After the 2008 financial crisis, the world has begun to question the purpose and the power of capital markets. Do generating financial returns and creating positive impact necessarily have to be mutually exclusive? Can the billions of dollars in the world bond and equity markets be used to solve development challenges like poverty and pollution? Can we finally imagine a reality in which a business is measured not just by the strength of its balance sheet but also by its ability to improve the world around it?

As the world seeks to redefine the dominant narrative and democratize capital markets - the inevitable response is the rise of Social Stock Exchanges (SSE). SSEs have the potential to introduce a new spectrum of investors to the development landscape by connecting them with high-impact investment opportunities that ALSO generate modest financial returns - a feat that is no doubt challenging but no longer considered impossible either!

In my opinion, SSEs have tremendous ability to mobilize a systemic change in the way the world uses capital markets. This is primarily because they have the potential to allow everyday people to be conscious of what their money can be used to create. The Singapore based SSE, Impact Exchange, is the first exchange that hopes to bring retail investors into the development equation. By giving ordinary folk like you and me the chance to invest in a better future, SSEs allow us to finally begin to imagine a world which uses finance for good!