Background

Jed Emerson has been an active public speaker for many years. In addition to a variety of regional events, he has spoken at The World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland), The Skoll World Forum (Oxford, England) and The Asia Pacific Impact Investing Conference (Sydney, Australia). 

Over the last year, Emerson has given a series of talks, has written several posts and has participated in various podcasts. He has tried to move away from giving solo keynotes due to an awareness that the real answers we seek will come not from our debating each of our positions and promoting our approaches/writings, but rather from the space in between what each of us may currently believe.

With that in mind, this talk from SOCAP2017 is a good summation of some of the issues explored in the book (and is probably the first time you’ve seen someone actually cry while reflecting upon capital’s purpose!).
 

Dialogues on Purpose

Since the launch of the book this fall, Emerson has focused on engaging in a series of dialogues that, depending upon where you are on your own journey, may be of interest. These include:

Devin Thorpe, contributor to Forbes and leading author on social entrepreneurship. His blog post on Forbes explores questions of using capitalism to change capitalism. The link to the on-line interview may be found in the post.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2018/10/30/is-impact-investing-attempting-to-solve-problems-using-the-tools-that-created-them/#1ff72a16cf4c

Donna Morton, financial advisor and activist, participated in a dialogue with Emerson at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, where the conversation revolved around issues of personal growth and transformation as they relate to questions of the purpose of capital.

The audio version from the Commonwealth Club website is here:

https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/transformation-and-purpose-capital

…while a bootleg video version may be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/ImpactJourneyNews/videos/333393017244911/

Fergal Byrne, a journalist, formally with The Financial Times and The Economist Intelligence Unit. Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs is his podcast.

http://inspiringsocialentrepreneurs.com/episode-96-interview-with-jed-emerson-author-of-the-purpose-of-capital-elements-of-impact-financial-flows-and-natural-being/

Laurie Lane-Zucker, of Impact Entrepreneur, and I had a great discussion regarding the history and development of social entrepreneurship, impact investing and the purpose of capital conversation. I appreciated being asked to be the inaugural webinar which you’ll find here.

Oh Young-jin and I had a more introductory conversation—but one I’ve heard a number of folks say was quite helpful in framing foundational ideas and concepts—may be found in my interview at SOCAP2018 with my new friend, Korea Times’ Digital Managing Editor.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/11/720_258221.html

In addition to these great conversations, I recently recorded what I think will be really provocative podcasts with Ryan Honeyman and Edwin Epperson. While a successful private equity investor, Epperson has no background in impact investing and so our discussion on his podcast (Can Investors Save the World?) was just a blast, as we exchanged ideas and perspectives. Ryan is a partner/worker-owner in LIFT Economy, which made for a really great discussion between us on his podcast, Next Economy Now.

Look for these and other conversations to be broadcast early in the New Year!

Blog Posts on Purpose

The Purpose of Capital was introduced via a series of posts that ran in ImpactAlpha. These included a daily round of brief quotes from the book, titled, The Little Jed Book: Digging Into the Why of Impact Investing (of course, title courtesy of the ImpactAlpha editors and which I thought was pretty clever!).

ImpactAlpha was also kind enough to post an excerpt from the book that explores the notion that what is required is a new paradigm for how we understand and deploy capital. It is titled, Toward a New Economic Paradigm: Jed Emerson on Theory, Practice and Community.

In the lead up to SOCAP2018, the following post was offered, outlining some of the history of the project as well as sharing broad thoughts and specific ideas regarding the importance of our current conversation regarding the meaning of money and purpose of capital. It may be found here.

In light of the polarizing politics of the present period and reality that for many, impact investing is a bi-partisan topic, attracting support from many on both sides of the political divide, a reflection on the politics of impact seemed appropriate. A chapter excerpt by that title ran in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

And, finally, given modern, financial capitalism is rooted in Western cultural norms and ideas, The Purpose of Capital reflects those conceptual roots… However, the book and much of my thinking are heavily influenced by many other traditions. In this provocative post, Buddhist Economist Ernest Ng, of Hong Kong, explores the connections between purpose and Buddhist thought. (Warning: Dr. Ng is overly complimentary regarding my work and while I appreciate his kind words, please know in advance I am fully aware of and recognize the great many of us who have created our field and community of practice!).

https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/the-zen-of-impact-contemplating-the-purpose-of-capital?fbclid=IwAR3pkvCQtGhgOX1K_glckJ23N_U36QdfE6SBmeEnsnHvw_CBMPnRS3YP3gA

Events for 2019

With the launch of the book now behind us, I’ll be shifting to a series of talks and dialogues that will explore various themes in the book.

In March, I’ll be presenting at the Shanghai International Literary Festival, while in April I’ll be in Hong Kong participating in an international conference on Buddhist Economics.

In May, I will be presenting in Oslo, Norway, at the Katapult Future Festival.

And will be following that up with both public and privately convened talks in Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich and London, before returning home to the Rockies to take a break from talking and replace those efforts with walks and reading!

Finally, we recently received word that later this year The Purpose of Capital will be translated into Mandarin and released in China! Naturally, that is big news (at least, for me!) and I’ll be doing a short book tour on the mainland in late September. I’ll post more information to my Linked-In page as it becomes available!

Looking forward to seeing you in 2019!