An Interview with Antony Bugg-Levine: Embracing Impact Investing (Part 2)

Antony Bugg-LevineYesterday, I posted Part I of my interview of Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, Board member of the Global Impact Investing Network and one of the thought leaders and influencers in impact investing. Here’s Part II, where he talks about his hopes for the book. Note: This interview is being posted in three parts; stay tuned for Part III..

2) What do you hope this book would inspire people to do? What is the next step? Spread the word? Become actionable? Start building systems?

Everyone has a different role to play. Every human system in which we live is the result of both intentional decisions we make and unintentional actions we take. We believe that anyone reading the book has the ability to participate.

If you are a student, you could challenge institutions in which you are learning to not fall back on easy stereotypes, but rather recognize the great potential in combining social impact and investing.
If you are fortunate to be a holder of wealth, you could read the book and challenge your wealth advisor to not give an easy answer that rejects how you can put your investments to work towards a social purpose.
If you work in the financial services sector, we hope you consider putting your skills to work to build a more efficient social capital market.

At the same time, we are not so naïve as to think that reading this book would inspire many people to change their current life path – and we don’t think you need to. In the book, we profile some inspiring heroes who have stepped out of mainstream work to pioneer new institutions and approaches, including Canadian based Sarona Asset Management and Social Capital Partners. However, we don’t believe that impact investing is a domain only for radicals.

We recognize that in order to be truly powerful, impact investing needs to be accessible to regular people as well. We emphasize in the book that we don’t want to perpetuate the idea that only the most revolutionary or entrepreneurial people have a right to be part of impact investing. Leadership is going to come in many forms, and not only from the charismatic individuals who start new enterprises or quit their jobs. Instead, we anticipate it will come from the many more thousands of people who can embrace impact investing at whatever scale they are able to.

Antony Bugg-Levine is the co-author, with Jed Emerson, of Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference (Wiley, 2011) which will be released in early September and is available now for download as an e-book. The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the official views of any institution with which he is affiliated.

Photo credit: Jai Catalano

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