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The new generations are more afraid of the traditional financial markets and willing to bring purpose to their investments.

Impact investing: money with purpose

Once upon a time, investing was considered a sport for the wealthy. While in many countries it is still meant for the rich to get richer, most of the Western World have now opened to new innovative investment options which don’t even require a bank account, crowdfunding, growth ventures and microloan agencies being some of the best known.

Research shows that new generations are prone to saving their money, but afraid to invest in the traditional financial market. Many are considered too conservative, traumatized as they still are by the repercussions of the financial crisis. But there is something else that differentiates Millennials from the former generations.

And it is called Purpose.

A recent study published by Deloitte shows that 76% of Millennials support businesses that have a positive social impact. Another research points out that this generation considers investment as a statement of values and a tool for change. Last but not least, Millennials believe there is no tradeoff between impact and financial return. Together, these ideas form the core of Impact Investing, a concept which combines philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and profit-only traditional investment.

Businesses are aware of the trend and want to attract more investors by developing social and environmental actions and programs. It’s a matter of survival, as corporate social responsibility is not only about having a good image, but also about attracting clients who want to consume consciously. In doing so, ‘good companies’ build solid and sustainable profits and… they bring the attention of demanding, purposeful investors of all sizes. Following the trend, banks like Credit Suisse and JP Morgan are creating funds based on impact investing, and even Stock Exchanges are giving more space to these investments, as evidenced in the UK with the Social Stock Exchange (SSE).

Impact investing is also about prevention, as businesses which act responsibly have fewer problems with environmental and work lawsuits, keep their employees more motivated and productive, and thus generate better results. By polluting less, they minimize potential problems with the authorities and prevent corruption, as bribes can cost dearly.

Investors the world around are concerned with the economic, as well as the social and environmental impacts of their decisions. More and more, they want to walk the talk. Are you ready to consider to do the same?

Horyou, the social network for social good, is an advocate for Impact Investing. By launching Spotlight and, more recently, Horyou Token, Horyou is also investing in social impact alternatives for good. Join us and be the change, be Horyou!

 

Horyou is proud to support the global efforts to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages (SDG3). As part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, we invite Dr. Alexey Kulikov from the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Noncommunicable Diseases, based at the World Health Organization, as a guest writer.
Growing ageing populations have resulted in a 30%
increase in the global prevalence of mental health disorders since 1990
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health disorders account for 30% of the non-fatal disease burden and 10% of the overall disease burden, worldwide. Mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses, dementia, and developmental disorders, including autism (1).
Growing ageing populations have resulted in a 30% increase in the global prevalence of mental health disorders since 1990 (2). The heavy burden of mental disorders and small proportion of national budgets earmarked for mental health (less than US$2 per person per year in low and middle-income countries) has resulted in a substantial gap between the need and availability of mental health disorders and treatments (1). Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases go undetected and untreated due to the lack of mental health care available in many countries. Mental health is an integral part of an individual’s capacity to lead a fulfilling and productive life, and persons with untreated mental disorders experience an average of 10-20 years reduction in life expectancy (3).
The high burden of mental disorders is not just of public health concern but has growing economic implications, too. Common mental disorders alone cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion per year, resulting in increased health and welfare expenditures as well as reduced economic productivity (4). Persons with mental health conditions are more likely to exit the labor force, miss days of work or perform at a reduced capacity while at work.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Ministry of Health of Jamaica and RTI International developed a pilot Mental Health Investment Case in Jamaica in 2018. The investment case modeled clinical interventions selected by Jamaica’s Ministry of Health to scale up treatment of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and psychoses disorders. The selected scale-up of interventions was projected to cost approximately 16 billion JMD in the next 15 years but also to lead to large economic productivity and social benefit gains valued at approximately 60 billion JMD over the same period (5). The take-away point from this study in Jamaica is that the benefits of mental health treatment significantly outweighed the costs by 375%.
The need to address social and economic challenges posed by mental disorders was highlighted during the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in 2018 (6). Together, UNDP along with WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and the WHO Secretariat for the United Nations Interagency Task Force for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (UNIATF) is developing the methodology for mental health investment cases to enable national governments to develop national mental health investment cases to strengthen their responses to mental health disorders and promote health and well-being.
Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages is the Sustainable Development Goal #3
Capitalizing on UNIATF’s experience in development of national NCD investment cases, mental health investment cases will assist national governments in estimating the “hidden” cost of mental disorders resulting from labor force reductions, presenteeism and absenteeism. Based on empirical, nationally owned data and WHO and UNDP tools, analyses from mental health investment cases will identify the leading behavioral, social and environmental risk factors in a country and propose concrete national policies and relevant clinical interventions to combat mental health disorders. From these analyses, an estimation of the return on investments (ROIs) of scaled-up action for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders will be calculated. These ROIs will compare the monetary value of health impacts and economic outcomes of scaled-up interventions with the cost of these interventions. As in the case of NCD Investment Cases, ROIs will allow ministries of health to make compelling economic arguments for taking multi-sectoral and holistic action to promote, protect and restore mental health.
By Alexey Kulikov, Jenna Patterson, Mark Humphrey Van Ommeren,Dudley Tarlton and Nicholas Banatvala 
1. World Health Organization, 2014. Mental health atlas. Available at https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/178879/9789241565011_eng.pdf
2. World Health Organization, 2019. Investing in Mental Health for Sustainable Development. Available athttps://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/324949/WHO-UHC-CD-NCD-19.99-eng.pdf
3. Firth, J. et al., 2019. A blueprint for protecting physical health in people with mental illness.. Lancet Psychiatry.
4. Chisholm, D. et al., 2016. Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: a global return on investment analysis. Lancet Psychiatry.
5. Scaling up treatment for depression, anxiety and psychosis in Jamaica: A return on investment analysis, 2018. RTI International.
6. United Nations General Assembly resolution 73/2. Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. A/RES/73/2 (10 October 2018) from undocs.org/en/A/RES/73/2

One of the most vibrant financial hubs in Southeast Asia, Singapore has discovered the potential of Impact Investing

The host city of SIGEF 2018 emerges as one of the most promising regions for social entrepreneurship in Asia

Doing good while doing well’ is a new motto for bankers and investors who believe that profit and purpose can go together. While impact investing is a relatively new jargon for financial people, there is no novelty in the fact that it can positively affect businesses. The challenge often is to calculate the impact, as the human factor is hard to measure and classify.

A few decades ago, studies started to show that happy employees are more productive, or that companies which invest in social or environmental projects in their communities have less legal and reputational problems. The sustainability concept has developed greatly since then. Impact investing was the step onward, as foundations and investors started to realize that all these factors combined – happy employees, respected communities and safe environment – could generate wealth for all.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore emerged as a hub for many of these impact investors, including the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) and Impact Investing Exchange (IIX Asia). A growing number of international impact investing funds have set their offices in Singapore, resulting in more than 300 social enterprises.

Like many of the successful impact investing initiatives worldwide, the island’s government has played a key role in this process, often as one of the intermediate investors and thus helped to foster a welcoming environment for new ones. A recent survey published by Standard Chartered Private Bank showed that 4 in 5 ultra-rich Singaporeans are currently engaged in sustainable investing. According to the report titled Asia Sustainable Investing Review 2018, investors in Singapore have the strongest understanding of sustainable investing in Asia, and about 64% of them are highly motivated to do good and earn a profit at the same time. 

Part of the optimistic scenario is due to the fact that young generations, more keen to work and invest with purpose, are starting to play an important role in Southeast Asian financial markets. Another factor is the realization that there’s need to solve social and economic problems in Asia, which requires high-scalable, replicable and potentially profitable solutions. Even giant commercial multinationals like Google have started to develop their own products and services, focusing on technology to improve lives.

The host city of SIGEF 2018 is growing as an innovative impact investment hub and emerges as one of the most promising regions for social entrepreneurship in Asia. Next September, experts and investors will discuss the subject with a qualified audience during SIGEF 2018 by Horyou.

Venture capital is looking more into your company’s sustainability performance

Impact investing: money with purpose

Sustainability in general, and The UN Sustainable Development Goals in particular, make for good business. And some investors have recognized that for quite some time – since 2004, to be precise. When the UN started conversations with a number of global stock exchange operators, corporate social responsibility hit the radars of listed corporations. In 2012, Nasdaq (USA), B3 (Brazil), Johannesburg Stock Exchange (South Africa), Borsa Istanbul (Turkey) and The Egyptian Exchange made a public commitment to advance sustainability in their markets. It was the first step in the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative (SSE), a UN-led global movement which now counts more than 80 members from all continents.

In the past few years, the SDGs have boosted the discussion on corporate sustainability and the role of companies in building a better business culture with a stronger positive impact on society. More importantly, the SDGs were eventually adopted by many companies to be an integral part of their sustainability plans as a major performance target. Since then, a number of studies have related SDGs to business performance, proving that gender equality, investments on education and fair wages lead to a more competitive society and, thus, to more sustainable businesses.

More recently, venture capitalists have been looking more closely into sustainability practices before deciding which companies to invest in. With the help of UN agencies, Social venture funds and social impact-driven investors networks were set up to prompt companies into improving their CSR practices while pursuing their profit-making operations. The recently launched UNDP SDG Impact program is a good example of how to channel private investment and capital to meet the SDGs, via providing funders with roadmaps and data on the best investment plans.

Initiatives like HoryouToken are also a worthwhile alternative for all investors to consider, from big corporations to private investors, owing to its Blockchain technology which provides transparency and traceability with proof of impact, resonating with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainability is now. It’s profitable, it can help change the world and build better times for all.

Horyou has always aimed to bring the best to its community. As a member of the Horyou team, I’m happy to highlight some of the most important facts, actions and events that have marked 2018:

Time to celebrate!

– The launch of HoryouToken, the Token for Inclusion and Sustainability, built on the concept of Blockchain with a Purpose. It’s a major step in Horyou’s history, considering that Blockchain is an innovative, groundbreaking technology that has the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of people worldwide. HoryouToken is now listed at LAToken and CoinTiger. Click here for more information and see our interview to Cointelegraph.

The 5th edition of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, which took place in Singapore, the innovation oriented metropolis in Southeast Asia. This year’s programme was one of the most technology-driven editions of SIGEF, addressing such issues as MedTech, Fintech and Blockchain, Smart Cities and Future Technology, Impact Investing, Future Energy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and setting a trend for the next SIGEFs to come. See the SIGEF at a glance video on our YouTube channel.

SIGEF 2018 took place in Singapore

– Horyou’s growing global presence through networking events, international conferences and its continuously expanding community comprised of organizations, personalities and change makers! Horyou’s founder and CEO, Yonathan Parienti, started the year speaking about Sustainable Financing Alternatives at WSIS Forum 2018, and ended it with an interview on the Blockchain Media as a personality on the Blockchain Industry.

Yonathan Parienti speaks at WSIS Forum

– The strengthening of Horyou partnerships with new ones we welcomed throughout the year!

What’s to come?

The Horyou Team is excited and busy working on new projects for 2019! We are proud to announce:

– A Disruptive Innovation Media project that will bring news about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Technology and Science, Innovative Entrepreneurship and more themes that are changing the world as we know it.

– SIGEF 2019, to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Asia will be welcoming Horyou with open arms and helping our community to become even more global.

– Horyou Team will be present in Davos during the World Economic Forum, conducting meetings with international friends and future partners. If you go there, feel free to reach out!

HoryouToken

– More partnerships, events and networking projects supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, economic inclusion and social entrepreneurship all around the world.

Stay tuned to our blog, our social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube) and Horyou, the social network for social good. And a Happy New Year to all of you, members, partners and friends!

In an era of disruptive change, innovation and creativity are pivotal in the process of working together to find the right solutions to the challenges that it inevitably triggers.

Panel about the Sustainable Development Goals (SIGEF 2018 – Singapore)

The world is changing. While the realm of technology and information is expanding, many of us feel we are entering a new era that yet needs to be decrypted. I, myself, feel that my way of doing journalism is nothing short of obsolete, while many newsrooms nowadays rely on bots and digital engines to do part of the news-hunting that human beings would still be doing a not so long while ago. But journalists are not the only ones concerned. In Bangladesh, many workers are being deemed redundant in the apparel industry as machines are now performing their manual tasks. Likewise in Switzerland where pharmaceutical companies are firing at arm’s length due to the disruptive competition from MedTech startups. Which leaves me wondering if there really are ways to prevent the rise of unemployment, social unrest and poverty that these trends imply?

Yes, there are; and I am confident about that. The above examples are all picked off the media which, as we know, tend to be quite fussy about automation and robotics; but there is always a brighter side to things. Like, instead of the ‘robots are stealing human jobs’ speech, why not develop a ‘technology is helping us to work and live better’ discourse? From small villages in Africa to high-tech compounds in Europe, social innovation is a global reality, and it is building in us more hope into finding solutions for a far better quality of life than ever.

Consider SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum organized by Horyou; its 5th edition took place in Singapore, last September. Now a leading global event, SIGEF 2018 showcased examples of how human interactions with technology are liable to generate change for good. It also highlighted future energy solutions, smart cities accomplishments, and medical technology advances, while analyzing positive disruptive effects of Blockchain, and exploring promising areas of impact investing, in resonance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals that are set to shape better times to come.

The event notably introduced the realizations of noteworthy innovators such as Kavita Sinha, from Silver Spring Networks, who founded an NGO which uses brain implants to facilitate the inclusion of children with hearing disabilities, or Thuc Vu, co-founder and CEO of OhmniLabs’, who designed and set up an open innovation platform which calls on collaborations to make robotics more accessible.

In the words of Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good, organizer of SIGEF, and initiator of HoryouToken, a cryptocurrency based on “Blockchain with a purpose”, SIGEF is a platform for the exchange of ideas and hope, where social innovation thrives to bring “real value for society while supporting constructive initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and inclusion.” Initiatives like these can bring us together as a global society to share solutions and fast-forward thinking.

Events like SIGEF are crucial to show how social innovation can be initiated by everyone and, in most cases, it is sustainable and profitable. What we have learned after 5 years is that social innovation is a tool against ignorance and intolerance and to help open bridges to a healthier, smarter, and more inclusive society.

Be the change, be Horyou.

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