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Our Pillars

What We Do

The five pillars of our 10-year strategic plan represent the systems change we seek to effect in the world.

As an activist think tank, our day-to-day work takes many forms. Whether via interdisciplinary research, trainings for investors and social change organizations on how to engage finance for change, or the design of strategies and tools that enable actors to incorporate power analysis into existing processes, all our work ultimately furthers one or more of our pillars.

About Us

Our Pillars

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Areas of Activity
Shift Narratives in Innovative Finance<
Value the Future of Equality <
Invite Financial Imagination<
Finance the Reduction of Gender-based Violence<
Unleash the Power of Policy<

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Criterion’s work is about expanding what investors, governments, and civil society organizations see as possible for using finance to create transformative social change. Explore our resources based on the specific types of audiences they were intended to support.

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Alice Through the Gender Investing Lens

April 7, 2016

This poem was inspired by a wonderful quote used by both Martin Luther King Jr., and President Barack Obama in their speeches: “the arc of the moral universe — of history — is long but it bends toward justice…”

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Our History: Gender Lens Investing

From the beginning, Criterion has played a significant role in establishing the field of gender lens investing. We began with (re)Value Gender, which built key research methodology that bridges gender expertise and finance expertise and creates a space for leaders to practice, build insight, and produce evidence. We looked for examples of bias in investments, where gender patterns were undervalued and, as a result, risks and opportunities missed.

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State of the Field

July 28, 2016

The State of the Field of Gender Lens Investing report was published in October 2015. This groundbreaking piece of research culminated from Criterion’s many years of field building and relationship cultivation through sixteen innovative Convergence gatherings.

Pillars of Change
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Value the future of equality
Pillars of Change
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Invite Financial Imagination
Pillars of Change
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Shift Narratives in innovative finance
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Teaching
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Field-Building
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Gender Lens Investing

February 12, 2024

The "Gender Lens Investing" champions a holistic approach towards integrating gender equality into financial systems, underpinning the belief that finance can and should be a force for social good.

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6 Areas of Activity

January 30, 2024

The purpose of Criterion Institute is to expand who sees themselves as able to use finance as a tool for social change. At the core, we are changing “how” social change happens. As a result, over the past 20 years, Criterion has had a significant focus on our “how.”

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Web3 Solutions for Social Change

January 8, 2024

In recent years, a variety of financial innovations enabled by Web3 and blockchain technology have emerged as transformative forces, aiming to challenge the status quo and address the systemic inequities ingrained in traditional financial systems.

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Interested in getting involved with Criterion Institute?

Our work depends on an ever-expanding community of team members, advisors, donors, and other partners who help us demonstrate our theory of change and ultimately achieve our mission. Learn more about how you can become more engaged in our work.

Invitations to Engage