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Could the future include a Global Social Investment Exchange?

February 17, 2009

First a post on philanthro-capitalism and now, a Global Social Investment Exchange (more easily known as GSIX).  I know, I know – the titles themselves are enough to make someone run.  But, if we can get past that, the concepts are quite valuable.

A social investment exchange is fashioned as “stock market” for investment projects that provide a social return.  Such projects provide a  are selected by the administrators of the exchange.  As well as promoting a new approach to public and corporate participation in social development, social exchanges aim to build a culture of accountability for social performance among beneficiary organizations.

The Rockefeller organization has provided support for South Africa’s social exchange GreaterGood to gather thought leaders on the issue and determine the potential for a global social exchange.

The meeting aimed to do the following:

To develop a framework and underpinning philosophy for the Global Social Investment Exchange and an understanding of the requirements for the creation of a global platform for facilitating effective and responsible social investment.

To make a contribution to the debate around the nature and characteristics of social investment and to understand more about emerging trends in different regions.

To clarify some of the issues that will need to be addressed in the areas of risk/return and impact analysis, accountability and governance.

Looking on the GSIX website, the findings or conclusions have yet to be published.  There is, however, an outstanding reading list here.  Although social exchanges have their detractors, my feeling is that it’s simply taking the Grameen Bank concept one step further, and I’m looking forward to some next steps from this group.

What about you?

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