“Throughout our history the deal was: We left the world a better place than we found it. That was progress. The wheel. The Rule of Law. Anything.” – From the film ‘The Age of Stupid’
To me that was exactly what getting involved in impact investing was all about – to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ and do something to better the world. Of course, this is a figurative statement, since I am not wealthy. But then impact investing shouldn’t only be for millionaires and above. Impact investing involves a lot more than just giving money to some passionate social entrepreneur to do the work. We can all contribute, no matter what social, political or monetary capital we possess. Perhaps the most valuable asset we can all invest is time, which is the one thing that makes us all equal. We all have limited time, so spending time on something that enriches the lives of others is perhaps more meaningful than just spending money on yourself.
This brings me to my current role as an Impact Ambassador with IIX. Using my free time and network, I try to source for investors to support the social enterprises we advise and represent. And, I am not the only one. There are currently eight of us from different walks of life: David Chou, an investment banker turned electric vehicle entrepreneur based in Singapore; Jannek Haagen, who works for a Swiss family office in Europe; Alvin Low, a former Singapore diplomat who now runs his own capital management company; Fiona Lim, a professional financial advisor and 2nd-gen of the largest spa network in the Philippines; Priti Devi, a globetrotting veteran in sustainable development for the corporate world who is now fully focused on impact investing and non-profits, just to name a few.
But we all share one common belief – that action is needed, here and now, to create a better world for our children and their children; that this action should not be deferred until we ‘have the luxury of time and money’. Passivity will not miraculously negate the environmental damage and social inequity that blatantly exists in our current world. Standing by and saying ‘someone else can do this, I am too busy with my own life’, is too common an excuse. We do what we can, right now.
IIX is always on the lookout for suitable Impact Ambassadors. Contact us today to find out how you can become one.
By Lance Ng
Writer and Impact Ambassador