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Other Lingo

Page history last edited by Christy Martell 13 years, 3 months ago


General Lingo


Base of the Pyramid



The largest, but poorest socio-economic group. In global terms, this is the four billion people who live on less than $2 per day, typically in developing countries. The phrase "bottom of the pyramid" is used in particular by people developing new models of doing business that deliberately target that demographic, often using new technology. This field is also often referred to as the "Base of the Pyramid" or just the "BoP".

Clean Technology


Includes the wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels, information technology, electric motors, lighting, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient. It is a means to create electricity and fuels with a smaller environmental footprint. And it is the need to make green buildings both more energy efficient and environmentally benign. Environmental finance is a method by which new clean technology projects that have proven that they are "additional" or "beyond business as usual" can obtain financing through the generation of carbon credits. A project that is developed with concern for climate change mitigation (such as a Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism project) is also known as a carbon project.

While there is no standard definition of "clean technology," it has been described by Clean Edge, a clean-tech research firm, as "a diverse range of products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources, and cut or eliminate emissions and wastes." It notes that "Clean technologies are competitive with, if not superior to, their conventional counterparts. Many also offer significant additional benefits, notably their ability to improve the lives of those in both developed and developing countries."

Digital Inclusion


The incorporation of information technologies into the community in order to promote education and improve the quality of life and close the "digital divide."

Fair trade (vs. Fairtrade)


Any trade that seeks to provide sustainable and equitable market opportunities for marginalized or disadvantaged producer organizations, irrespective of whether it is independently verified or not.



The independently monitored Fair Trade that the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations certify.

Microfinance Institutions


An alternate form of bank found in developing countries which provides microcredit lending.

Mission Related Investing


Encompasses any investment activity designed to generate a positive social or environmental impact in addition to providing a financial return. It is receiving attention, in part, because the field of philanthropy has changed dramatically and donors of all types and sizes are recognizing that traditional grantmaking models are neither the sole route, nor always the most effective one, to achieving social impact. In fact, industry pioneers are advancing entrepreneurial, market-based approaches to creating social capital and impact that often involve a foundation using endowment assets in excess of the usual five percent allocation to grants.

Social Entrepreneurship


Social entrepreneurship is the work of a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurship principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many work in the private and governmental sectors.

Social Return on Investment


A concept developed to account for both traditional financial as well as social value created by an enterprise. It is a way to monetize the non-financial social or environmental value created by an enterprise. Given that "blended value" businesses are still relatively new, methodologies to quantify SROI are still being defined and there is no "standard" methodology for this field at present. Admittedly the determination of social value may not always be easy. The social value created may be more qualitative in nature making the impact difficult to monetize, or there may be a lack of agreement on how to assess the actual value created. Despite these issues, efforts have been made to quantify and monetize the social value created by nonprofit organizations and businesses with a social component.

Sustainable Design


Seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.

Theory of Change


A tool for developing solutions to complex social problems. A basic TOC explains how a group of early and intermediate accomplishments sets the stage for producing long-range results. A more complete TOC articulates the assumptions about the process through which change will occur and specifies the ways in which all of the required early and intermediate outcomes related to achieving the desired long-term change will be brought about and documented as they occur.


Steps to Create a Theory of Change

1.     Identify a long-term goal

2.     Conduct "backwards mapping" to identify the preconditions necessary to achieve that goal

3.     Identify the interventions that your initiative will perform to create these preconditions

4.     Develop indicators for each precondition that will be used to assess the performance of the interventions

5.     Write a narrative that can be used to summarize the various moving parts in your theory

Social Capital



A new breed of investors is emerging - a group that is concerned not only about the bottom-line, but also the social impact of their investments. Investors are beginning to realize the social and environmental consequences of the "business as usual" mindset, and this is clearing the way for a new market - the 'Social Capital' market. Everyone from institutional investors to stock market amateurs now recognize the opportunity to "do well by doing good." Driven by demand for social accountability, capital markets are responding dramatically to local and global social concerns.



There is enormous potential in this arena to align the social aims of entrepreneurs with the financial returns of investors. Investment professionals are now aware of the potential of this new market, and first-mover advantage is important. The Social Investment Forum estimates that socially responsible investments accounted for $2.71 trillion under management in 2007.



Moreover, philanthropic organizations - the traditional supporters of social change - have begun to examine new ways to incorporate investment principals into their overall mission. Mission-related investments and innovative, cost-effective methods for measuring social impact are now commonplace in philanthropy.



SoCap08 will be the exciting, new platform for socially-minded investors to collectively analyze the opportunities and risks in this emerging asset class. Investments that combine financial and social objectives have a unique set of challenges. This collaborative event will tackle these pressing questions, including:



·         What are the trade-offs between financial returns and social impact?

·         What challenges are unique to social enterprises and what is the role of the investor?

·         What are the best metrics investors can use to measuring social impact?

·         What is the role for venture-focused philanthropy and how can these organizations take advantage of this movement?



The conference will feature an assembly of market- and knowledge- leaders in the social capital space. Investors will have the opportunity to interact with other players and engage the principal organizations operating in this space. We have only begun to see the possibilities in this emerging market, and at SoCap08 you will be a part the growing community driving this revolutionary trend in the capital markets.

Clean and Green Technology



The global climate crisis, increasing energy costs and rapid technological advances - all these factors are contributing to the boom in clean and green technologies. The technological and development costs are diving as the traditional, mature energy and tech industries stagnate. The leaner, meaner and more efficient ventures are paving the way - and the money is following.



Clean and Green technologies are the archetypal 'blended value' business. These ventures offer high rates of return as well as environmental (and social) benefits.



The Social Capital Markets Conference (SoCap08) will examine clean and green technologies from a number of aspects: how does this industry fit into the overall social capital ecosystem, how to bring this impact to emerging economies and what renewable, sustainable investments will look like in the future.

Digital Inclusion



The 'information society' is spreading globally. Digital inclusion, or the diffusion of information and communications technology (ICT) throughout the world, is an attempt to extend the reach of technology to underserved and marginalized communities. Digital technologies have enabled a revolution in productivity and output; this is now available to everyone. The digital inclusion (or e-inclusion) movement is taking off and technology companies are making profitable investments that increase technological accessibility and achieving social impact. The resulting higher economic growth and job creation can lead to significant social change - while at the same time turning a profit.



Leaders in this space are learning that communities plugged-in to the digital age are not only good for society, but good for business as well. Investing in technologies that yield considerable social and economic returns can also improve the bottom line. The Social Capital Markets Conference (SoCap08) will serve as a platform for analyzing the opportunities and risks with the thought leaders and market innovators working to promote digital inclusion. Issues to be considered include:



·         What are the expected rates returns for investments that promote digital inclusion?

·         What are the trade-offs between promoting technological access the bottom line?

·         What are the risks of ICT investments and how can these risks be managed?

·         What economic and financial benefits does closing the 'digital divide' yield?



Digital inclusion is a proven method for achieving social impact while delivering market services to underserved communities - and generating high returns. SoCap08 will demonstrate the achievements in this arena and look to the frontier of digital inclusion - bringing web2.0 services to some of the most impoverished communities on the globe. By investing in the global community and promoting universal access to technology, we will all be better off - financially and socially.

Microfinance and Beyond



Microfinance is now mainstream. Muhammed Yunus' Grameen model has been adopted by everyone from soccer moms (Kiva) to global financial institutions (JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs). Now, investors, social entrepreneurs and microfinance institutions are looking to expand their reach beyond microloans. Creative individuals and corporations are leveraging microfinance supply chains to provide market services for the poor ? including education and health initiatives.



Many corporations and individuals are belatedly waking up to the opportunities that lay at the ñBase of the Pyramid BoP the billions of potential customers in the developing world who have been traditionally excluded from markets. The traditional marketing wisdom assumed that BoP customers did not have the means or will to purchase branded products. This has been proven categorically false.



International trade, globalization and the revolution in communications technology have opened the doors to these potential customers. Microfinance is the original 'proof of concept,' and now that investors know that market mechanics apply to poor consumer, BoP is taking off. Microfinance and beyond strategies promote universal access. It is time to make the benefits of the marketplace a global phenomenon.



SoCap08 will explore this new target market and how producers can access it. The dialogue will encompass microfinance supply chain issues, marketing campaigns and international branding. SoCap08 will consider:

·         How can companies overcome the supply chain difficulties inherent in the developing world?

·         How can we leverage the benefits of microfinance to include other services?

·         How do these strategies fit in with existing operations?

·         What are the potential risks/returns for expanding beyond MFIs?



Microfinance is a demonstrable example of successful business and social sector integration. The question becomes: how do we translate existing successes into a more expansive picture? Participants will examine the coming opportunities to expanding micro-services, including the BRIC economies and an economically vibrant Africa, and interact with a host of microfinance and BoP pioneers who have successfully integrated this marketing strategy into their overall business plan. Increasing access to market services benefits both business and consumers. The opportunities at the base of the pyramid will not be ignored.

Social Entrepreneurship



Social enterprises making an impact in the health, education, workforce and other social sectors are charting a new course, wielding business acumen and a private sector approach toward achieving social impact. These entrepreneurs are engaged, strategic and results-oriented. They use performance metrics to measure their social impact and continue to break down walls between the public, private and NGO spheres to realize social change. SoCap08 will delve into this new arena and take a comprehensive look at the complex and shifting trends between social entrepreneurs and capital markets.



Social entrepreneurs face a host of challenges in terms of capital markets. The conference will address questions such as:

·  As social ventures continue to grow in scale and significance, how can these remain mission-driven and go mainstream?

·  How can social enterprises bridge the traditional divisions between philanthropic grants and private investment?

·  Once a social venture has proven its social impact, how can these organizations achieve scale?

·  How can a social enterprise balance profit and social impact?

·  What are the best metrics for assessing social impact without constraining the overall mission (becoming a slave to the numbers)?

SoCap08 will be a platform for social entrepreneurs to explore the answers to these questions, and to interact with similar mission-driven organizations and social investors. Attendees will explore the multifaceted issues surrounding social entrepreneurs and capital including: best practices, funding options and achieving scale.



Funding organizations, from private socially-minded investors to the new venture philanthropy players, will be a part of the conversation, talking about opportunities, threats and how to take advantage of this convergence in the business and social sectors.

Fair Trade



Globalization and international trade are catalysts for growth and economic development. Yet the benefits of trade frequently do not accrue to the majority of the population in poorer countries because of inequitable policies and ineffective regulation.



Fair trade seeks to eliminate this inequality - by going straight to the source and distributing wealth directly among producers. Fair trade addresses exploitative labor and environmental practices by determining a ÔfairÕ price for goods and services in the global economy. This movement recognizes the intrinsic bridge between the business and social sectors within emerging economies.



Yet most investors continue to be confounded Ð is fair trade a business model or charity? The Social Capital Markets Conference (SoCap08) will demonstrate that fair trade is a business, and these enterprises are making money while Ôdoing good.Õ



Fair trade social entrepreneurs recognize that in certain regions with poor governments, trading partners must intervene to curb capitalismÕs excesses. These organizations, from businesses to certification boards, have increased their role in the global economy significantly over the past two decades and now the potential return on investment in fair trade enterprises has reached a critical mass.

Social Media



The role of new media has exploded onto our cultural landscape. From Al GoreÕs Nobel Prize and Oscar to Barack ObamaÕs wildly successful internet marketing campaign, new and old media are converging to deliver information and rouse citizens to action in new and exciting ways.



The Social Capital Markets Conference will examine the role of the media as it pertains to social capital. Media companies such as Fast Company, Good Magazine and Participant Productions will be on hand to discuss various ways of messaging and marketing to achieve the desired output Ð inciting action, raising money or just telling a story.




Solving social problems has traditionally been the purview of the government. However, as social entrepreneurs infringe upon this space, the role of the government and oversight will increase.



The convergence of public, private and nonprofit sectors continues as social entrepreneurs climbs from the fringe to the forefront. Governments are beginning to intervene in terms of regulation, financing and advocacy. From the L3C legal designation to the role of social entrepreneurship in international aid dollars, governments have taken a larger role in the field. The British Government has gone so far as to create a cabinet office for the ÒThird SectorÓ (voluntary and community groups, social enterprises, charities, cooperatives and mutuals). Will the United States be far behind?



The Social Capital Markets Conference will closely examine the role of government in the social capital and entrepreneurship field. A host of people and organizations working at the nexus of government intervention and social enterprise will discuss the coming issues and opportunities.

Sustainable Design



Sustainable design (also referred to as "green design", "eco-design", or "design for the environment") is the art of designing physical objects and the built environment to comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability. It ranges from the microcosm of designing small objects for everyday use, through to the macrocosm of designing buildings, cities, and the earth's physical surface. It is a growing trend within the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, engineering, graphic design, industrial design, interior design and fashion design.



The Social Capital Markets Conference will examine this growing movement with a panel discussion and follow up with leaders in the field including Tim Brown at IDEO and Paul Polak of Design for the Other 90%.



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