MaRS Centre for Impact Investing is now seeking a Senior Associate, Capital Advisory Services! From persistent poverty to climate change, we face entrenched social and environmental problems. Fortunately, a growing number of charities, non-profits, co-ops and for-profit companies are building business models to tackle these problems. They are turning to investors for the financing to […]Read More ›
Introducing our new Managing Editor, Jared Walker
As we lean into celebrating the 5th Anniversary of SocialFinance.ca (more on that to come soon) we are excited to welcome Jared Walker, our new Managing Editor, to the team! Today we’ll be getting to know him better and asking him a few questions. As always, we want your input on this and future profiles. Who would you like to know more about? What kind of stories do we need to tell more often? Whose lessons learned would you like to hear? Tweet us, Facebook us, email us or sound off in our Disqus section below!
Who he is:
Jared is a self-described third culture kid. He holds 2 citizenships and multiple national affiliations, but has realized that Toronto is the place he thinks of when home is discussed. He is a voracious reader, a lover of hip-hop and soul music, and an unabashed nerd. Seriously, mention the words “TARDIS”, “jedi” or “katana” around him at your own peril. Jared’s deepest passion – which he is fortunate enough to share with his beautiful wife, Miranda – is collaborating across intersections to cultivate accountable, representative, forward-thinking communities, regions and nations. He believes social finance is building a new capitalism with a soul and is the key to a big part of that vision.
Where he’s been:
Jared holds a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University. Prior to joining our team, Jared worked in communications, fundraising and community development for a variety of non-profits and charities in the Greater Toronto & Greater New York areas. Jared also has analogous experience within the political context gained from working on a number of national and regional campaigns in the US & Canada, including most notably serving as the NY State Coordinator of Students for Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential election. As a speaker, Jared has engaged various audiences around the world on a host of issues including national politics, youth engagement, community building, and engaging men to end violence against women.
What do you think are some gaps in the conversation around social finance?
One thing we have to do in order for social finance to continue to grow is to earnestly make believers of people in the mainstream. We are excellent at talking to one another about social finance, and within our community we are even pretty good at highlighting folks from historically underrepresented groups like women, ethno-racial minorities, developing nations, First Nations, etc. But, we are rubbish at making the sell to people who aren’t already on the bleeding edge of this stuff. We’re full of jargon. We over explain. We try to teach too much at once. We’ve got to tell simple, engaging, accessible stories about what is going on in the field and trust that folks will buy in. This is uplifting, restorative, world-changing work and people will sense that if we remove distractions and focus on the stories.
In keeping with our 5th Anniversary, what are you looking forward to seeing unfold in the social finance space over the next 5 or even 10 years?
This kind of dovetails with my last answer, but I’m most excited by the systematic growth that is going to happen in the next 5-10 years now that a lot of the foundation has been laid. For example, there is a legally recognized corporate form for benefit corporations out in the world. That work is done. There are 19 states in the US – plus DC – with that law on the books. What’s going to be really fun is watching that number grow in the US and watching the same thing happen in Canada. Or in the UK. Or in India! Folks have already developed a number of awesome social finance tools and are beginning to put them to work. What’ll be really fun is watching demand dividends, social impact bonds, impact exchanges and the like become more prevalent and hopefully start to leech into the proverbial water supply and sweeten some wells that have gotten bitter with time. How amazing is it going to be to see all the Cleantech startups we’re so stoked about now become booming businesses? And then to watch the impending torrent of startups that are coming now that the door is being shoved open? I am primed and ready for that. Let’s get to it!