The Near Future of Doing Good event @ Birmingham Impact Hub, Wednesday 1st June 2016

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The future of good articulates the most fundamental, systemic question that we face as we approach a new singularity of good and our economy. As part of City Camp, Impact Hub Birmingham presented The Near Future of Doing Good, an evening with Vinod Rajasekaran, Co-founder of Impact Hub Ottawa and Rideau Hall Foundation — and a StarTrek future gazer into the future of the Canadian Good Economy. This debate took place in a relaxed intimate session over dinner on Wednesday 1st June, 6.30pm – 8pm.

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Good, as we know it is changing. In a world of SIBs (social impact bonds) and impact derivatives, carbon pricing, Corporate Social Risk Management (the future of CSR) — a world where social and environmental evils and externalities are increasingly priced, their cost and their liabilities understood — what is doing good?

In this near future of doing good, where social and environmental goods are commodified and financialised and are increasingly priced into our everyday economic model ,  what is doing good?

In this future of the massive financialisation of our current idea of good,  how will “good” be defined? Will we need to transcend priced and costed self interest in order to focus on  on unpriced  public and collective goods?  

In this emerging future of doing good what should philanthropic capital being doing?  In this context, is doing good fundamentally about “making markets” and pricing and costing social and environmental  assets?

What role can organisations like Big Lottery Fund, Lankelly Chase, Barrow Cadbury and others play in investing and uncovering new “Public and Collective Goods”,  like say, Basic Income experiments?  Do organisations with power and money have a duty to invest in creating a pathway for radical solutions to be accommodated in the mainstream economy — much like the great philanthropists have done previously in funding the civil rights movements in the 1960’s or the Anti-Slavery movements of the 19th centuries.

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This #FutureGood requires us to go further than what we think ‘Good’ is, and create the new politics of good; creating and adopting new models and practices of democratic legitimacy  and powering new civic movements.

This #FutureGood requires us to transcend silos, heroes and simple self interest, and invest in creating the shared language, shared sense making, and shared collaborative understanding of risk and accountability.

This #FutureGood needs to invest in re-imagining the ever advanced democratic Institutional Infrastructure to create a future post silo Good economy . We need a system that  understands corporate self interest in the balance sheet but increasingly understands its reliance on the System Balance Sheet, future social liabilities or the increasingly critical role of the 5Th estate in preserving the integrity and good of our economy.

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But perhaps most importantly this #FutureGood requires us to imagine and uncover a new class of social goods and evils as yet unimagined, let alone commodified. Again, Basic Income is a good example but we also need to understand how new technologies are hard coding cultural biases, such as the recent case developed by Ford Foundation on the racial bias of algorithms.

This #FutureGood  requires us to re-frame concepts of the Public and the Private to recognize an interdependent world. What is the role of charities and private companies in world where we thrive to price social goods?  Have we emerged into a sectorless world? 

Do you want to hold a #FutureGood event? Get in touch, and we can help organise, spread the word and provide #FutureGood resources. Or want to write a response to Future Good? Let us know and we can publish your blog on the site.

Tweet @CityCampBrum  and @vinodrjkn

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