What We Do
Find out about our current activities and our vision for a more just economic system.
Building a 4D economy
Our economic system was built for a world that no longer exists. To address the climate emergency, the cost of living crisis and massive inequalities, drastic change is needed. This is our vision for a Diversified, Decarbonised, Democratised and Decentralised Economy.
Our focus areas
We want to foster a new kind of economic thinking in the UK.
A growing number of creative and imaginative organisations are pushing for the changes we need to create a better economic system. This movement has been burgeoning across Europe, and the UK has been named “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 that are challenging the neo-liberal story of how an economy can (and should) work; people who are actively shaping a new economic system that aligns with our vision of a fair and sustainable economy.
But we are also aware that this movement doesn’t yet give enough credit or space to people from marginalised communities, who have much to contribute. That’s why we’re particularly keen to support organisations led by people from marginalised groups and foster a movement that puts diverse voices at the centre.
What this might look like:
- Providing core funding (grants) to organisations driving significant changes in the way the UK economy operates.
- Offering project funding (grants) to support the infrastructure of the new economy movement, such as training and 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.
- Collaborating with other foundations to promote new economic models and challenge traditional philanthropy practices.
- Working with our grantholders and investees to promote inclusivity, peer support, and movement-building to disrupt the existing UK economy.
- Leveraging our influence to convene and communicate our passion, projects, and share insights from our grant recipients and investors.
Supporting a Fair Transition
Moving to a 4D economy will require many changes, but it’s of vital importance that these changes do not cause undue disruption; particularly to marginalised geographies, groups and communities.
The shift towards a 4D economy will involve various transitions, driven by factors such as decarbonisation, demographic changes, or technological shifts. Our intention is to support initiatives that adapt to these changes thoughtfully, with the goal of developing a 4D economy equitably.
What this might look like:
- Prioritising projects from grant-seekers who have not previously engaged in economic debate or policy development.
- Using our influence to push for a fair transition (for example, at companies in our mainstream portfolio).
- Harnessing our communications channels to inform, campaign and advocate for the transition to the 4d economy, through learning from our grantholders and investees.
Transforming Financial Systems
We need to change the way our financial systems operate in order to achieve a 4D economy. Friends Provident Foundation will promote these changes in the following three ways: challenging corporate behaviour, advocating for supportive policy and regulation, and addressing issues in the way capital markets function.
What this might look like:
- Exerting our influence as asset owners to encourage asset managers and capital markets to promote behavioural and systemic changes.
- Using our influence as a shareholder at financial companies to promote corporate behaviour change.
- Commissioning research to direct our ongoing practices and investment decisions.
- Using our voice and the voices of others to inspire the changes needed to achieve a 4D economy.
Our 2022-25 strategy has three key focus areas. In the coming years, we intend to:
- Foster a strong and diverse movement for new economic thinking and acting in the UK. Our activities will challenge the dominant ‘neo-liberal’ model which champions free markets, competition and de-regulation, but neglects our social and environmental needs.
- Support a fair transition to a decarbonised, democratised, diversified/decolonised and decentralised (4D) economy.
- Transform financial systems. Our activities will effect change within capital markets, financial system policy and regulation.
Our actions challenge society’s justice inequities (prejudice and discrimination that blight economic outcomes based on race, class and other protected characteristics).
We are responsible for challenging ourselves and our sector to do philanthropy better. That means pushing for greater accountability and transparency and embodying the changes we want to see in the funding sector.
We recognise that our wealth has an impact and it is down to us to determine what that impact is.
What you can do
Below are some of the ways you can support our mission. Whether you’re seeking funding, co-investment, or want to become one of our supporters, your involvement is valued and needed. Join the movement for a new economic system today.
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