About the Pillar

Shift Narratives in Innovative Finance

There is a growing sense that the simplicity of approaches commonly used in innovative finance are not adequate to create truly transformational social change. More actors are calling for intersectional approaches to investment that bring an anti-racist, anti-colonialist, and anti-ableist lens to financial design and decision-making. Criterion is working to shift the narratives that influence innovative finance to better address how power, privilege, and bias impact the field.

The Goal: Actors working in innovative finance actively address power, privilege and bias through investment process, structures,  and analysis in order to advance gender equality and social justice.

The narratives currently dominating innovative finance and related fields are limiting. Whether it’s the idea within gender lens investing that channeling capital to corporations with women in the C-suite will lead to gender equality, or the common refrain among faith-based investors

that personal morality as a guide can wholly address systemic inequities, the narratives are leading us off course.  We want investors who see themselves as committed investing with a gender lens expand their thinking to include an intersectional, non-binary understanding and analysis of gender in their investment strategies. This is complex. But that complexity is the reality of the world, whether or not the analysis captures it. We know more is possible. Through research, case studies, and thought leadership, Criterion amplifies stories of the remarkable leaders and organizations that are challenging the status quo and making space within finance for the complex power dynamics that shape human life. We aspire to see investors inspired and equipped to intentionally disrupt harmful power dynamics  in their investments.  

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.

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