“What I’m saying is that all investors have been forced to become patient investors. For traditional capital markets, the average baseline return has gone down. As a result, return expectations are much more modest than they were even five years ago. If you’re competing with traditional capital markets, impact returns are a lot more competitive than they used to be. And to the extent that impact investing is associated with patient capital, which might be associated with lower risk, this can be a good thing for the overall impact sector…I don’t think the idea of patient capital is as much of an issue. What’s still a potential issue is the IRR of these companies. There’s simply not a long enough track record to prove high rates of returns. This is different in the microfinance sector, but for SMEs, it’s not. We need more successful company examples to draw from.”—Mike Van Patten, founder of Mission Markets, talks about the nature of impact investing. Great interview via Next Billion.
“Empowered” and “sexy” are not universally synonymous. That a woman is not a sex kitten does not mean that she’s any less comfortable or empowered or any of that stuff. See above, re: not a homogenous demographic. Stop making sexiness a universal demand. Let some characters be unsexy. And for f*ck’s sake, please, please stop drawing women who are injured, or dead, or being tortured, or punching bad guys, in sex-kitten pin-up poses. That is bad visual storytelling, and it is INCREDIBLY creepy. Let women be heroes for the sake of heroism. Women don’t have to be damaged or traumatized to be strong, or to want to make a difference. Corollary: Dropping rape into a backstory is not a panacea for making a female character complex and gritty.
Imagine you have a daughter. Imagine the kind of women you’d like her to want to grow up to be. Write them. Write women you’d want to be friends — really good friends — with. Write women you’d get in arguments with. Write women you’d be legitimately scared of. Write women like your mom, like your aunts, like your wife, like your friends, like your nieces and nephews and daughters and bosses and friends. We are not aliens… This, too, goes back to “doing things.” A lot of the time, male characters act, and female characters are acted upon. Let female characters make difficult choices — and sometimes choose wrong — and have struggles and the same real victories. Because without those things, they’re not characters; they’re just window dressing.
“Another pair of complaints about the movement is that it is only about catchy rhetoric, and that it is inarticulate about what it wants. And yet somehow, as the marches spread, the ideas are getting more coherent, not less so. There is a global conversation going on now, and it would be foolish not to listen. For an anti-corporate movement, O.W.S. has a good sense of franchising—more importantly, it has something to say about enfranchisement.”—In “One, Two, Three Many Wall Streets,” the New Yorker's Amy Davidson writes about Occupy Wall Street and the increasing multinational & coherent nature of the protests.
“The final and most devastating stop for me was Banadir Hospital, where I was born. The doctors are like hostages of hopelessness, surrounded and outnumbered. Mothers hum lullabies holding the skeletal heads of their children. It seems eyes are the only ornament left of their beautiful faces; eyes like lanterns holding out a glimmer of faint hope. Volunteers are doing jobs they aren’t qualified for. The wards are over-crowded, mixing gun wound, malnutrition and cholera patients.”—I can’t even put into words how much I loved this poetic masterpiece by musician/poet K’Naan who relayed his experience visiting his home country of Somalia after 20 years. Must read.
“I suspect entrepreneurs recognize the prevalence of “the law of the vital few”, even if they don’t call it that. They prioritize when it comes to key issues such as cash, sales and profit potential. But politicians naturally favor a more egalitarian philosophy, since every vote counts equally. They are idealists, while business owners must be realists.”—Luke Johnson, “We Need a Darwinian Stance on Start-Ups,” via the FT.
“The polarization of “entrepreneurship” and “social entrepreneurship” implies mutual exclusivity. If you are a “social” entrepreneur, do you somehow get to claim moral superiority over your every day entrepreneur? Many of the most mission driven organizations I have seen have never heard of nor benefited from the term “social enterprise”, so why do we make this distinction? Is this naming trend causing us to forget that ALL business has the responsibility to not only increase profits for shareholders, but also respect and support the world around it?”—Great piece by Daniela Papi on whether the “social” is needed before the “enterprise.”
“And this reaction tells you something important — namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called “economic royalists,” not the people camping in Zuccotti Park…So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.”—Paul Krugman, New York Times, in an article entitled, “Panic of the Plutocrats” about the Wall Street protestors.
“The Qwikster brand name couldn’t be reached for comment, but we hear it’s currently parked on its couch with a gallon of butter pecan ice cream and a close friend, watching old VHS tapes in protest. Poor thing never even got a chance. Unlike the percent price increases, which will remain in effect.”—Just a few weeks later, Netflix is scrapping the whole Qwikster idea. Yeah, we thought it was stupid too. (Via Gawker.)
“Research has shown that startups, especially high growth startups, are the keys to job creation and leadership in new industries,” the paper says. “With nearly half the workforce and more than half of our college students now being women, their lag in building high-growth firms had become a major economic deficit…Women capable of starting growth companies may well be our greatest under-utilized resource.”—Via the Kauffman-supported paper, “Overcoming the Gender Gap: Women Entrepreneurs as Economic Drivers,” as covered by Fast Company.