In 2013, intern Scott Elias reflected on 4 different reframes discussed at Convergence XII and considered the power of each reframe to bring about social change. His reflection and the reframes where documented in Reframes as a Tool in a Social Movement, which you can download here. His introduction is below.

Reframes as a Tool in a Social Movement: Lessons from Convergence 

by Scott Elias

The Importance of Reframes

Addressing the key issues of our time—poverty, environmental threats, inequality, conflict, disease—requires that we not only work within existing markets to create change, but also approach social change by intentionally changing markets.  We constructed these systems, we made up the rules of finance, markets and systems, and that means we can change them. But to do so we need to reframe the very way that we view the systems and markets around us. We use reframes as part of a broader movement that defies the conventional rules of the game. And by bending the traditional rules, we can shift the system.

It is vital today that we share an imagination that we can create a different market system, and reframing how we view the market system allows us to imagine new points of convergence that can render alternatives. The importance of reframes as a tool in a larger movement lies in the ability to make visible the underlying connections in a world already connected. It lies in an inclusive and collaborative approach that expands perspectives and evolves thought, connecting the expected and unexpected. And, in doing so, innovative ideas, projects, and relationships are able to emerge and move forward.

Reframes change how financial markets construct value. They change how men and women see their own power as investors. And, by reframing the rules of investment and finance we can actually shift the rules and power dynamics of financial markets. The exponential returns of such shifts can reduce the insidious and entrenched gender inequity that diminishes the potential of the world’s women and girls and constrains the potential of our economies and our communities.

What would be possible if investment decisions incorporated a gender lens? What new opportunities would be imagined if gender were positively factored into how we move capital? Can we create a world in which analyzing gender when making an investment decision is as normative as assessing political stability or considering competition in an industry?

Whether our reframe is about what constitutes the loaded word gender, gender as an opportunity (not a screen) in finance, finance as an opportunity to transform (gendered) social systems, or the power of impact investing with an intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return, reframes are about fundamental systems change.

Read the white paper: Reframes as a Tool in a Social Movement

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