Why Wall Street's ESG flip-flop demands a new economic vision
Investing in the Real Economy with Rodney Foxworth
Tens of millions of people are unemployed or under-employed, thousands of small and medium-sized local businesses — the less-visible, principal drivers of the economy — have shuttered, and yet the stock market continues to reach all-time highs. Clearly, the financial system is not working for most working people.
To revive the economy in the immediate and long-term we must reimagine the economy. We need to invest in the real economy, as opposed to just the financial economy. To do this effectively, there needs to be a shift of power — including in the impact investment space — by looking to new leadership, reconsidering what is impactful and engaging new audiences in how we think about investment and leadership.
In this program, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker welcomes Rodney Foxworth, CEO of Common Future (formerly BALLE), to discuss impact investing’s evolving relationship with the real economy.
RODNEY FOXWORTH is CEO of Common Future (formerly Business of Alliance for Local Living Economies, “BALLE”). Most recently, he founded Invested Impact, a nonprofit consulting firm and intermediary that connected philanthropic and impact investment capital to underrepresented social entrepreneurs. The firm advised and partnered with numerous foundations, financial institutions, and policy organizations, including Annie E. Casey Foundation, Aspen Institute, Calvert Impact Capital, Greater Washington Community Foundation, Legg Mason, and T. Rowe Price Foundation. Prior to Invested Impact, Rodney served as Deputy Director of the Warnock Foundation, a venture philanthropy affiliated with the private equity firm Camden Partners. He previously held leadership positions at BMe, a national social entrepreneur network for African American men, and Job Opportunities Task Force, a policy advocacy and workforce development organization.
An inaugural Ford Foundation Global Fellow, Rodney serves on the board of directors of Nonprofit Finance Fund and Race Forward, and the steering committee of Justice Funders. He has spoken at Social Finance Forum, Council on Foundations, Global Philanthropy Forum, SOCAP, Open Markets Institute, Skoll World Forum, Brookings Institution, and other stages. His writing has appeared in publications such as Boston Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Nonprofit Quarterly, and he has been featured in Conscious Company, Devex, Forbes, ImpactAlpha, Inside Philanthropy, and The New York Times.
Laurie Lane-Zucker is Founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, PBC, an impact economy business that hosts the Impact Entrepreneur Network — a large, global network of “systems-minded” entrepreneurs, investors, and scholars of social and environmental innovation — and editor and publisher of Impact Entrepreneur, a digital magazine covering the emerging Impact Economy. For over 30 years, Laurie has been a “pioneer” (Forbes) and recognized leader in sustainability, social enterprise, and impact investing. Laurie was the founding Executive Director of the international environmental organization, Orion Society, which publishes the celebrated Orion Magazine, as well as the founder of a global sustainability think-tank, the Triad Institute, and Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, GIIRS Pioneer Company, and the first company ever to complete an equity transaction on an impact investment exchange. Laurie is the bestselling and multiple award-winning publisher and editor of books and magazines on sustainability and social impact — having worked with such acclaimed authors as Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, and David James Duncan — and the author of numerous articles on entrepreneurship and impact investing. Laurie is contributing author of the recently published academic textbook from World Scientific, Sustainability: Business and Investment Implications (2023).