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Thursday April 24th 2014

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Business for Democracy and ASBC Lead Effort to Overturn Citizens United v. FEC

The Business for Democracy Campaign, which the American Sustainable Business Council is spearheading in partnership with Free Speech for People is tackling the compelling issue of corporate contributions to political campaigns.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision on January 21, 2010 allows corporations to spend unlimited funds to support or oppose candidates for political office, overturning campaign finance laws in place for decades. The Business for Democracy campaign is an initiative of business leaders and their companies who believe this ruling is in direct conflict with American democratic principles and a serious threat to good government. The campaign supports the four members of the Supreme Court and the 80 percent of Americans who disagree with the decision (Washington Post poll, Feb. 17, 2010).

If you'd like your business to join this effort, you can sign the statement of support here or here.

Social Edge: The Impact Investing Wave

News on The Edge
Welcome to the Social Edge update!

When Cathy Clark was at the Skoll World Forum, she noticed that successful social entrepreneurs were eager to explore for-profit revenue models: “In their efforts to build sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, social entrepreneurs are now looking at impact investing like never before.”

But the Adjunct Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at CASE at Duke wonders: “Will it put out the fires, or simply flood the marketplace with hype?”

She notes that we are facing a significant gap in the marketplace: the distance between the “impact-first” social entrepreneurs and those impact investors who are “financial-first” (and that’s most of them!).

Clearly, the appetite for social business and new forms of investments is high, but the map for most social entrepreneurs to get there is undefined –paths need to be developed to close the gap.

Help her conceive the business models and investment tools that will successfully bring social entrepreneurs into the world of for-profit investment.

Then join the other practitioners and theoreticians who were at the 2011 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, especially Rod Schwartz who notes that we are still uncomfortable with the social enterprise model even though (or because?) it often yields sustainable financial results.

And Yvonne Li, CEO of Avantage Ventures in Hong Kong, who looks into the impact investment market in Asia, which still lags significantly behind Europe and the US. And Parag Gupta, founder of Waste Ventures, as he wonders whether philanthropy can really tackle the world’s current challenges.

Ultimately, as Jeff Skoll reminded us at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Skoll World Forum, “we are fighting for our collective future, and the trophy is a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for everyone.”

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Join this Week’s Live Discussions

The Impact Investing Wave
Successful social entrepreneurs are exploring for-profit revenue models, and the impact-investing wave has arrived in full force. But will it simply flood the marketplace with hype? Join Cathy Clark, with CASE at Duke, in the conversation.

Skoll World Forum 2011: Lessons Learned
Rod Schwartz, CEO of ClearlySo, was at the 2011 Skoll World Forum –his sixth. He shares here his impressions on The Pluses and Minuses of Celebrity and on the need for a healthy and robust diversity of voices.

Impact Investing in Asia Pacific
The impact investment market in Asia still lags significantly behind Europe and the US. Yvonne Li wonders how we can encourage Asian private investors to allocate investments into social enterprises, especially small and growing businesses.

Competitive Edge and Collaborative Scaling
Social entrepreneurs want the best outcomes –that’s the driving force behind competition and the entrepreneurship side. And they want them for everyone, not just themselves –that’s the driving force behind collaboration and the social side. Charles (hipbone) Cameron helps us navigate this critical paradox.

Philanthropy and Social Change
Is philanthropy losing its relevance on a dynamic global stage? What should its ultimate benefit be? Join Parag Gupta, founder of Waste Ventures, in the conversation.

Punishing Profit
The social enterprise model, which allows for profits, may actually yield both large-scale social impact and sustainable financial results. So why are we still engaged in a pointless pursuit of purity, wonders Rod Schwartz?

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Do you have suggestions for Social Edge or for this newsletter? Send us feedback. You can remove yourself from this list at any time.

Hope to see you on The Edge and on Twitter @socialedge!

Victor d’Allant
Executive Director, Social Edge
250 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

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