How liberating that the industrial notion of needing money, qualifications, scalable ideas and established networks to realise your dreams is being augmented with the power of authenticity to drive your vision. Technology allows us to connect our authentic self to the social values of so many organisations, so if you believe, like us, the world is user-friendly then there is enormous game changing power to be had!
Being poor is not just about being unable to afford those 'nice to have' things - it's being forced to pay more for the absolute essentials, such as gas, electricity, banking, household goods and even groceries simply because you are living in poverty. It's called the 'poverty premium' and it is effectively a tax on the poor.
These are going to be uncertain and challenging times for social enterprises and mutuals and the government must be vigilant as it settles devolution deals. We must all be wary of the unintended consequences of devolution and be careful not to undo the fantastic progress that has been made building up the social enterprise and mutual sector.
Investors are increasingly asking themselves, then, an additional question. Not just the questions of risk and return; but that of risk, return and impact. As this change accelerates its potential scale can be truly transformative in terms of our ability to address some of the world's most intractable global challenges. We all need to ensure that we create the right environment for this to happen.
"I used to work for the Cats Protection League," said Mark Salway, leaning back in his chair with a smile. "The fundraising team ran a big campaign to raise money for a cat called Scrunchy, which did well. But, I pointed out to them, that this 'restricted funding' could only be used for a cat called Scrunchy, or we'd be breaking the law!
Food. It nourishes our demanding bodies, reminds us of the nostalgic home and people we once shared it with; and it is the rope that ties us to our cultural identity. We are served generous portions of it by our local curry restaurant, and we serve it proudly from our own kitchens to our friends and loved ones.
It was a privilege to be a part of the audience for Bill Gates' keynote speech at the ASU GSV Summit in San Diego in April this year. Hearing his view of the future, it was hard not to feel the groundswell of optimism currently taking hold around the world. Gates still believes that technology is a force for good, opening a world of opportunity for us all.
At its core, blockchain technology is a way to enforce trust and transparency amongst people transacting with each other. I was intrigued by the increasing use of Bitcoin for donations, for example, and by the creation of very serious all-blockchain NGOs dedicated to empowering the unbanked in some of the poorest regions of the world.
Whenever a well-known business announces redundancies of hundreds of jobs it makes the headlines. We all understand the horrifying impact these kinds of decisions have on people and communities. So imagine where the UK's recovery would be without the 100,000 jobs that exist thanks to responsible finance lenders over the past 10 years.
I believe the next five years will see the full emergence of a new breed of individual: the Public Service Entrepreneur. These will be people who are passionate about public services but know that there is a more entrepreneurial way to get the social outcomes they are working their socks off to achieve. They don't want to submit to the unhelpful aspects of an often over-bureaucratised system, they want to by-pass it altogether and spend their time finding new ways to solve the problems of their service users.