Our focus areas

Our programme has three main focus areas, these are: Movement Building, supporting a fair transition to a 4d economy, and transforming financial systems.

Movement Building: supporting and building a strong and diverse movement for new economic thinking

The UK has a creative, imaginative and growing movement of organisations who are working to develop new economic ideas and models and to push for the changes we need to create a better economic system. Demos Helsinki who recently mapped out this movement in Europe, described the UK as “a primary hotspot of new economic thinking”.

Over the past 10 years Friends Provident Foundation has helped to fund this eco-system of organisations and we want to continue to support it to diversify and mature.

We want to work with organisations who are challenging the neo-liberal story of how an economy can and should work. Those who are working to envision and create a new economic system, that works to support our goals of a fair and sustainable economy.

But we are also aware that this movement as currently defined doesn’t sufficiently recognise the wealth of work, knowledge and experience on different ways of organising economically from communities who are marginalised in our economy (and society). So we are particularly keen to support new economic thinking and action led by marginalised groups to work towards a new economy movement where a diverse range of voices and perspectives are recognised and centred.

What this might look like     

  • Core funding (grants) for organisations whose mission is to push for or create significant changes in the way in which the UK economy functions
  • Project funding (grants) for organisations who support the infrastructure of the new economy movement – e.g. providing training, support or enabling collaboration
  • Social investments in organisations and projects that are part of the movement for a new economy, e.g. via pioneering new business models and economic participation
  • Collaborative work with other foundations to increase and promote thinking about and funding for new economic models and to challenge the ways in which Foundations’ philanthropy works
  • Working with our grantholders and investees to create a commitment to inclusion, peer support and movement building that challenge and disrupt the way in which the UK economy works
  • Using our power to convene and communicate what we are passionate about, our projects, and amplify and share learning from our grantholders and investees work.

Supporting a fair transition to a 4d economy

This would involve projects and programmes that support a fair transition to a future economy. By this we mean that the necessary changes to the economy do not happen at the expense of, and if possible actively benefit, marginalised geographies, groups or communities.

The shift to a 4D economy will require a range of transitions -including as a result of the drive to decarbonise, demographic change or technological shifts. This strand of our work will support work that seeks to adapt to these shifts mindfully, in a way that supports the fair creation of a 4D economy.

What this might look like

  • We will prioritise projects from organisations or coalitions of groups that have not previously engaged in economic debate or policy development
  • Using influence as a shareholder to engage with investee companies in our mainstream portfolio for a fair transition
  • Communications – Inform, campaign and advocate for the transition to the 4d economy, through learning from our grantholders and investees.

Transforming Financial Systems

Activity to change the way our financial systems operate and the changes that are required to achieve a 4D economy. Work in this area would be centred on:

  • Addressing issues relating to the functioning of capital markets
  • Changing corporate behaviour
  • Advocating for supportive policy and regulation.

What this might look like:

  • Using influence as an asset owner to engage asset managers and capital markets in support of systemic and behaviour change
  • Using influence as a shareholder to engage companies operating in the financial system for corporate behaviour change
  • Commissioned research grants to support our investment work in this area
  • Using our voice and amplifying the voice of others to change the way our financial system operates.