Making a Difference Through Business and Investment

— Tom Sine —

Have you ever considered creating innovative new ways to make a difference in our troubled world through business and investment?

Two weeks ago I was riding the 49 bus down Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. It was exactly the same route that I took by streetcar many decades ago when I was commuting to my seventh grade class at Marina Junior High School. Because I was familiar with route I knew my fabled gift of disorientation could not divert me from my destination.

But I didn’t count on was a very large female police officer coming on board at the third stop. I was the first one she asked for proof of purchase. I panicked because I had no idea where I’d place the transfer that the driver handed me when I paid my fare.

She could see that I was clearly confused. She said” I’ll be back for you.” She kicked another old guy off near the back of the bus and was headed back for me. The driver quickly handed me a new transfer at the same moment I found the first one in the police officer nodded she got off the bus.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/socialcapitalmarkets/I am so glad that I made it successfully to the SOCAP Conference on “growing the good economy.” I don’t believe I’ve ever been around so many people at one site who are determined to create businesses that employ the urban poor, increase food production for the global poor and counteract the growing threat of climate change. This was a gathering of 1,900 social innovators and investors who met over three days at Fort Mason to share their new ideas.

I heard how a combined effort by social investors and government funding has brought citywide renewal to Richmond California. I learned about an inventor who used solar technology to create an alternative to kerosene lamps that are so expensive and dangerous. A number of groups shared innovative ways they are working cooperatively to improve the ocean environment for future generations. I was impressed by the large number of foundations that were present from the Bill Gates foundation to the Rockefeller foundation interested in funding these kinds of social innovation.

You can actually experience some of the presentations from the SOCAP Conference HERE.  I’m sure you’ll be is impacted as I was. Do check it out this week

While this was one of most encouraging conferences I’ve been to in years, I’m dismayed by how few churches do much to create innovative ways to improve their own neighborhoods… Beyond occasional contributions to the local food bank.

I would love you to prove me wrong. If you or your church is directly involved in innovative ways to make a difference in your community, or new ways to care for God’s good creation, please send me a description this week. I will immediately post it so others can see what people of faith are doing as well.

If you are a follower of Jesus that is interested in finding new ways to make a lasting difference through social innovation and impact investing write me as well. I will inform you of some of the places that you can start joining many others in creating businesses that do good by doing well.

Have you ever considered creating innovative new ways to make a difference in our troubled world through business and investment?