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Financing Impact


Mar 31, 2022

In our third episode, Marta Zaccagnini and Ben Wrobel discuss power dynamics in funding within the impact investing space and in philanthropy. They explain why shifting decision-making power to those with lived experience of the problem at hand is both timely and leads to better outcomes. For impact investing, we look into the peer selected investment approach of Village Capital, where Marta is a manager. Ben, who co-wrote a book on participatory approaches in philanthropy and impact investing, analyzes what decision making processes in foundations and investment funds have in common. We hear examples of organizations that have introduced participatory approaches around funding decisions, and address reservations funders may have towards ceding decision-making power. In an outlook beyond the world of impact investing and philanthropy, we hear about the potential for participatory budgeting to restore trust in democracy. 

Links

  • Village Capital’s “Flipping the Power Dynamics” report presents findings on the outcomes of the peer selected investment approach regarding both diversity and commercial success.
  • Letting Go, the book Ben co-authored with Meg Massey, explores how philanthropists and impact investors can do more good by giving up control.

Additional resources mentioned by Ben:

For feedback on the show or to suggest guests for future episodes, contact us at scifi@esmt.org