I was giving a talk at the Impact Summit Zug, recently. The talk went exceptionally well and I got fantastic feedback. One friend, who recently left a major global bank to follow his heart, however, came up to me and said “you should be less cynical”. I thought about that and asked myself (love talking to myself as there are no interruptions) “was I cynical, or critical or negative, or positive or realistic, or just a pain in the ass”. The Dutch word for people like that is “lastig”.
After long reflection, I discovered that how people viewed me was a reflection as to where they were, with acceptance of Impact Investing. If they were authentic and truly committed to ESG and Impact Investing (Sustainable Finance), they found me honest and critical, but realistic and inspiring. If they were struggling with making the transition from “finance first” to “impact first”, then I appeared cynical or negative. Finally, the finance first, second and last group felt I was just a “pain in the ass who didn’t understand finance”.
I think I am all of the above, except I do understand finance. The question is what works in changing attitudes? Telling people that their children are ugly is not a way of winning friends. Agreed. What is the most effective way of convincing institutional investors that Impact Investing offers a wiser and more effective risk/reward by looking at all risks (social, environmental, governance and financial). Isn’t investing that benefits the investor, society and nature in the interests of all. Ultimately Impact is in everyone’s interests. The key is getting that message through. Until I find that magic brain triggering pill to transform the financial sector, immediately, to a more inclusive and value(s) based, I will remain being who I am. Whoever that is?
“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.”
See you at TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2016 Sept. 20-21 at Nasdaq. Watch this Bloomberg Film and discover why TBLI is holding its next event in Sweden.
$7.13 trillion private investments. 2016 Green Transition Scoreboard® report “Ending Externalities: Full-Spectrum Accounting Clarifies Transition Management”