Sir Ronald Cohen

How Impact Investing Became a 40 Trillion Dollar Industry | Sir Ronald Cohen on Impact Theory

By April 13, 2021 Featured

The word ‘capitalism’ seems to make some people happy, while making others cringe. The U.S. started as a capitalist society and has evolved into a mix of capitalism and socialism. As society and technology evolves, how should our economic system evolve in response? In this episode, Sir Ronald Cohen, “the father of British venture capital” speaks with Tom about the importance of social impact and what impact investing is evolving into and how it can change the social world for the better. Creating systems that support entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and social responsibility of big companies is just the tip of a massive iceberg. Listen in to see how this all ties into our natural desire to evolve and strive for more than just money.


Order Sir Ronald Cohen’s new book, Impact (all proceeds donated to impact charities):



Impact Investing | Sir Ronald explains what’s reshaping a new economic system [1:57]

Coming to Britain | Sir Ronald reveals how he moved from Egypt and ended in Britain [4:48]

Venture Capital | An overview of how venture capitalism came to be and what it is [7:23]

Social Impact | Getting an accurate view of a company’s impact not just profits [9:41]

Deciding | Sir Ronald gives tips on what to look for evaluating a company’s impact [12:47]

Redistributed Wealth | Why redistributed wealth is needed, but it’s not enough [15:30]

Poverty Problem | Sir Ronald discusses what’s been missing from solution [18:20]

1800 Companies | The $3 trillion environmental damage being measured [21:28]

Capitalism | Sir Ronald breaks down capitalism driven by profit and social impact [28:05]

Communism | Setbacks of communism and how increased prosperity redistributed is better  [32:30]

Turning Point | Recognizing social problems and having technology to measure impact [34:59]

Striving | Sir Ronald introduces human nature to strive for money & quality of life [42:14]

Re-Skill | Sir Ronald identifies why opportunities for new skills is part of the system [45:12]



“Because making money at the expense of the environment, or poor people isn’t the way to do business. And it doesn’t help solve the social and environmental issues we face.” [10:45]


“…we can’t let capitalism be driven by profit only. We must have markets trying to achieve profit, and something good for society or the environment. Otherwise, capitalism creates problems.” [28:31]


“I think most company leaders would rather do good and do well, than create problems and make money. But it’s the power of consumers and employees and investors together that are going to get them to change their behavior.” [30:40]


“…if you plan everything for people, you kill innovation, and entrepreneurship, with the ability to think out of the box, [and] the freedom to try to execute it.” [33:08]


“Human nature is about striving, striving for survival, striving for success, it’s all about striving, and our system encourages and enables the striving.” [42:28]


“a system like capitalism, which is dynamic, and resilient, and reactive, if it is channeled in the same way, it will be better than a system where the government tries to plan everything from above.” [50:40]



The Harvard Business School Impact-Weighted Account Study (







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