Jan 23, 2021 • 1HR 8M

25 - Leveraging employee ownership to fight wealth inequality

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The for-profit and non-profit worlds are on a collision course. Already the lines are beginning to blur as new fields like impact investing, social enterprise, and blended finance emerge. Host David O'Leary is an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Analyst, and Change Agent. Join him for a series of conversations with changemakers from all walks of life who are using for-profit principles in surprising and creative ways to drive social and environmental impact.
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Welcome to episode 25 of the Impact Investing Podcast.

The richest 26 people on earth own as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion. The wealthiest 10% control 84% of the world’s wealth. Meanwhile, 4.8 billion people fight for just 2% of the world’s wealth. Reducing wealth inequality is possibly the biggest moral imperative of our time. It also happens to be one of the largest threats to global peace and geopolitical stability.

My guest today is Jon Shell, Managing Director of Social Capital Partners (SCP). Social Capital Partners looks to bring market-based approaches to solving complex systemic social problems like wealth inequality. The organization has tackled a variety of problems through different approaches over the years. What stands out about Social Capital Partners is its commitment to impact. The organization has made numerous radical pivots in its approach over the years, as its staff experiment, test, and learn. For a full rundown of the organization’s fascinating history, listen to episode #01 of the podcast where I chat with SCP’s founder, Bill Young.

In this episode, Jon and I discuss the organization’s latest pivot and the publication of its newest public policy discussion paper titled: Building an employee ownership economy. During our chat, we dive into the importance of employee ownership as a channel for distributing wealth more equitably, the necessary conditions for employee ownership to thrive, and the differences between the Canadian and US environments. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end when we discuss the types of organizations that are well suited to utilizing the employee ownership trust.

Resources mentioned during the podcast