I’m Margaret van Beuningen, from Pymwymic, the ‘Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community’ of impact investors. Founded here in Amsterdam 25 years ago by my Dutch husband, Frank van Beuningen, Pymwymic has grown into a community of several hundred private investors who want to be connected to the purpose of their capital, who learn, share, and invest together. As a community we have helped to fund dozens of companies and first-time funds we thought had a chance to make a better world.
Taking action – the investment – is vital. But action follows search, so Pymwymic’s core mission remains, with ourselves, with others, to contribute to an awakening of consciousness about capital – and so, this conversation tonight.
We are honored to co-host tonight’s distinguished speaker, Jed Emerson. Jed has been on the front lines of the deep questioning of the financial markets for more than 25 years. He originated the concept of blended value (of which we’ll hear more tonight), has authored eight books and countless articles, and has challenged and engaged in debate with corporate heads, government, international policy makers, and has helped to shape and advise the portfolios of some of the wealthiest families on the planet.
The field he helped create, impact investing, does not escape his scrutiny either – Jed continues to ask good questions, important questions, from someone with the credibility and courage to challenge this emergent field.
And tonight, we are here with his latest book, The Purpose of Capital. The book is a life treatise, deeply philosophical, and wide-ranging. Let’s see where we go tonight.
Our audience tonight is diverse, and that makes for a welcome, rich conversation. For those just becoming familiar with questioning the purpose of capital, we’ll cover some of the basic terms and frameworks of what is called impact investing… but then we may go far afield, perhaps to a small hut in northern Norway, or to the heart of Wall Street and the systems on which we’ve become so dependent, while connecting finance to our own personal purpose on the earth.