Jan 20 2019

Using the Ten Forms of Capital for Impact

By Sean Esbjorn-Hargens

We need to transform CAPITAL so that we can collaborate effectively in COMMUNITY to more powerfully address CLIMATE CHANGE. This is the focus of TRANSFORM: transforming these three key areas in a deep and integrated way. Additionally, there is a potent urgency on us to go beyond sustainability and current approaches to measuring impact. We need a bolder and more integrated approach that can transform us through the very act of measuring impact.

We at MetaIntegral are excited to join the TRANSFORM 2019 team in helping them to create the event architecture and multi-capital mapping process that participants can use to more deeply understand the power of a multi-capital approach to impact assessment. This process will help participants to make the various kinds of capital at play visible in the pipelines and portfolios of the funds and companies involved with the multiple case study labs at the event. 

Below is an overview of this approach so you can begin to get a sense of the power and eloquence of this

Four Types of IMPACT

Over the last five years, MetaIntegral has developed a unique approach to integrated impact assessment and reporting. Our MetaImpact approach measures four types of transformation that occur in the context of social impact investing, sustainability projects, and regenerative initiatives:

  • DEEP IMPACT: transforming the hearts and minds of the people involved; 
  • CLEAR IMPACT: transforming the behaviors of the individuals involved; 
  • HIGH IMPACT: transforming the various natural and social systems involved with the effort; and
  • WIDE IMPACT: transforming the relationships among members of the communities involved. 

Different projects tend to focus on, have, or measure just one or two of these four types of impact.  We work with change leaders to have more of all four types of impact.  This allows them to tell more powerful stories about the kinds of impact they are having.

From Single Value Monocapitalism to Blended Value Multicapitalism

We measure each of these four types of impacts through a combination of different types of capital (e.g., Deep Impact is measured through knowledge capital, psychological capital, and spiritual capital).

In total, we have identified ten distinct types of capital that can be measured through both qualitative and quantitative ways. Recognizing multiple capitals allows us to move away from the single value monocapitalism (i.e., financial capital) that defines so much of “business as usual.” 

An exclusive focus on financial capital and profit creation for shareholders all too easily leads to an externalization and harmful liquidation of many if not all the other types of capitals. Over the last 15 years, the emergence of social impact has lead an economic revolution and expanded the notion of capital and investing to include additional types of value (e.g., social, natural, and health capitals).

However, these expanded approaches still measure impact primarily through behavioral and systemic metrics. This often leaves out or minimizes the rich realm of powerful metrics that include meaning, experience, community coherence, cultural resilience etc. So in spite of the important changes that have occurred in social impacting over the last two decades there is still room to go farther. 

Now, we need to be bolder, think bigger, and be audacious – by taking things to the next level and creating blended value across all ten distinct types of capital using multiple types of established and new metrics to transform hearts and minds, relationship, behaviors, and systems. 

This is what we are going to provide for participants at TRANSFORM 2019.

The MetaImpact Framework

MetaIntegral’s unique approach to transforming capital can be seen in its MetaImpact Framework. In this framework there are four types of impact: Deep, Clear, High, and Wide.

These types of impact are measured through forms of integral data (i.e., warm and cold data combined together). This integral data is found across ten widely recognized types of capital: Health, Human, Manufactured, Financial, Natural, Cultural, Social, Knowledge, Psychological, and Spiritual. Together the measured impact across these ten capitals generate four distinct bottom lines: People, Profit, Planet, and Purpose.

In summary, the MetaImpact Framework provides a powerful approach to measuring four types of impact that integrates 10 kinds of capital across four distinct bottom lines!TRANSFORM 2019 META ARCHITECTURE

At the TRANSFORM 2019 event we are transforming capital by organizing the ten capitals into two major groups: 

Financial capitals(i.e., five forms of capital that are more directly connected to financial profit and what we can see) and Meaning capitals(i.e., five forms of capital that are more directly connected to an individual and collective sense of purpose and what we feel or experience). 

This transformation of capital into these 10 types of value allows us to then transform communities by empowering them to track, measure, and make visible multiple value flows and exchanges across all ten types of capital. This enables new kinds of experiences, behaviors, systems, and relationships to emerge and be transformed while serving a greater whole .

Part of that greater whole is our ability to more powerfully address climate change by leveraging the value of all the types of capital. Climate change cuts across all the capitals, which is why we need a multi-capital approach to address it. It has become painfully obvious that climate change is a crisis of hearts and minds and coherent communities as it is about science, nature, and politics.  

Join us at TRANSFORM 2019 to be part of this innovative and exciting exploration of transforming CAPITAL, COMMUNITY, and CLIMATE together through the integration of multiple forms of capital.

To learn more about MetaIntegral and its MetaImpact Framework visit www.metaintegral.com.