Recently, I interviewed Kevin Jones, Co-founder and Convener of SOCAP, a multi-platform organization dedicated to the flow of capital towards social good. Their event series connects leading global innovators – investors, foundations, institutions and social entrepreneurs – to build this market at the intersection of money and meaning.
Besides SOCAP, Kevin is founder of Good Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in social enterprises. He is also part of the team launching the first U.S. node of the Hub, a network of more than a dozen work spaces for social entrepreneurs in cities across the world from Cairo to London.
Rahim Kanani: Now in its fourth year, describe a little bit about the motivation and founding of the Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP) to be held in early September.
Kevin Jones: SOCAP was formed with a single goal: to show that the space between giving and investing, the market that acts with the heart of a giver and the rigorous discipline of an investor, is real. When we started four years ago, two pocket thinking was the dominant paradigm; I invest and put the money in one pocket, then I put some of the excess in another pocket and give it away. Linking the two things, giving and investing, was seen as heretical. Some people said it literally made their heads hurt when we proposed it.
Our goal is to show that the market in the space between giving and investing, the market at the intersection of money and meaning, was not only real, but that it is big and growing. The problems of the world are too big and coming at us too fast for philanthropy or public sector funds alone to solve them. The market, for profit businesses created to solve a social or environmental problem, are an essential part of the solution. Businesses can move faster than either non profits or public sector and thrive on disruptive innovations that can make big, systemic change. Partnering with donors and public dollars, as we are learning to do, we can all do more. The problems of climate change, peak oil, food security and the demand for economic and political justice require us to deploy all our resources together in order to create a resilient world in which our grandchildren can thrive.