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SOCIETY – INNOVATION – FINANCE – BONDS?

I have already written about the responsibility of leaders in the face of the uncertainty of future events, that is, something we have to deal with in business management daily. I think about this problem quite often, analyzing my own decisions and their consequences for whole groups and for individuals. And when I think that things have got really tough, I look to innovations. Or, how to escape running forward?

I think about running forward each time my car is stuck in traffic and through my window I look at a bus which is also stuck in traffic and the people inside who travel in much less comfort than I do. My thoughts run to all those who are worse off, perhaps they have no other way of getting to work or have no work at all. Perhaps they don’t have the right skills? Perhaps they didn’t want to get the right skills or didn’t have a chance to get them? I think about our fragile environment, about water and tonnes of rubbish in rubbish tips, about the energy which we obtain from under the ground. Perhaps rubbish tips are where energy abounds close to hand?

I think about the people I meet when I travel to other countries, often very poor people. About everything that ought to be done to protect their and our environment, to create jobs. That’s because problems which beset people around the world are bound to be similar: in order to do something good one must have money. And money is always in short supply. So I ask myself: can innovation help? Innovation that changes the world around so rapidly and that gives a licence to so many to mint money?

I think about all this and I am not hugely optimistic, because I’ve read that the days of the innovative financial product, the Social Impact Bonds, are numbered. That the bonds have not been issued. That Goldman Sachs has made a loss on those bonds. About 7 million dollars – not much for a firm their size which in a single year can rake in 8 billion dollars (FT: 2015), but a loss nonetheless. Loss = failure.

There are difficult issues and there are obvious issues: money is short whatever the job at hand. Money is short in Poland, too. Lack of money is felt very keenly, particularly at local government level. Maybe it would be a good idea if our financiers, and those of us who are looking for a home for our capital, got involved with charities and local governments in order to launch, also in Poland, such Social Impact Bonds?

The 2008 recession courtesy of the American investment banks and its consequences: the continuing slow growth of the European economy, negative interest rates in the euro zone countries, a near 50% unemployment rate among the Spanish youth and the wrecking of the Greek economy (though the worldwide recession is not its main cause), have destroyed trust in economists. Now is the time them to burnish their image. Through innovation.

SIB (Social Impact Bonds) according to Center for American Progress:
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/report/2014/02/12/84003/fact-sheet-social-impact-bonds-in-the-united-states/

Social Finance Organisation – for financiers seeking inspiration in real life:
http://www.socialfinance.org.uk

I have found a similar concept where the finance could be obtained from EU funds – the information suggests that microfinancing will be available for a few more years …
http://instrumentyfinansoweue.gov.pl/easi.php

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