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We invite you to join us on a journey—an audio journey, to explore and expand how to use finance and investments as tools for transformative and equitable change in the world. Hosted by Criterion Institute’s founder Joy Anderson, episodes will include a variety of audio segments that can take many forms. Often these segments may comprise conversations with friends and co-workers or interviews with changemakers. At other times Joy may walk listeners through a framework or help us reframe a problem or narrative. And from time to time, they may even take the form of a famous Joy Anderson rant … our favorite!

As you tune in, you’ll often hear Joy discussing power dynamics and structural inequities at the intersection of gender, sexual orientation, race, faith, age, and many others. Conversations will also span the gamut of finance whether it’s impact investing, sustainable public equities, or municipal debt. She and her guests might dive into an infrastructure project or dip their toes into sovereign bonds.

If that sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry. As Joy likes to say, systems of finance and investments are complex, often intentionally to exclude outsiders. That’s why Joy will use this podcast to break the systems of finance into their component parts and make them more easily understood, really get underneath the processes, structures, and analysis, so that we can put them back together in new ways to create more equitable outcomes.

Consider yourself invited to the Criterion Institute Podcast.

Most Recent Episodes

In this episode, we have two segments that we're going to weave together both focused on investment theses. At Criterion, one of the most important levers of change, in our opinion, is to look at shaping, reshaping and creating the investment theses that reflect how investors see the future and therefore how they make investments in the present. The first segment is a broad exploration of an investment thesis and how it works, particularly when investing with a gender lens. In the second segment, we explore and an investment thesis we created for the Pacific Island region, with support of the Australian Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This investment thesis has served as a model for how to reframe how investors see value in a region.  

 

Episode Segments  

  • 00:34 - Intro 
  • 03:40 - What is an investment thesis? 
  • 04:27 - How does an investment thesis work? 
  • 09:01 – What does it mean to be a gender lens investor? 
  • 11:42 – What is the Pacific Rise Program?  
  • 18:47 – How do we invest in the informal sector? 
  • 22:55 – How can analyzing gender patterns inform diversification? 

  

Relevant Links  

In this episode, Joy has a conversation with a colleague, Pablo Freund, who spent several months looking in depth at economic sanctions and investments tied to the realities in Afghanistan at the end of 2021, into the early part of 2022. Human rights were challenged by the shift in power that happened in August of 2021, as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan again. How can we bring a financial imagination to the work of looking at economic sanctions, one of the most complicated parts of our economic system? How can understanding how to use sanctions as a tool to create peace or end conflict to navigate a very complicated terrain. Where is there space for a financial imagination amidst a humanitarian crisis? 

 

Episode Segments   

  • 00:34 - Intro 
  • 02:20 - What is the point of a sanction and what does it do? 
  • 08:26 - How the US is co-opting the struggle for women’s rights as a justification for the use of sanctions. 
  • 15:37 - How do we balance the power dynamics in a feminist foreign policy? 
  • 22:49 - What’s the tie between the informal economy and taxation? What are the parallels?  

  

Relevant Links 

In this episode, we’re going to look at some of the power dynamics in field building organizations. Think of the sociology, the medical profession or gender lens investing as fields. There are three ways to think about fields: a field of activities, a field of ideas and a field of people and organizations.  The first segment looks at the context around being a field building organization in which it is ridiculously difficult to fundraise because you're not the ones doing, you're the ones connecting. So how do you raise money? The second segment looks at a very important practice in field building, naming. We'll look at a particular case study in Criterion’s history around medical debt and think about the power of names. How do we decide what to call things? As we change how we understand them, how do we rename them? The third segment looks at teaching and how so many of us who are building fields are in a position where we are teachers. We need permission to teach, though. We often confuse the act of teaching with influence. We go out and when we influence people to take up activities like gender lens investing, we ask that people come to training where we're not actually teaching because nobody wants to learn yet. It is expensive to spend time in a teaching mode when folks are not yet ready to learn.  

 

Episode Segments  

  • 00:34 - Intro 
  • 03:53 - Even pioneers have to check their power 
  • 13:46 - Celebrating naming, renaming, and the discoveries that come with it  
  • 20:25 - Asking permission to teach  

  

Relevant Links  

Show Notes: 

In this episode, Joy weaves together three segments around one core idea, which is “how do we design investment vehicles that work for the context in which they're investing”. In the first segment, we’ll look at a slogan that Criterion has been playing with for a while — “fix the capital, not the company”. This segment expands on the idea that the capital should be designed to meet the needs of the companies rather than fixing the companies to meet the needs of the capital. This leads to the second segment which is focused on normal growth businesses and why we struggle to have enough investment vehicles that meet their needs. In general, women tend to build and grow normal growth businesses, so we’ll analyze the gender dynamics to why we are prioritizing high growth businesses. Finally, in the third segment, we look at how we solve for the ecosystem, not the enterprise. As an example, we’ll discuss the menstrual health market in the Pacific Islands. How can we invest to address the problems in the market that are shared by many enterprises? We’ll discuss how we could invest in an ecosystem – in shifting the patterns and power dynamics in a particular market — in such a way that the enterprises are more likely to flourish.

Episode Segments  

  • 00:35 - Intro 
  • 04:04 - Why we need to fix the capital not the company 
  • 10:11 - Normal growth businesses matter too  
  • 13:50 - Fixing the entire ecosystem not just a single enterprise 

Relevant Links 



We invite you to join us on a journey—an audio journey, to explore and expand how to use finance and investments as tools for transformative and equitable change in the world. Hosted by Criterion Institute’s founder Joy Anderson, episodes will include a variety of audio segments that can take many forms. Often these segments may comprise conversations with friends and co-workers or interviews with changemakers. At other times Joy may walk listeners through a framework or help us reframe a problem or narrative. And from time to time, they may even take the form of a famous Joy Anderson rant … our favorite!

As you tune in, you’ll often hear Joy discussing power dynamics and structural inequities at the intersection of gender, sexual orientation, race, faith, age, and many others. Conversations will also span the gamut of finance whether it’s impact investing, sustainable public equities, or municipal debt. She and her guests might dive into an infrastructure project or dip their toes into sovereign bonds.

If that sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry. As Joy likes to say, systems of finance and investments are complex, often intentionally to exclude outsiders. That’s why Joy will use this podcast to break the systems of finance into their component parts and make them more easily understood, really get underneath the processes, structures, and analysis, so that we can put them back together in new ways to create more equitable outcomes.

Consider yourself invited to the Criterion Institute Podcast.

Criterion Institute, 501(c)(3) 81 Church Hill Rd · Haddam, CT 06438 860-345-3520 (main) · info@criterioninstitute.org ©2022, all rights reserved.

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