What Is Blended Finance?

In September 2015, the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a paper entitled “A How-To Guide for Blended Finance.” In the opening salvo of the Executive Summary (p.4) the authors wrote:

“Blended Finance is an approach to development finance that employs the ‘strategic use of development finance and philanthropic funds to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets’ and is characterized by three characteristics:

  • Leverage: Use of development finance and philanthropic funds to attract private capital.
  • Impact: Investments that drive social, environmental, and economic progress.
  • Returns: Returns for private investors in line with market expectation based on perceived risk.”

What Is Blending Capitals?

In partnership with Impact2030, TheBC.lab in Colombia has recently coined the term “Blending Capitals” as a key strategy for financing the peace consolidation process in Colombia and SDG #16. Blending Capitals focuses on integrating non-financial capitals in support of attracting sustainable blended finance. Over the past three years, we have been investigating the social & human capital shortfalls, and other non-financial challenges in implementing a Blending Capitals strategy to help finance the peace consolidation process in Colombia. Based on current research and information available on the topic, as well as interviews with stakeholders and other interested parties, our work in Colombia strongly suggests that Blending Capitals in support of Blended Finance is a valid approach to supplementing both MSMEs and the peace process, simultaneously, in the country.

What Is The Blockchain's Role In The Colombian Peace Process?

Our understanding of the blockchain and its usefulness in the context of the Peace Process in Colombia is still very much in its infancy. We have seen the upsides and the downsides of this emerging Fintech approach to decentralizing markets, money, and power. Market forces have tended to be speculative with cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin approaching the $5,000USD mark in late August 2017, plunging to $3,000USD two weeks later – as traders and speculators attempt to extract profits amidst the growth of cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years

Author, futurist, thinker, (and Bitcoin enthusiast), Daniel Jeffries, inked a post earlier in 2017 entitled “Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years.” The focus of Jeffries’ piece is the significance of the invention of Triple Entry Accounting and the notion of the distributed ledger, which has become the primary motivation behind the evolution of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Yuji Ijiri, the mind behind triple entry accounting and its invention in 1989, may not have known that he was ushering in the next wave of human understanding, but it is clear that this has set the accounting world afire. In the years that have followed, we have seen the emergence of multi-capital frameworks and, more recently (2013), the creation of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Reporting 3.0 initiative (2016), the latter of which takes triple entry accounting and multi-capital frameworks to yet another level of integrative thinking and development.

Blending Capitals in Community Development

Many of the first iterations of multi-capital frameworks were introduced in the realm of community development in the 1990s. Initial offerings included individual-based and community-based models. In the decades since, multi-capital frameworks have changed little in terms of the capitals represented in a community development context; what has been more prevalent, however, is the emergence of one capital (social capital), in its two iterations (bonding & bridging), that appears to determine to what degree a community development initiative will be successful when integrating a multi-capital approach.

Blending Capitals in Home Health

Blending Capitals in the Home Healthcare sphere supports families and the care professionals, volunteers, friends, and other stakeholders in a given care ecosystem to develop an omni-directional capital awareness that ultimately leads to an omni-directional care awareness, generating a holistic care mandala for each member in a given field of care. A multi-capital framework supports a Home Healthcare environment to move from a patient-centric model of care to a more emergent and intuitive field of care designed to tend to all participants. Recognizing that each member of a care ecosystem represents a multi-capital pool of assets in and unto her/himself, and that the overall “health” of that individual node has a direct impact on the entire system, the blending capitals approach in the Home Healthcare space signifies the intention to care for each node (omni-directional care awareness) in order to deliver the most robust and sustainable field of care for the designated “patient.”

What we are discovering is that due to the existing multi-capital assets of a patient, quite often overlooked in the care systems of today, we can reimagine the entire care ecosystem: each member may benefit from the exchange and interdependence of all members, their assets, and the communal environment that affords participants to do so.

Blending Capitals in Disaster Recovery

When considering Disaster Recovery, the blending capitals approach recognizes that it is relatively easy to measure the depletion of infrastructure, financial, and human capitals in the aftermath of a disaster. However, what is more difficult to assess is the loss of social, psychological, cultural, and other less tangible capitals. Consequently, the former set of capitals is most likely to be measured first, with little emphasis on the latter: We cannot initiate efforts to recover what we cannot measure.

Thus, one of the most significant contributions that a blending capitals approach to Disaster Recovery emphasizes is the infusion of multiple capitals, particularly the more intangible capitals, from external actors. Bridging social capital, especially, plays a major role in the initial support of destinations in a post-disaster recovery environment, and continues to do so well into the recovery timeline.