The ‘Impact Revolution’: can capitalism be reshaped to drive real change?


Thu 14 Jan 2021 17:00 to 18:00


United Kingdom



2020 was not the future we imagined. This is a world still marked by human suffering and inequity and deepening environmental crisis.

The problems with modern capitalism and neoliberalism have been laid bare. The widening gap between rich and poor is an existential threat to us all, as the pandemic has shown. Unchecked growth puts the planet in peril through accelerating changes to climate and losses to biodiversity.

Can we transition to a different form of capitalism that embeds impact alongside profit? How can we measure and promote positive social and environment impact, and also account for negative impacts? How do we ensure real, sustainable change is achieved – not just empty ‘purpose-washing’?

Sir Ronald Cohen argues that we must embrace the ‘invisible heart’ of markets, embedding measurable impact as a driver in every investment, business, consumption and policy decision we make. This discussion will explore his proposals for change, outlined in his recent book IMPACT, and through his work developing ‘impact-weighted accounts’ with Harvard Business School.

For nearly two decades, Sir Ronald’s pioneering initiatives in driving impact investment have catalysed a number of global efforts, each focused on driving private capital to serve social and environmental good.

This year he published his third book IMPACT: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change, exploring how impact investment is reshaping our economic system, transforming the private sector from a polluter and driver of inequality into a powerful force for good; distributing opportunity more fairly; and bringing solutions to our great social and environmental challenges.

Sir Ronald Cohen, in conversation with Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville of Cambridge Judge Business School takes place on January 14, 2021 at 5pm.

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