The Latent Power Of Wealth Creation

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And be our other gifts few or many, brilliant or humble, the reason for stirring up the flame of the great gift is just the same in all cases. For you would not have your poor gift without the fire that can make even it glow with fervour, as I have often seen the lips of poor, illiterate, feeble-minded men burn with rapture which gave beauty and charm to all they said.

And you would not have your finer gifts, if you possess such, bereft of that energy which is a touch of omnipotence, nor left without that inspiration which is a pulse of the heart of infinite love. No one can tell the wealth of his gift in the possession of the Spirit of God. Let us put ourselves in remembrance that we may stir up the gift of God.

Let us remember the day of our first submission, and how it ought to have implied a life-long submission, a continual yielding up of self and self-will. Let us remember the day of our consecration, the hopes which then gleamed in our heaven, the vows which then trembled on our lips. If the promise of these times has been blasted or dimmed, let us seek the renewing of our hearts by the Spirit which dwelleth in us.


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If the promise has been fulfilled, or even more than fulfilled, still let us honour the Spirit by whom we have been kept, sanctified, and used. Parallel Verses KJV: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. But something can only become an asset once it has become property — something that can be alienated, priced, bought and sold. What is considered as property has varied across different jurisdictions and time periods, and is intimately bound up with the evolution of power and class relations.

This stark difference in wealth can summed up by one word: slavery. For white slave owners in the South, black slaves were physical property — commodities to be owned and traded. And just like any other type of asset, slaves had a market price. As the below chart shows, the appalling scale of slavery meant that enslaved people were the largest source of private wealth in the southern United States in When the United States finally abolished slavery in , people who had formerly been slaves ceased to be counted as private property.

As a result, slaveowners lost what had previously been their prized possessions, and overnight over half of the wealth in the southern US essentially vanished. But did the southern states really become any less wealthy in any meaningful sense? Obviously not — the amount of labour, capital and natural resources remained the same.

The lesson here is that aggregate wealth is not simply a reflection of the process of accumulation, as theory tends to imply. It is also a reflection of the boundaries of what can and cannot be alienated, priced, bought and sold, and the power dynamics that underpin them. This is not just a historical matter. Today some goods and services are provided by private firms on a commodified basis, whereas others are provided socially as a collective good.

This can often vary significantly between countries. These claims are also recorded as financial wealth in the national accounts. However, where a service is provided socially as a collective good such as the NHS in the UK , there are no claims over profits to be owned and traded among investors.

Instead, the claims over these sectors are socialised. Profits are foregone in favour of free, universal access. As a result, a country that provides generous universal public pensions will look less wealthy than a country that rely solely on private pensions, all else being equal. The way that we measure national wealth is therefore skewed towards commodification and privatisation, and against socialisation and universal provision. The amount of wealth does not just depend on the number of assets that are accumulated — it also depends on the value of these assets.

The value of assets can go up and down over time, otherwise known as capital gains and losses. The price of an asset such as a share in a company or a physical property reflects the discounted value of the expected future returns. If the expected future return on an asset is high, then it will trade at a higher price today. If the expected future return on an asset falls for whatever reason, then its price will also fall.

Marginal productivity theory states that each factor of production will be rewarded in line with its true contribution to production. But although presented as an objective theory of distribution, marginal productivity theory has a strong normative element. It says nothing about the rules and laws that govern the ownership and use of the factors of production, which are essentially political variables.

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For permissions articles open access. This allows their work to reach an even wider and other inquiries, please contact audience, broadening the dissemination of their research. To find out cg-support commongroundpublishing. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, Common Ground Publishing is a member of Crossref. New Frontiers of Development: Social Finance, the Latent Power of the Private Sector Aya Ono, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia Abstract: This paper frames social finance in its broadest terms as an alternative to traditional corporate responsible practice, highlighting the significance and potential of social finance in mobilising financial resources for global social development.

Despite hitherto forms of capitalism generating economic asymmetry, there is an urgent need for a more equitable financial mobilisation through innovative finance. Such a need has generated a paradigm shift in the corporate sector where actors in the private sector are increasingly using a variety of instruments to utilise private money for public good—social finance.


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  7. We have so far seen corporate responsible business practices, yet with innovation and multi-sectoral partnerships, it can potentially bring the most significant change that has yet to be witnessed globally. Globalisation, a set of complex processes of international integration through multidimensional avenues such as international trade, is often deemed a powerful force that divides society into classes according to the level of financial capital.


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    The role of capital in development is a defining issue in debates about the nature of capitalism and its alternatives. Under the global capitalist system, countries would neither be maintained nor grow without capital and markets to help allocate resources Stiglitz The six pillars of capitalism— private property, competition, market mechanism, freedom of choice, limited role of government, and self-interest—are critical resources to sustain life in a capitalist system Jahan and Mahmud The British economist John Keynes , in his book General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, argues that capitalism does not need a replacement for a market-based economy, but requires periodic government intervention to offset inequality.

    However, Piketty in his book Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which analysed key economic and social patterns from the eighteenth century, also proves that capitalism has a tendency to build concentrated financial wealth. Despite the growth of affluence over the past two centuries, the radical and dynamic feature of The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies Volume 11, Issue 3, , www.

    Social finance can be used to include approaches to solve societal challenges Nicholls, Paton, and Emerson Shin , describes social finance as finance provided through the use of social networks and personal relationship. Social finance is considerably distinct from hitherto corporate practices such as Corporate Social Responsibility because of its ability to yield both social and financial dividends. Defining social finance is a field of inquiry with an extensive and growing literature requiring empirical studies, however, this article will focus on the conceptual terrain of social finance.

    It surveys the state of the debate on corporate responsible practices and locates social finance, in all its various forms, within a broad field of development strategies and market- oriented practices. Literature Review Global forces such as multinational corporations MNCs maximise profits and cut the cost of production to maximise returns on capital and investment. Among the plethora of debates around capitalism, Jahan and Mahmud and Litan, Baumol, and Schramm add four new types of capitalism for consideration according to the role of entrepreneurship in driving innovation and the institutional setting.

    These include state-guided capitalism, oligarchic capitalism, big-firm capitalism, and entrepreneurial capitalism. State-guided capitalism enables the government to identify a particular sector to grow—which can in turn result in excessive investment or susceptibility to corruption. In oligarchic capitalism, a specific fraction of the population is protected or enriched which generates significant inequality and corruption.

    Big- firm capitalism, as the name suggests, is oriented towards enlarging the scale of economic growth through mass production of products, and entrepreneurial capitalism is about breakthroughs and innovations, producing the automobile, computers, or mobile phones which to a certain extent must rely on mass-production for business sustainability Litan, Baumol, and Schramm Muller suggests that contemporary capitalist polities must accept that market operations continue to generate and increase far-reaching inequality at the individual, local and international levels.

    Hence, the thinking that has developed around the private sector — more broadly capitalist enterprise —has spawned new developments around Corporate Social Responsibility CSR. Means in the s Klempner This concept emerged in the s as there was a new focus on business responsibility to society and doing environmental good.

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    Subsequently, it shifted from environmental conservation where major MNCs, such as the Royal Dutch Shell Group, responded to calls to reduce their environmental footprint, to governance, ethics, and sustainable social development through partnerships with civil society actors Herzig and Moon CSR has also been used to actively source funds for overseas development projects, and its substantial scale should be unveiled. Given the enormous financial strength veiled in the global capital market, the private sector has the potential capacity to partner with other sectors to contribute to global sustainable development.

    This issue has led scholars such as Jamali and Sidani to contest that CSR can be counterproductive in many cases where it fails to be transparent, inclusive, accountable, sustainable, and rooted in local needs and priorities; and where local managers are not consulted about the scope or nature of CSR activities and are often compelled to pay to meet CSR requirements. CSR invites a myriad of criticisms because of theoretical and practical flaws in its nature. Milton Friedman was among the first to spark debate about CSR in the s when he argued that maximising profits is the only responsibility of business.

    Under capitalism, capital orients towards a greater return, based on lower production costs and at the expense of exploited developing countries, which in turn can create wealth that can be distributed according to the movements of the market. Friedman equated CSR, if it worked for purely altruistic purposes, with socialism. From this point of view, CSR involves reducing profit for social ends, thereby taking over the function of government, as this is in effect imposing a tax in the form of foregone profits, and determining how the proceeds of investment and production will be allocated.

    This is because socialism cannot provide a free global market which, Friedman believes, attributes to an expanded global 1 Historically, CSR has been termed synonymously with the triple bottom line TBL —a commitment by engaged businesses to support the three pillars of sustainability—the environment, society, and economy. TBL reporting defines social, economic, and environmental sustainability outcomes achieved by companies to enhance ethical economic development, improve the quality of life of the workforce, their families, and the community, and to reduce environmental damage caused by their operations.

    In addition, CSR has been criticised for its immoral motivation and complacency. According to various scholars, CSR is driven primarily by corporate promotion with the intention of improved financial performance. In fact, several scholars have observed and verified better financial performance for companies conducting CSR activities Waddock and Graves , Lin, Yang, and Liou MNCs exercise CSR as an opportunity to seek profit and their own expansion of business operation, which will improve the return on investment of the financiers of the organisations, irrespective of their countries of origin McWilliams, Siegel, and Wright ; Arnold and Valentin ; Grayson and Hodges ; Bertels and Peloza ; Fombrun and Shanley This is supported by Sklair and Miller who propose that CSR is a strategy for MNCs to survive under the established system of capitalist globalization.

    Secondly, as CSR relies heavily on self- regulation and enforcement, its implementation tends to be ad hoc and therefore not effective, and it can be prone to corruption such as bribing government officials Werna, Keivani, and Murphy ; Battersby Generally, corporate actors within this system conduct CSR in order to promote a positive image of their company with the ultimate objective of increasing sales, and therefore the wealth of company owners or shareholders Werna, Keivani, and Murphy ; Jamali and Sidani ; Brine, Brown, and Hackett ; Wulfson ; McKibben Since the late s, however, the notion and practices of CSR began to offer the resurgence of optimism.

    Some companies implementing CSR gradually started to address and overcome the concerns raised above. Hawken, Lovins, and Lovins in their book, Natural Capitalism foreshadowed a new type of industrial revolution. Following this endorsement, the CEOs of more than forty global financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation announced their commitment to integrating natural capital considerations into private sector reporting, accounting, and decision-making Natural Capital Declaration, UNEP Finance Initiative, and Global Canopy Programme This suggests that the negative claims of CSR being a hypocritical capitalist strategy to only increase profits through reputational gain—could be replaced with a more positive image that promoted innovation, creativity, and collective ability to work for successful business outcomes for society Hargroves and Smith There is a rich source of scholarly literature on the subject of innovation and creativity that addresses inequality generated under the global capitalist system.

    Moreover, the increasing interdependence of CSR and social innovation must be emphasized Crets and Celer , given the need for long-term corporate value creation and strategies to address complex contemporary societal issues. Social innovation refers to innovative activities and services that are motivated by, and developed for, the goal of meeting a social need, often practiced by organisations or individuals whose primary focus is social good Mulgan et al. To harness social innovation, one of the future work skills required in an increasingly globalised world is novel and adaptive thinking Anna, Fidler, and Gorbis Bill Gates and Young both support this view by declaring the emerging concept of creative capitalism as an inventive global system that involves diverse, multi-sectoral collaboration between governments, businesses, and Non-Government Organisations NGOs and civil organizations to effectively spread the economic benefits of capitalism both developed and developing countries.

    CSR needs to be re-defined to create shared values where companies sell new ethical products, find new customers, attract talented people, and create a winning reputation Kell ; Porter and Kramer We are witnessing a redefinition of capitalism and a reframing of the practices of capitalist organizations. One could argue that liberal capitalist theory and rhetoric is returning to its roots in the ideas of Adam Smith. Moral capitalism asks for all—rich and poor—to contribute to improving social conditions for the most disadvantaged and thereby reduce the gap between rich and poor. The second new capitalism concept, public interest capitalism, can be equated to moral capitalism.

    This concept, proposed by George Hara , emphasises the importance of creating values not only for shareholders but also for all stakeholders—employees, customers, vendors, and the local community. Finally, philanthrocapitalism, a term coined in , is another concept that redefines the current state of capitalism. In this concept, capitalism is re-oriented towards maximising profit for the purpose of creating further social and environmental impact Bishop and Green , In this model, profit- making strategies—socially oriented businesses—are used to create social benefit, which highlights the conceptual significance beyond CSR.

    Globally, there is a thirst for drivers of innovation to achieve sustainable social development. Businesses and investors are increasingly using their financial capital to contribute to the social sector. As might be expected, there are tensions between the foreshadowed privatization of corporate financing and the ideals, or concerns, of many in the global social sector. Not least is the deeply held suspicion of who benefits from transnational capital amongst those who advocate for greater state responsibility and action.

    According to Gregory , however, there could be an alternative to the traditional mechanism of capitalism, which must inevitably start from the resource-rich private sector. Establishing an innovative mechanism for greater global partnership with multiple sectors and individuals is the key to sustainable development. These goals build on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals which were adopted by the UN members in to provide a guide for global development. Out of the seventeen SDGs, Goal 17 is solely dedicated to financing development to promote effective multi-sectoral partnership from public and private sectors, as well as civil society.

    SDG 17 is one symbolic way of accentuating the need for engagement and partnership with the private sector to model innovative ways of procuring capital for development practice. The concept of innovative finance already warrants the interest from government and inter- governmental sectors globally. Innovative financing is supported by a growing number of groups including the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment PRI , established in , by an independent group of global investors with more than 1, signatories focusing on environmental, social, and governance responsibilities with regard to investment analysis and decision-making, transparency, and industry mobilisation Addis, McLeod, and Raine The Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the UN defines innovative finance as entailing a broad range of financial mechanisms.

    According to Desai and Kharas , these new financing mechanisms are no longer simply partnerships with CSR, yet they are the mechanism that powerfully reflects on independent voice and strategy, through the use of capital market finance. Clearly, global institutions, businesses, and individuals are now venturing into an innovative financing approach to address complex global issues. We are entering a new era where innovative multi-sectoral financing approaches are re- defining capitalism. As many scholars have foreseen, socially-oriented financing approaches are changing the nature of the global financial system and facilitating innovative and multi-sectoral collaborations with greater emphasis on social impact Rook ; Shin ; Haigh b; Ito ; Leung, Bouri, and Saltuk ; Saltuk and Idrissi ; Bugg-Levine and Emerson This article proposes that the social finance approach is an innovative financing mechanism that can help finance global sustainable development.

    Background Social Finance as an Innovative Finance Model Social finance is an innovative financing alternative to traditional corporate social practices. Social finance is considerably distinct from previous corporate practices such as CSR because of its ability to yield both social and financial benefits. Social finance has the potential to address broader social objectives by providing much needed cash and credit to communities and organisations. Social finance can encapsulate the category of responsible finance, green finance, values-based finance, ethical finance, and sustainable finance.

    Four major social finance approaches are social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, socially responsible investment, and social impact investment, 2 which includes crowdfunding, social impact bonds SIB , and development impact bonds DIB currently practiced to achieve certain social objectives of disadvantaged communities Haigh a; Hebb ; Nicholls, Paton, and Emerson ; Waygood An innovation in these services is the for-profit approach being used to achieve both social and financial dividends, demonstrating the rise of philanthrocapitalism.

    The current volume 3 of global responsible investments by governments and multi-lateral organisations reflects the level of interest in the market-oriented, multi-sectoral partnership approach to responding to global sustainable development. Development specialists recognise that money is essential for people to meet their personal development needs, and even though the amounts required are not large, they can have a positive impact provided that funds are used effectively Sen Based on the significant position of social finance in the world today, there needs to be a clear, shared understanding across sectors to have a common goal in employing this approach.

    Figure 1 illustrates a spectrum of finance activities by multiple players, divided into three broad classifications from financial return prioritised, social impact prioritised, and social impact only. Ito highlights the three major social financial vehicles: venture philanthropy, socially responsible investment SRI , and social impact investment SII. These concepts are explored below. Venture Philanthropy Venture philanthropy resembles venture capital.

    It works to empower and strengthen social purpose organisations by contributing long-term financial and hands-on support to create greater societal impact European Venture Philanthropy Association In this approach, the venture philanthropists provide support and guidance to build organisational capacity for operational performance and measuring outcomes, as well as tailored capital investment for three- to six-year business plans, emphasising accountability-for-results, and ensuring a managing partner relationship Grant ; Gordon Venture philanthropy, a concept introduced in by Harvard academics Letts, Ryan, and Grossman , incorporates philanthropy and venture capital investment practices.

    Venture capital is defined as equity investment of pooled funds in ventures with high growth potential over a medium- to long-term period, and venture philanthropy adopts venture capital practices such as due diligence, risk management, performance measurement, relationship management, and an exit strategy, which will be complemented by the venture philanthropist who commonly has a business management background Grossman, Appleby, and Reimers ; Gordon In , the first UK-based venture philanthropy organisation, Impetus Trust, was founded, and in , European Venture Philanthropy Association was established as a hub and network for all European actors operating in venture philanthropy and social investment.

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    Similarly, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network was launched in and currently has over members from twenty-eight countries spanning diverse sectors—government, social, private, and academic. It provides networking and learning services to meet the needs of its members such as webinars, conferences, and a knowledge centre on its website.

    The development of these organisations demonstrates the growing demand for information sharing to develop the eco- system in this field. Gordon observes that neoliberalist ideologies dominant in developed countries have contributed to the emergence of a platform for socially innovative products and services to counter the socio economic inequalities created by the hitherto capitalist system.

    Venture philanthropy, therefore, focuses more on achieving a social return over a financial return through high engagement, tailored financing, multi-year support, and capacity building Cummings and Hehenberger SRI is, in fact, a continuation of faith-based negative screening which started in the s Kawaguchi This screening ranges from pork and alcoholic products for Muslim, the meat industry for Buddhists, and the sale of armaments for Christians Domini This model evolved in the s and s to universally filter out alcohol, tobacco, gaming, and weaponry industries for ethical reasons Domini As part of SRI practices, divesting is also frequently practiced to boycott and pressure certain groups—governments, industries, or companies—on ethical grounds to change their policies Openshaw As is evident, the core feature of SRI is to minimise environmental and social harm.

    SRI is now a focal point of academic debates across multiple fields, from finance to social welfare, due to its scale of market capital. Similarly, the responsible investment industry in Australia continues to grow, and further solidify its position of the market. As of , the total core responsible investment excluding the broad integration of ESG, accounted for 3. The evidence indicates that SRI is gaining traction with a wider spectrum of interested investors.

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    While venture philanthropy and SRI seek to focus largely on societal impact, or minimising negative impacts, impact investing aims to use finance markets to generate both social and financial gains Geobey, Westley, and Weber ; Big Society Capital ; Kawaguchi ; Hebb This means that SII can include existing grants and loans for social purposes such as global microfinance funds, however it is distinguished on the basis that it is intentionally designed to generate both social and financial revenues Addis, McLeod, and Raine It provides financial training, strengthening market connections, and short-term trade credit and pre-harvest loans, or long-term fixed asset loans to farmer associations and private businesses.



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