Can A Motivated Group Of People Change The Way Markets Work For The Better?
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Joy Anderson is not a woman who shies away from challenges. Named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in 2011, Anderson and her organization, Criterion Ventures, are all about changing the rules of the economy to become more socially and environmentally-minded—examining how churches contribute to social change, changing the way gender is valued in investing, and most recently, attempting to build a network of leaders to change the way the systems supporting economic markets work. That last piece, dubbed Leaders Shaping Markets, may be Anderson’s most ambitious project of all.
I spoke to Anderson at SOCAP, a conference focused on impact investing.”2008 taught us that the systems that manage markets–the rules–aren’t working for us,” she says. “How do you change the rules of market systems?” Her solution: gathering a group of leaders (approximately 50 have signed on) to create a language and identity for systems change–and to brainstorm ways to actually make those changes.
As Criterion’s website explains: “While much attention has been paid to social impact efforts at the level of the enterprise, far less has been focused on systems change–the work of durably reshaping how large scale systems operate. Changing how entire systems function is also an important social change lever.” In other words, triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) companies are great, but they still work in the framework of existing markets. It’s not enough.