In the medley of end of year emails tiding over into the new year, here come some of our reflections on the year that has passed and aspirations for 2019 in the domain of Sustainable/Responsible Business/Finance (you can mix/match words, all combos work). It’s all about what we call the #impactimperative. It’s a journey, yes, but one that we hope to expedite as a team.
"Recognizing the inherent positive and negative impact we create and continuously improving that ratio"
After years of banging on pots and pans to bring attention to non-financial risks and returns and value creation beyond financial value, the concept of impact is rapidly going mainstream – with all the good and bad repercussions that entails. The sudden deluge of projects, funds, initiatives and studies on our beloved topics makes it difficult to follow for newcomers and pioneers alike.
TIIME team in Barcelona for the 3S Conference: Manage For Impact which we designed and ran with our partner Stone Soup Consulting
Good news is that TIIME can move from advocacy to more concrete advisory, helping others along their own journey. We are working with financial institutions, funds, government and impact communities to navigate through taxonomy, labels, strategies and processes to drive consolidation and consensus. It’s much needed.
Bad news: Apart from getting a bit lost ourselves in the overflow of new players, tools and marketing, we find ourselves challenging some misguided efforts to ride the wave through various color washing (green, white/red or pink-washing as it is referred to in the gender space) from the world of ‘legacy finance’.
We will continue sharing our findings and suggestions through digital channels so we don’t innovate in a bubble (that often happens unfortunately). In addition, to support newcomers to the field, we will give new life to the IMPACT GARDEN knowledge repository where you will be able to find news, reports, events and more.
Cécile on Climate Change and Gender:
“This year puts in perspective the urgency of addressing climate change and environmental degradation. Not least of all -if ignored- climate change will lead to new waves of refugees while we are already struggling to cope with the many people arriving at our shores fleeing war and poverty. While often treated as separate issues, it is where the environmental and social spheres intersect that I would like to focus people’s attention on,” shares Cécile.
“In addition, I have been asking myself what kind of parallels can be drawn between abuse of power and gender-based violence. I have become very sensitive to issues related to gender and the work that needs to be done to address these unbalances. For me, the key is collaboration. We need to work together to tackle these issues as it affects everyone: the elderly, adults, and children."
“My personal focus for 2019 is to develop a TIIME methodology to support our community in navigating the intricate space of sustainability/impact.”
Stephan on bringing Responsibility to Investment Practices:
“Between all the extensive efforts to bring so-called ‘responsibility’ to investments practices – from SRI to ESG to impact investing – there remains a massive divide between financially-driven legacy players and the pioneers of the impact economy. The landscape is fragmented and, although people are moving in the right direction, their movements are uncoordinated and haphazard.”
“We need to reach out to the broader financial community without judgement and preconceptions and build bridges to catalyze and expedite the positive change we want to see.”
"This year I will continue to focus on stimulating partnerships between the old and the new economy. As Cecile pointed out, collaboration is key and co-creating inclusive solutions will grow the pie rather than dividing it. Moving into impact optimization is not a zero-sum game. It is a win-win.”
Hedda on the Journey of Building the Impact Imperative:
“The deeper we dive into issues related to creating and improving social and environmental impact across finance and business, the more conversations we are having with both the ‘converted’ and those who are fundamentally struggling with the concept of sustainability. It seems there is much to unlearn from our business and economics training that is inherently contradictory.”
“There is a fascinating world of psychology and sociology involved in building the #impactimperative. We end up exploring behavioral finance, positive psychology and doing a whole lot of self-questioning.”
“Our day to day work requires a great deal of personal reflection: on motivations, intentions, aspirations – and on our own impact as individuals and as a team as a whole. This includes challenges such as how to continue fostering and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation while addressing asset owners and financial vehicles? Like all actors in the new economy, we seek to maximize our reach and our impact. Our recent focus has been working with asset owners while maintaining the personal touch we cherish when dealing with entrepreneurs.”
New Team Members
We are delighted to announce that our TIIME team has grown by adding some remarkable people and their skills to our team and approach:
Els Depoortere joins us from Brussels as our Convening Specialist par excellence. After many years (and many events) of collaborating, we are honored that she has joined our team officially to ensure that we bring people together under optimal circumstances to have meaningful and impactful interchanges. Els helps us design and deliver events like never before.
Anna Hahn joined us from London to keep our digital communication channels active and flourishing. For us the #impactimperative is a common goal. And the journey to achieve it can only be taken together. We very much want to engage with you and would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and inspirations. Please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to stay in touch.
And please get in touch directly should you have any questions, we will be happy to help if we can. You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thankful for all of your support we are wishing you a very Happy New Year full of
Hedda, Stephan, Cécile,
and the Extended TIIME team: Els, Anna, Dave and Grecia