IAED Webinar Continues Discussion of Social Value Investing

USA-2021-06-17-IAED Conference Continues to Explore Social Value Investing

United States—On June 17, 2021, the International Association for Peace and Economic Development (IAED) hosted a webinar on the topic “Social Value Investing: Investing for Sustainability and Values.” This session had 48 live participants and was viewed by about 200 people on Facebook. To see the video, click here.

This webinar is the second in a series on Social Value Investing (SVI). Social value investing provides a new approach to tackling some of the world’s most difficult and intractable problems. Although many of our world’s problems such as inequality, affordable housing, health care, and food insecurity seem too great or complex to solve, solutions can be found by bringing together leaders from the public, private and philanthropic sectors.

Program Highlights

Roger Wetherall, the IAED-USA national coordinator, warmly greeted the attendees on Zoom and Facebook and introduced Alan Jessen, the North American coordinator of IAED, to provide some background information about the organization and its founder, highlighting the core themes of UPF/IAED: Mutual prosperity, interdependence, and universally shared values.

The first presenter was Dr. William Eimicke, professor in the practice of International Affairs at Columbia University. He presented an overview of a five-point management framework for developing and measuring the success of such initiatives, as outlined in his book Social Value Investing, with co-author Howard W. Buffett.

Years ago, Mr. Warren Buffet created the Values Investing formula to measure the financial rate of return for business investors.  Borrowing from that tool, the authors created a new formula for social value investing as a tool to measure the social “impact rate of return” for business and investors. Their aim is to inspire business to be a force for good, not only in marketing slogans, but in creating measurable social value in business projects through a partnership approach with other stakeholders—both public and private.

Five Point Management Framework for SVI

The next speaker, Steven Oyer, is the CEO of i(x) investments a company founded to apply these principles in an investment strategy designed to generate “profit with purpose” by investing in critical areas of human need through a multi-strategy approach throughout the entire capital structure. It is an approach designed to create real, measurable benefits in society. One of the companies that i(X) Investments has invested money into is Multi Green, a company that is building 40,000 Workforce Plus™ multi-family homes that are affordable, green, living environments that also generate profits for their investors. These homes are designed primarily to support those working in the emergency services in New York City and surrounding communities. In answering a later question on how to measure the success or impact of a project, Mr. Oyer explained that success is in relation to the stated goals of the project, as determined by the many stakeholders. 

Dr. Tang Min is currently the Deputy Chairperson of Youcheng Foundation. In 2000, he was appointed as the Chief Economist of Resident Mission of Asian Development Bank in China.  He is working to apply the principles of SVI to the unique situation in China.  “The experience of private investment in China is new to us,'' he stated. He explained how these philanthropic investments from businesses in China are being used to promote the betterment of society through investment in self-sustaining business initiatives.  He described a project to help transform homes in old villages into rentable vacation homes that preserve the characteristics of the old historic buildings while modernizing the internal areas of the home to create a comfortable living environment. This can be done for a fraction of the cost of normal renovations by using prefabricated parts that can be assembled within the walls of the old buildings. 

The last presenter was Dr. Yong Shi a professor at the University of Nebraska/Omaha. He serves as the director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Center on Fictitious Economy and Data Science and the director of the Key Lab of Big Data Mining and Knowledge Management, also for the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He shared data from the China’s Poverty Alleviation Project that began in 1978 and showed graphs of how millions of people are out of poverty in the targeted areas of China. He explained that the achievement is attributed to a government-directed program in partnership with state enterprises and the private sector.   

In an interesting part of the discussion that followed, Dr. Tang shared a graphic of a  financial index showing where Chinese companies that were actively involved with creating social value increased in profitability over time. This is information is important so that companies can understand that being involved in social impact projects (doing good) can happen without sacrificing profitability.


I enjoyed the opportunity to learn and to search further after much food for thought about the hopeful possibilities.  But there is still also always the seamier side of reality to deal with, when it comes to the CCP as well as our own problems with the current extent of far-left aggression that's evident on U.S. soil.


I myself am an American-born Chinese Unificationist of 53 years, who is intent on visiting the villages of my ancestors when the post-pandemic situation safely allows this. I was inspired by hearing about the projects to both preserve the historic value of these ancient villages as well as utilize available living space through gutting and modernizing the interior of ancient buildings, avoiding demolition and permanent loss of historic value that a Chinese posterity of time-immemorial filial virtue will always wish to keep.”

—Helen Alexander, webinar attendee

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