innovation and technology on society.
Emphasizes the significance of making a positive impact and suggests that it can lead to transformative changes, akin to the influence of technology.
Encourages the audience to express gratitude towards Sir Ronald, ending the segment on a positive note.