Generation's Loss is Uhuru''s Gain

Those of us who have been following Jed Emerson's "blended value" work for the past several years have recently been informed that he has accepted the position as Managing Director of Integrated Performance with Uhuru Capital Management, a global investment firm launched by Peter Kellner (co-founder of Endeavor and a successful venture investor) and Neal Goldman (a financial services entrepreneur who successfully sold his firm, Capital IQ). Prior to this, Emerson had his irons in many fires, holding concurrent appointments with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Generation Foundation, and the Sun Ranch Group (a blended value enterprise consisting of a sustainable ranching venture, an eco-lodge and a conservation development venture all managed on an integrated basis with reference to the needs of critical Montana habitat and wildlife).

The good news about all of this is simply that Emerson's work continues. His "blended value" proposition states that,

"Value is what gets created when investors invest and organizations act to pursue their mission. Traditionally, we have thought of value as being either economic (and created by for-profit companies) or social (and created by nonprofit or non-governmental organizations). What the Blended Value Proposition states is that all organizations, whether for-profit or not, create value that consists of economic, social and environmental value components—and that investors (whether market-rate, charitable or some mix of the two) simultaneously generate all three forms of value through providing capital to organizations.

The outcome of all this activity is value creation and that value is itself non-divisible and, therefore, a blend of these three elements."

Emerson pushes us to focus on "triple bottom line" impact of our work: economic, social and environmental, and stresses collaboration and cross-sectoral strategies to achieve results. Wherever he is working, the key is that this work continues, so that we can all have someone leading the way to the future of sustainable enterprises.

Caroline Heine

Posted at 6:12 AM, Aug 13, 2008 in Cross-Sectoral Strategies | Scaling Philanthropy | Social Entreprenuers | Permalink | Comments (1)


Thanks very much for your kind words, Caroline!

For those of us who have been knocking around this field for some time, it is striking to note the change in the nature of the dialogue related to how best to maximize value, both through organizations (non-profit and for-profit) and capital (whether market rate, below-market or philanthropic). Today we see foundations using increasing percentages of their corpus to align their investing with their grant making; and an ever growing number of for-profit firms exploring how their core business model and value creation potental may be augmented by consideration of social and environmental performance factors.

While I will confess to being a fairly up beat person, I really do have to say it is a new day with new opportunities all around us. Having spent a good part of the past years researching and promoting these evolving practices, the opportunity to join a new fund that will maximize economic returns while pursuing social and environmental impace was too great to pass up. However, the good news for me is that a portion of my time will also be spent continuing to participate in our growing community, so you should continue to see me out and about!

Thanks again!


Posted by: Jed Emerson