(Author, advocate for socially responsible, high impact, investing)
“Investing with a Heart: Personal and Global Transformation through Investments”
Money, how we spend it, how we invest it, how we earn it… Money says a lot about our values. But while most consider this in spending and earning, few remember it when investing.
My presentation will set out to show that by investing with a heart, using investments for preserving and protecting people and the planet, you make a world of difference. The lives we lead, the products we consume, the outcome of that consumption, these things did not come about by accident. Investors play a tremendous role in shaping the world.
Consider this. There is no global government. Pollution from American shores lands in the mid Pacific. Seal hunts in Canada lead to coats in Japan. Our thirst for cheaper tee shirts leads to horrific working conditions in Haiti. One nation’s government cannot save us. Only investors have the global reach to address these issues and that is exactly what they have been doing.
Around the world the hottest trend in money management is ethical investing. South Africa, Brazil, Malaysia, all have ethical reporting standards for all public companies. China mandates disclosure of environmental and human health impact of companies. There are over twenty ethical mutual funds in Korea, ten in Spain, twenty in Italy, forty in Australia. Why? Because ordinary working people understand that these funds work to create a greener planet and universal human dignity while building an investment goal.
Examples abound. Within the last two years, government agencies in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Canada and Israel at the national, state, or even county levels have begun exploring the potential of social impact bonds. These are financial instruments that pay an investor if the cost or incidence of something (foster care or prisoner recidivism) is reduced, with comparable or better results, than a government program. If so, the investor makes money; if not, they lose money.
Then there are the high-social-impact opportunities in providing micro-loans, in providing non-traditional banking institutions, in supporting sustainable agriculture. All of these are investor driven, and all contribute to positive results.
Even the less daring can get involved. You don’t need to be a big shot to ask Whirlpool to assure that the steel they buy wasn’t created by slaves. You don’t need to have a legion of attorneys to ask Chesapeake Energy whether they can assure safe drinking water in regions where they frack. You need only be an investor in an ethical mutual fund, one that does these things as an ordinary part of business.
Making money, making a difference, and having fun along the way: that’s the message of this presentation.
Amy Domini is widely recognized as the leading voice for socially responsible investing. In 2005, Time magazine named her to the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people, and in 2009 Time listed her as one of 25 “Responsibility Pioneers” who are changing the world. Also in 2005, President Clinton honored her at the inaugural meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative helping protect children and the environment.
She is the recipient of two honorary degrees. In 2006, she was awarded a Doctor of Business Administration, from Northeastern University College of Law. In 2007, she was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, by the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.
Ms. Domini wrote the groundbreaking book, Ethical Investing. When it was published in 1984, it quickly became recognized as offering special insights to investors, giving them both a reason and a means to invest with their values. Since then she has authored or co-authored several books: Socially Responsible Investing: Making a Difference and Making Money (Dearborn Trade, 2001), The Challenges of Wealth (Dow Jones Irwin, 1988), a Investing for Good (Harper Collins, 1993), and The Social Investment Almanac (Henry Holt, 1992).
Ms. Domini is a past board member of the Church Pension Fund of the Episcopal Church in America; the National Association of Community Development Loan Funds, an organization whose members work to create funds for grassroots economic development loans; and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the major sponsor of shareholder actions. She is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Why I support GATE
It is difficult to see any way in which transformation can be as quickly and effectively created without the engaged efforts of the entertainment and media industry. It is an honor to work with an organization like GATE that brings enlightened values into the field..
My Current Media Diet
Anything on MSNBC news programs.