“Force for Good”, a Unifying Call to Action

The world’s challenges are our common concern. Progress has allowed us to break the boundaries that limited humankind in terms of where we live and how we live in ways beyond the imagination of previous generations. And so, we stand on the brink of being able to solve every major issue facing the planet. Our collective imagination, intelligence and efforts are not the barriers. The definition of who we call “we” has become an obstacle to our peaceful co-existence. As we grow in capability, and science and technology are inexorably pushing that forward, if we commit to growing mindfully of each other, with care and compassion, then these barriers will also fade away as an issue at a point in time.

Our success has taken its toll on the planet with massive degradation of its ecosystem and has hurt its renewability and resilience.

Our success is also not widespread and has left many out of the peace, prosperity and freedom that others have enjoyed. Vidya Salunke’s story is unique, but her situation is not. Like many millions of people across the world, she is one step above the slums and one step below financial security. Her position is fragile, and any number of shocks can knock her down into poverty. Sustainable development and financial inclusion are required to provide her with much needed stability and the opportunity to make the next step. Such issues are not just relevant to developing countries, they are also relevant to many living in the richest countries and their most prosperous cities. The price for not solving this is evident in the statistics that reveal the plight of so much of the world and in protests and conflicts at the ballot box and in the streets across the world. Ultimately, the next stage will require us to solve for all.

Money is not the problem. We have shown we can finance almost every need. That will certainly have to be paid for at some point, but the current pandemic has proven that we can inject it at will to address crises we judge to be worthy.

This project was launched with the idea that capital can be a catalyst that changes the world for good. It also recognized that the leading financial institutions have women and men who are turning their organization’s capital to do good in a myriad of ways. It acknowledges that other stakeholders from individuals as consumers to manufacturers, scientists and governments all have to play their role for lasting change if the overall system of capitalism is to change and the world is to see sustainable development and be prepared for the challenges ahead in the transition to a new model of civilization in the post carbon energy era ahead.

The report finds an increasing alignment of interests to do good in the world within each of the organizations examined, and between the industry as a whole and the society in which it operates, nationally and internationally. There is a broad and growing common ground, from which each is determining how best to break the boundaries to have an even greater impact.

This report takes all that data and events and turns it into an analysis of how the leading organizations in the finance industry are changing the way, and for what, capital is deployed and as a result changing the system of capital, and the flow of funds across the world. Their actions and initiatives also set the bar for what the industry as a whole will need to rise to. And this in turn will catalyze further changes across the industries they finance. Stepping back from the flow of information, it is clear that a movement of quite dramatic change is underway and the trajectory and momentum of it holds the promise of making finance a force for good, for the common good.

The journey is at an early stage, despite some of the bold initiatives that are underway, and is an exciting and profoundly important one for the world as a whole. Its success will reshape finance, capitalism and allow the world to address its most important challenges, seize opportunities and finance the future, whatever that may be.

Best wishes for our collective future.

Ketan Patel,

Project Lead and Chair of the Steering Group, ‘Force for Good Project’ on the Future of Capital

Lawrence Ford,

Senior Representative, FutureCapital

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