Discovering the Purpose of Capital

A live, virtual fireside chat and audience Q&A with Jed Emerson, Sara Minard and Bonny Moellenbrock.

About this Event

Note: This program is a Live Webinar and Q&A that is accessible from any web-enabled computer or mobile device. Premium members of Impact Entrepreneur get complimentary admission to all live and archived webinars.

Discovering the Purpose of Capital

From wealth & health disparities and racial injustice to economic upheaval associated with accelerating technological change, to the climate crisis and political polarization & instability around the world, we are confronted daily with significant, growing challenges. cplays a critical, if not central, role in advancing, sustaining or addressing them all. As a result, our individual and collective understanding of the purpose of capital, and the capitalist system itself, is being questioned from multiple perspectives.

The purpose of capital, Jed Emerson argues in his book with the same name, is to restore relationships; not just between people, nature and culture, but between what we value and what generates impact in the lives of those the society is used to “othering,” including the natural world. If our goal is social justice, understanding the purpose of capital requires much more than getting the numbers right on a spreadsheet, investing in accordance with our values or giving wealth away. How can we, in other words, legitimately use the word “impact” without first understanding the full extent of the dehumanizing forces that propel markets and businesses and undergird legal systems — forces sustained by our social institutions? What will it cost us to look? What will we gain?

In this live webinar and audience Q&A, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker welcomes Jed EmersonSara Minard and Bonny Moellenbrock to discuss the actions we can take to live more intentionally and to stand up against systems and practices that harm people and the planet. During this conversation, they will discuss:

  • What is the purpose of capital?
  • Why this question matters now, across sectors, spaces and communities, and in light of the events of 2020
  • Insights from others who have grappled with this question
  • The importance and value of engaging with this question and defining one’s own purpose of capital, and tools for doing so

Featured Guests

JED EMERSON has been a leader in the field of impact investing since before the term was coined and been on a path that has taken him from deploying capital to collaborating with venture, private and public equity and family offices to create innovative impact investing strategies. He has co-authored/authored 8 books and numerous papers/articles and held academic appointments at some of the world’s leading business schools. His last book The Purpose of Capital: Elements of Impact, Financial Flows and Natural Being, along with other supporting materials, is available in free digital format at

SARA MINARD is the Founder and CEO of Manarine, LLC, an international consulting firm working at the intersection of impact investing, design thinking, economics, faith, social justice and sustainable development. She is the Associate Director of the Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Public Square at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, teaches an award-winning course (Aspen Institute) on impact investing and social finance at Babson College and other institutions, and facilitates an online community of faith leaders and social entrepreneurs for Faith+Finance: Reimagining God’s Economy. Sara earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Sciences Po, Paris under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on the topic of social entrepreneurship in the informal economy in Senegal, West Africa.

BONNY MOELLENBROCK is an impact investing pioneer who provides strategic counsel to leaders, investors, foundations, and organizations deploying investment and philanthropic dollars to make a difference. For over twenty years, she has worked with leading firms at the creative margin of business, philanthropy, and policy to advance social justice and address environmental challenges. From 2011 to 2017, Bonny served as Executive Director of Investors’ Circle, the largest and most active early-stage impact investing network in the world. Previously, she was a Managing Director at SJF Ventures, a leading impact venture fund investing in high-growth, companies creating a healthier, smarter and cleaner future, and Executive Director of SJF Institute, its affiliated nonprofit. She recently co-authored The Practice of Purpose: Exploring Elements of Life, Meaning, and Impact with Jed Emerson, a guidebook to help readers grapple with the concepts he discussed in The Purpose of Capital.


LAURIE LANE-ZUCKER is Founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, an impact economy business that hosts the Impact Entrepreneur Network, a 27,000 member global network of entrepreneurs, investors and scholars. Impact Entrepreneur is a cornerstone field building, research and educational player in the social impact space, and a consulting company that works with blended value companies, impact investors and academic institutions. For 30 years, Laurie has been a “pioneer” (Forbes) and recognized leader in sustainability, social enterprise and impact investing. Laurie was the founding Executive Director of the international environmental organization, Orion Society, which publishes the celebrated Orion Magazine, as well as the founder of a global sustainability think-tank, the Triad Institute, and Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, GIIRS Pioneer Company, and the first company ever to complete an equity transaction on an impact investment exchange.

Laurie is the bestselling and multiple award-winning publisher and editor of books and magazines on sustainability and social impact, having published, edited and written the introductions for celebrated works by Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Barry Lopez and David James Duncan. He is the author of numerous articles on entrepreneurship and impact investing, and is the co-founder of the Place-Based Education movement, having coined the term with Dr. John Elder, and published, edited and written the foreword for the first book on that growing pedagogy. His current writing projects include two chapters (both co-written) for a forthcoming textbook, Sustainability: Business and Investment Implications by World Scientific Publishing. Laurie is also a lifelong student of world wisdom traditions and is the former Executive Director of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, a nonprofit organization founded by Pir Zia Inayat Khan focused on advancing wisdom in service of social and environmental healing.

Impact Entrepreneur’s Luminarias Webinar Series features reflective conversations with the leading lights in impact investing and entrepreneurship.

Location: Virtual

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021