To transform the economy into a more equitable system, members of the impact community can look to examples of success abroad. At SPECTRUM21 Virtual, a panel looked at transforming the economy with an international lens, sharing their insights and experiences working across the globe.
The discussion between Sophie Ruddock, VP, GM of North America at Multiverse; Leah Nguyen, Investment Director at TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good; and Madhyama Subramanian, Head of Programs and Partnerships at Solidaridad North America, highlighted the need for global perspectives to pursue the common goal of a more inclusive, equitable economy with tailored approaches depending on the context of each community.
“One-size-fits-all solutions will not work, especially in this context,” Subramanian said. “It might be coffee, but coffee in Colombia is very different from coffee in East Africa. So that’s where the practical nature and the context-specific solutions make a lot of difference.”
Around the globe, many people still view the function of businesses as maximizing capital. Purpose-driven companies and organizations are breaking down that narrative by showing that businesses can be both financially successful and beneficial to the communities and people they affect.
“There’s still this stigma associated with, ‘Oh you’re doing good? It can’t be profitable.’ We strongly believe that we need to help change that narrative and help people see there can be money made and you should be able to do good things with that,” Nguyen said.
Advancing equitable financial systems globally will require entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the impact economy to prioritize innovative solutions that center justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
“When you start thinking about diversity, equity, and inclusion, the existing thinking is not delivering,” Ruddock said. “So a big motivator for us is, how do you ensure that the jobs of the next decade don’t go to the same people that the jobs of the last decade went to. And that requires some big thinking.”
Watch the full session above to hear more of this important conversation.