At the heart of the Impact Capitalist philosophy is the notion that impact and profit can be achieved simultaneously. We use the give/greed continuum to explain that viewing personal profit as the opposite of producing value for others is not just an over-simplification, but absolutely wrong.
The Impact Capitalist was developed to advocate for free market capitalism, celebrate impact capitalists, and to provide resources to help them understand, manage, protect and grow their resources. The founders are scholars, teachers, and business owners. We seek to take bits of information and research and present that material into knowledge and understanding for business owners.
We advocate for and address the struggles of real business ownership, not merely the possession of stocks and mutual funds. Business ownership includes the overlap of people, families, business operations, and equity ownership. Business ownership does not mean that the owner must work in or directly manage the business. Equity owners also have a responsibility, and impact, on the business.
The founders of the Impact Capitalist deliberately incorporated the principles of the Christian faith. It is not at all necessary to be of the Christian faith to participate in and benefit from the society or the institute. But faith is a guiding force in the philosophy, perspective, and narrative of the Impact Capitalist. We believe that Christianity is consistent with capitalism when combined with the Impact Capitalist mindset.
Some argue that faith is inconsistent with science. We absolutely (and we rarely use absolutist language) disagree with this premise. Faith and science ask and address different questions and utilize different methodologies. The Impact Capitalist is grounded in the social sciences. Specifically, we build on the shoulders of giants. We gain wisdom from the decision-making, economics, history, psychology, sociology, and communication sciences (just to name a few).
We believe in the power of free-market capitalism. It is not based on ideology. Free-market capitalism is a concept that has garnered considerable skepticism, inquiry, challenge and deliberation. We have a resident Advocatus Diaboli who is charged with challenging our thinking, assumptions, and directions. We approach our materials from multiple perspectives. We unequivocally reserve the right to change our minds if the evidence leads us there. We advocate for free-markets and the power of impact minded business owners. We would need to see a whole bunch of new information to convince us otherwise that this combination is not the best available system to make a meaningful positive difference in society.
We believe in the relationship of risk and reward. Over the years, we seem to have introduced an ideological factor into this relationship, where risk taking should result only in reward. If risk leads to loss, someone else should pay the price. The co-founders of the Impact Capitalist had their share of risk lead to loss (as well as other frustrating outcomes). It is part of business. We do not believe in redistribution. We feel that when risk pays off, the risk taker should receive the reward PROVIDED it was accomplished through the Impact Capitalist mindset and through free-markets.
The Impact Capitalist was just not made for these P.C. times. Political correctness, while commendable in its original intent, has quickly turned into a societal plague (we will probably be attacked for this sentiment). What we see going on truly frightens us. We see a move completely opposite of the key principles of free-markets, expression, thought, speech and debate. We believe that we learn from challenges, uncertainty, and failures, not in the creation of safe zones and silencing opposing viewpoints (Tom has written a blog post about microagressions and tiggers). At the same time, we believe in equal opportunity (not distribution). Demographics (and socially constructed labels) should not influence opportunities. Neither should we allow disproportionate extra consideration for demographic groups.
We do not take ourselves too seriously. We are not warriors, gurus, dictators, “leading experts”, or any other such easily slapped-on label. We are beggars showing other beggars where the bread is. We often make fun of ourselves. We desire a laid-back atmosphere as we build a serious business. We also feel that we can laugh at current events (sometimes as gallows humor). We should not feel afraid to discuss what we see. Unfortunately, too many seem to find new ways to be offended. We try to watch our words, but if we only worry about offending, we would best not even start this project. We will offend (especially as unoffensive language today becomes offensive tomorrow). In fact, our co-founders offend each other daily.