Mindset Matters: How ESG And Impact Investing Can Redefine Disability, Social Inequity And Be The Lynchpin To A World Of Innovation
The world of work is going through a transformational moment, and we have reached an inflection point to discuss how to make real change happen. Perhaps many of the answers lie within the realm of the disability space, and the mechanism for making that change rests in the hands of the investment community who have access to the capital needed to initiate it across the corporate ecosystem. Yet, it is critical that we first establish a point of connection between investors and those in the disability space to break down barriers, recognize potential and be open to the idea that the ultimate prize is societal innovation on a grand scale.
While these nascent ideas may be unfamiliar to many, there have certainly been steps made to explore these connecting values over the past several years. One of the most prominent comes from a white paper produced by The Harkin Institute and G-17 Partner’s written by Robert Ludke titled Solving “Then What?”: Empowering Investors to Achieve Competitive, Integrated Employment for Persons with Disabilities where he writes “The implications of the reimagining are enormous, and the outcomes of it will play out for generations to come. Human talent impacts the capacity to innovate, produce, and sell every good and service we use in our lives. It is the ultimate determinate in our ability to achieve the advances necessary so that society is better for future generations.”
As venture capital firms and other institutional investors begin to explore more deeply into the potential value of environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) and other areas of responsible investing one of the most critical features of this endeavor is to have the vision that this is not just about decreasing the wealth gap, but using the lived experience of disability that has inhabited the world of innovation to be the catalyst to grow various business sectors from healthcare, technology, consumer products and beyond. The marketplace of ideas will become as critical as the capital markets themselves. To galvanize investors to properly see the long-term view, they must be able to absorb the idea that investing in disability is synonymous with investing in innovation. In reframing the very vernacular for investors, it begins to open a tremendous number of possibilities to take the next step towards engaging the larger business community.
As investors begin to familiarize themselves with this central connection between disability and innovation it unlocks the potential to take the next step in cultivating a new economic engine for the future while having a greater handle on the relationship between the investor, entrepreneur, and company. It is the relationship itself that becomes a fundamental driver for the long-term health and vitality of the organization’s growth. By understanding both the needs and strengths, particularly for entrepreneurs with disabilities investors can develop a cadence and rhythm that provides for new avenues of growth and creates a window into a burgeoning revolution by expanding sector opportunities and engaging in the process of the future of work itself.
As more investors catch wind of the potential opportunities of investing across the disability space it reasserts the notion that business must rid itself of the vestiges of the past and see that investing within the disability space is a language of innovation that is designed to enhance the human story that establishes new solutions for the challenges, we face ahead in the world of the 21st Century.
It is no longer prudent for investors to limit themselves to the preconceived notions of the past, but rather see the range of the disability space is essential to the growth of various business sectors and the lynchpin to push boundaries and create a disruptive force across the business ecosystem. As we enter this new relationship between the investor community and those across the disability space from entrepreneurs, accelerators to various organizations, the goal is to find a more effective style of communication that links these two communities together in a greater sense of harmony to reach a common goal while defining the future of work and reimagining the business of tomorrow.