“ In his latest and most important book, Jed Emerson helps us see how our understanding of the purpose of capital has its roots in ancient thinking and wisdom, while its future is in concepts such as Mutual Impact and Deep Economy. Challenging us to understand the shortcomings of modern financial capitalism, he helps us appreciate how changing the world must be grounded in efforts to change our selves. A truly inspiring read from an open and authentic elder of our field.”
—Suzanne DiBianca, EVP Corporate Relations
and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce
“ Jed Emerson builds upon his groundbreaking concepts of Blended Value and Total Portfolio Management with a seminal work exploring the essential “Why?” of impact investing. A foundational resource for those of us interested in exploring the true purpose of our capital and why it is critical to thoughtfully and intentionally align our capital with
our own personal mission and values.”
—Ron D. Cordes, Co-founder, Cordes Foundation
“ Once again Jed Emerson has made a major, new, contribution to our understanding of money, markets and impact. ‘The Purpose of Capital’ offers a magisterial sweep across a vast range of cultural, theological and finance thinking. It’s geographic and temporal ambitions are also considerable. Above all, the book offers a compassionate - and passionate vision of how the functions and processes of capital can be radically recast to offer hope and opportunity for the future in these darkest of present times”
—Professor Alex Nicholls, Said Business School, University of Oxford
“ Refreshingly thoughtful and reflective, in this book Jed blends his lifelong fascination with how money can be used for good with a deep inquiry into the overall purpose of life. You’ll soon delight in the roadmaphe unfurls slowly in this book—and the treasures he uncovers along the way—myth, mystery, meaning, religion, philosophy, spirituality,
and ultimately, humility. You’ll want to read this not just as a way to understand the core assumptions inside impact investing, but as a guidebook for a more personal exploration of how using capital for impact can ultimately shape not just the society we live in, but the meaning of your life.”
—Cathy Clark, Faculty Director,
CASE and CASE i3 Initiative, Duke University
“In this mesmerizing and passionate intellectual tour de force, Jed Emerson takes on a several thousand year journey through money and meaning. Without judgment, Jed provokes us in the impact investing and broader finance communities to think about the why, more than the how, of what we do. But in the end, by doing so, I suspect Jed has re-ignited (or he would say evolved) a much needed discussion about the how as well, by reminding us that not only is value and meaning indivisible, but that our work and our personal lives, ourselves and
our communities, and people and planet are all connected, and that to achieve good outcomes from investment decisions one must take a universal unified approach, not one that separates money from meaning. Oh, and there is a lot of good practical how in it too. This approach, if truly internalized by capital markets, promises to make the world a more just and equitable place, but also make us as actors in it more fulfilled as human beings. What could be a better call to action in a book than that? It’s also vibrant, funny, challenging and deeply personal in an extremely charming way; highly recommended!”
—Jason Scott, Founding Partner, Encourage Capital
A unique exploration of how investors may act with deeper consideration of the meaning of money, The Purpose of Capital: Elements of Impact, Financial Flows and Personal Being, explores the historic roots of our understanding of capital, investing and wealth management, connecting how we think about finance with how we think about our lives, World and personal purpose.
Many books tell investors how to invest for maximum financial returns; others seek to tell investors how to invest for financial return with the generation of positive social and environmental impact. The Purpose of Capital takes the reader behind the “how” to explore the “Why” of investing.
The Purpose of Capital explores:
• Our focus on investing as finance alone has taken us down the wrong path—and how those investors seeking to “do well and do good” have fallen prey to the notion financial return is the main driver for creating impact in the world.
• By focusing primarily upon returns for investors we fall short of our potential to invest capital for the benefit of a broader set of stakeholders—including not only the environment but our own potential to use our capital to realize greater personal development for our selves.
• The roots of our current inability to invest for total returns is an historic struggle, connecting us with centuries of reflection in a variety of cultures and traditions—the lessons from which may benefit investors today.
• The Purpose of Capital details how the true purpose of capital is not simply to make more capital, but rather to function as a fuel for individual freedom in the context of community and Earth.
Having produced seven books on the “how” of social entrepreneurship and impact investing, Emerson now turns his attention to placing investing within an historic and philosophical context, grounding investing within a more complete consideration of why we should invest in system change which, in the end, offers the potential for transforming ourselves as investors and as people.