I finally got out and started running again. Felt terrible for the first few days. Then tonight, I was flying. It felt great and came back energised and clear headed. Don’t know why it took so long and many reminders from friend runners, like Irene and Karianne, to finally go running. I think the balloon hanging over my pants did play a role in convincing me. The plan is to keep it up every day and try to regain my stamina that I used to have. It certainly does improve your mood. Also a great way of catching up with podcasts. While I was running along the canal heard very good joke on Car Talk. I know I shouldn’t be listening to podcasts while running. Bad habit.
Relationship Tips for a woman and her partner
It is important that a man has a job and helps her around the house
It is important that a man makes you laugh.
It is important that you find a man that you can count on and doesn’t lie to you.
It is important that a man loves you and spoils you
It is important that these 4 men don’t know each other.
“TBLI Conference stands out from other conferences in the standard of value I received during my attendance. The topics covered, quality of contacts made, deals executed and community generated are noticeably better than other conferences I’ve attended. Thank you Mr. Rubinstein for your vision & execution”
Ibrahim AlHusseini The Husseini Group LLC Managing Member
TBLI Social Enterprise of the week
I recently met one of the found of a fantastic social enterprise called Tiko, providing basic health care with incentives, in India, through a pre paid insurance plan via a mobile phone. The organization that started is called Trigerrise that is a punch-above-its-weight foundation working primarily in front-line, fragmented, informal economies. They use technology to power entire eco-systems that trigger growth and unlock entirely new categories of opportunities in markets that are bypassed by traditional development or commerce.
Very cool. I really was inspired by Tiko, and the larger ambitions of Julian Circo. Congrats.
Corruption and ineffective government services seems almost insurmountable, particlularly in developing markets. I recently came across a brilliant and effective solution that is working. DevelopmentCheck, which I would like to describe as the Tripadvisor for Development is a breakthrough in addressing corruption, lack of measurement, poor municipal services, quality of life, education and creating a culture of integrity. Tall order, but if one looks at the track record of 50% success rate in 2,000 cases, DevelopmentCheck can actually say “our system work”s.
Integrity Action (IA) is a pioneering non-profit in the field of social accountability, based out of London. In developing and emerging countries, the failure rate of development projects is extremely high. They have spent a decade to fine-tune a method for local communities to achieve this by working collaboratively with service providers to fix failing or abandoned projects. They can now achieve the highest Fix-Rate in their sector. Local communities are able to fix an average of 50% of the problems they identify. They have helped more than five million people receive functioning roads, clinics, school buildings, clean drinking water and sanitation by ensuring that projects deliver as intended.
IA has created an award-winning, smartphone ap called DevelopmentCheck.org that they implement in partnership with national governments, ministries, contractors, and development finance institutions. Their approach has the impact that hundreds of millions of additional dollars invested in development would have – at a fraction of the cost.
When I learned about this I saw immediately the benefit for citizens in emerging markets but I also saw how this would be beneficial to investors, DFI’s and companies. Development Check will:
De-risk investments in markets
Improve the business climate
Fast track sustainable development
Measure governance improvements
Improve quality of life of employees and customers
Congratulations to Integrity Action for giving us DevelopmentCheck. Brilliant idea. If you are interested in learning how DevelopmentCheck can help your business, contact Integrity Action
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
TBLI will host a special session during the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) in Paris December 3. The session will cover Zero-Low Carbon Investments at scale. Speakers and audience will highlight large scale zero-low carbon infrastructure in energy, public transport, agriculture, and buildings and their investment potential.
There will be limited space with strict security, as the session will be held at the Conference Center where the delegates will be negotiating a new climate agreement. If you would like to attend, please send an email to email@example.com. Priority will be given to asset owners.
Impact Investing has become the most widely used term to describe a “new form of investing”. What is Impact Investing? How is it different? Is there significant money going into it? Here are some of the common definitions that have been used.
Investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
Impact investing is an investing approach that intentionally seeks to create both financial return as well as positive social and/or environmental impacts that are actively measured.
Impact investing includes investments that range from producing a return of principal capital to offering market-rate or even market-beating financial returns. NO NEGATIVE SCREENS or avoidance.
Investments intended to create positive impact beyond financial return.
These are investments in business which have been designed with the intent to have positive social and/or environmental consequences.
Impact investing is the deployment of capital with the specific objective of achieving positive social and /or environmental impact alongside financial returns.
This seems rather straight forward and all have very similar definitions.. However, if one looks at what most are claiming to be impact investment, the focus is on social impact. This often has a high level of what I call “The Photo Op”, or a ribbon cutting ceremony. Meaning, the communications seems to be more important than the content. Many investors, particularly endowments, have been trying to show how they are committed to this “new approach” to resolving societal and environmental challenges. Asset owners and managers often ask me what is the difference between ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Investments and Impact Investing. My answer is ESG is liquid investments and Impact was illiquid. I am sure many “advisors” will disagree, but I am not trying to sell a definition and write hours. TBLI is creating an active ecosystem for the ESG and Impact Investing Community to attract significant assets.
Impact Investment figures range from 60 billion in assets under management with 10+ billion invested in 2014 (Eyes on the Horizon:The Impact Investor Survey May 2015, JP Morgan and GIIN). There are many detailed graphs about impact and percentages of assets committed, if you need proof to believe that Impact is a good strategy. There are many of these reports and analysis with wide ranges of what it is and what researchers have found in asset allocations. Yet, we are constantly reminded that the investment opportunities are small, not scalable, not market rate, not quality, high risk and fundamentally they are “charity”.
There is a much more compelling story. Let’s focus on money flows. Look at the sectors below that make investments that match the definition of Impact, as stated above.
Public Transport Infrastructure
Fuel Free Energy Systems (Renewable Energy)
Secondary Market of DFI’s (Development Finance Institutions)
Green Real Estate including Retrofits
Agroforestry including Redd++ (avoided deforestation)
If one accepts these definitions then the amount of money going into Impact Investing, is actually in the Trillions and has been for quite a while. WRI(World Resources Institute) recently wrote a report called the Trillion Dollar Question. “The transport sector is growing quickly, with the global vehicle fleet on course to double by 2050. According to the paper, global transport investment is between $1.2 and $2.4 trillion annually.”
If one accepts the common Impact definition, then the present Impact discussions and case studies are vastly missing the point. We are focussed on the one small plant, that is pretty, in a massive forest of opportunity. When I hear the discussions around Impact by those trying to convince others, I am reminded of the scene from the movie Serpico, where Frank Serpico, a New York Police Detective is confronted with the scale of corruption in the narcotics division. One of the crooked cop describes the graft sums as “serious money”. Impact Investing is talking about “serious money” and always has been. One only needs to have an an open mind, look around and do the math. Do you want a financial return with a social and environmental added value? If so, why are you waiting for more research, when the opportunities are overwhelming?
There are people who have money and people who are rich.
I am a huge fan of the tv show Curb Your Enthusiasm. The star and writer, Larry David, is brilliant in his ability to be brutally honest, awkward, and totally embarrassing with his social dysfunctionality. However, the show makes you laugh, which is essential, these days. If you never watched it, start today. Every time I am watching a television interview or listening to a podcast interview about something that I find important, I think of Larry David.
Most people being interviewed always say “that is a very good question” even if the question is stupid, useless, empty or just a dead end. What drives me crazy is the standard one-two punch in responding to the interviewer. First “that is a very good question” then you hear “You know. It is very interesting…”, even if nothing is interesting, which they often prove with their answer. I often think that media advisors or other “experts” on not being authentic, train people with these two repetitive statements. Larry David’s does a brilliant parody on these empty comments.
Let’s have a real dialogue where people say what they really think and challenge the interviewer in a polite, educational, and engaging way. Empty gestures don’t cut it and just dumbs us down. The stakes are too high and we need to be inspirational, thought provoking and laugh.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Come to TBLI EUROPE 2015, Nov. 19-20 in Zurich. You will be inspired and have your thoughts challenged, and have a great time.
Guest Post Jochen Wermuth
The first Dow Jones Industrial Index only had steam engine rail companies in it, there were only horses on the roads and horse-whip-makers were great investments. Just a few years later there were no more horses on the road, no rail company in the Dow Jones – a new industrial revolution based on the combustion engine wiped out the old economy companies, with many losers and winners like the Rockefellers and JP Morgans at the time. A similar new industrial revolution is under way now with similarly large risks and opportunities.
With solar power being offered at $4cent/kWh in Austin Texas, a price with which oil could only compete at $7/barrel, the fossil fuel economy is dead. There will be huge changes in the world economy with many losers (the old oil, gas, coal companies and their related industries ) and many winners, the new Rockefellers. We can stand at the spearhead of this new industrial revolution, allowing us to earn outstanding profits and at the same time generating a sustainable future for our planet.
On the risk side, there will have to be write-offs of $21 trillion in oil, gas and coal reserves by listed companies, as they will no longer be profitable to burn because greater energy efficiency and competition from renewables will drive down long-term fossil fuel prices. This is huge and compares to $15 trillion write-offs in the mortgage bubble.
On the opportunity side, emerging markets still consume 4x as much energy as we do say in Germany or in the EU. Thus bringing state-of-art products there we can make a lot of money and have a huge impact. With solar and wind-power now costing less than power from the grid there are also ample business opportunities across the world. Few have realized this, just as few realized for a long time that smoking was bad for your health…
Great background reading in this regard is the book “My indecent proposal to the German Chancellor” which tells the great success story of a farmer’s boy becoming the owner-manager of a multibillion dollar company in the renewable energy space and sets out the plan for Germany to become 100% renewable powered by 2020. A model for a successful business leader in the new industrial revolution, winning against all odds, and a model for any country in the world (in particular those with more sun) to follow.
As missing this opportunity may not only cost each of us money but could destroy life on our plante, my wife Sasha and I have shared with many of you a hard-copy of the book already. Given continued interest we have gotten the author to make the book available electronically and free of charge for TBLI Blog readers in return for my father having edited and translated it to English.
To download your complimentary copy of the Book in different “eBook” formats for almost any common reading device like Kindle, Tablets ( IOS Android ) or Smartphones, please visit There is also a pdf version for PC-, Mac and Linux Users available. If everything else fails, you can also find an adobe flash based ePaper Version that you can read online with any flash enabled Browser. If you have Problems downloading or opening your copy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please have a look and enjoy!