Controlling the left: the impact edgenda

 by Paul Cudenec

  1. Suffocating artifice
  2. “The power attached to the money”
  3. Who’s getting paid?
  4. A network of global funders
  5. Rose Longhurst
  6. Isis Amlak
  7. Sophie Pritchard
  8. Connecting the dots
  9. The implications
  10. The future

1. Suffocating artifice

guydebordartCROP“There remains nothing, in culture or in nature, which has not been transformed, and polluted, according to the means and interests of modern industry”, wrote Guy Debord in his superb 1988 book Commentaires sur la société du spectacle.

He warned darkly of “provocation, infiltration, and various forms of elimination of authentic critique in favour of a false one which will have been created for this purpose”.

Today this manufactured astroturf “dissent” covers practically the whole political and cultural terrain, with only tiny green shoots of authenticity able to occasionally break through the plastic carpet of suffocating artifice.

It will not, perhaps, have come as much of a surprise to clued-up anti-capitalists and anarchists to learn that the Global Shapers movement set up by the World Economic Forum does not really represent the views of the the world’s youth but of big business networks pushing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Likewise, there is something predictable about the way the impact capitalism promoted by Tony Blair’s banker Ronald Cohen uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to lend a cloak of apparent virtue to its profiteering efforts.

Left-wingers will not have felt unduly perturbed to hear that Rob Hopkins of the Transition Towns movement, never noted for cutting-edge radicalism, has been receiving an annual stipend from shady social impact organisation Ashoka and blatantly promotes the Great Reset agenda.

Exinction Rebellion was always a bit on the fluffy side, cosying up to the police and pushing a “we’re all in it together” message, so it was not too much of a leap to accept that it is a creature manufactured by climate capitalists hoping to get rich from a fake-green “transition”.

gf PICA few feathers were no doubt ruffled by the revelation that Guerrilla Foundation, funders of Extinction Rebellion but also dozens of other “activist” groups, also belong to the world of impact capitalism.

But any anti-capitalists worth their salt know that there is a strict limit to this ideological contamination.

Once you move into the sphere of real full-on social justice activists and self-defined anarchists, the sort of people prepared to take direct action for revolutionary change, there is no way that they could be secretly funded by big business interests.

The idea that they could be connected in any way to impact capitalism, to Bill Gates, Ronald Cohen or the WEF’s Global Shapers could only be the invention of the most deluded of conspiracy theorists, couldn’t it?

Well…

banknotes

2. “The power attached to the money”

Searching back through old emails, I came across a message dating from October 3, 2013, which had been forwarded on a list for UK anarchists.

It read: “We’ve always said we wanted to reach groups that don’t normally hear about funding opportunities so whilst we use the normal fundraising websites etc we also rely on people who can help us spread the word on the ground. At some point someone mentioned to you that Edge Fund was open for applications – can you be that person for someone else please?

“If you know any groups that need funding for their work to bring about justice and equality, especially those who perhaps do not use the internet very much and may not hear about us otherwise, please let them know we might be able to support their work”.

It was signed Sophie Pritchard for Edge Fund.

Edge Fund 2013 email

So what is Edge Fund? Its website states: “Edge Fund is a grant-making body with a difference. We support efforts to achieve social, economic and environmental justice and to end imbalances in wealth and power – and give those we aim to help a say in where the money goes.

“Learn more about our unique model of funding which is not just about giving money away, but also the power attached to the money”.

A post from May 18 2015, now only available on web archives, says that Edge Fund supports groups “taking action for a just, equitable and sustainable world”.

“Equitable” and “sustainable” are both words that ring alarm bells for anyone who has delved into the world of impact capitalism and they made me want to look deeper into Edge Fund.

This task was not totally straightforward, as they have evidently been doing a bit of online housekeeping of late and a lot of pages no longer exist on their actual website.

This key page of links, for instance, entitled ‘What We Fund’, was last seen on November 25 2020, a few days after Winter Oak published an investigation into fellow activist-funders Guerrilla Foundation.

what we fund page missing

what we fund archived

But visitors to their site can still read about their Funding Values.

Here they say they “create opportunities for people and groups to build alliances with each other, and particularly those they might not normally cross paths with, and to share their learning and experiences”.

This immediately reminded me of Guerrilla Foundation’s role of facilitating “unlikely collaborations” between activists and the world of high finance, even paying the former to attend a capitalist Impact Hub “Unlikely Allies” event.

Edge Fund says it is committed to “removing as many barriers to funding as possible”, such as “activists being regarded as ‘too radical’” because they are “looking for real and lasting radical change”.

It explains: “We are an alternative fund for groups who find that traditional sources of funding are closed to them due to their radical approach… Edge Fund is a pioneering, innovative project. We are willing to take risks in our structures and processes as well as in our funding decisions. We aim to be fluid and dynamic”.

Edge Fund poster

3. Who’s getting paid?

Recent versions of Edge Fund’s ‘Previous Grants’ seem to be have been redacted, so I have supplemented current information with an archived version from May 2020 to get a fuller picture of where their money is going.

There are a couple of big names in there, including Black Lives Matter UK, which was awarded £3,000 by Edge Fund in July 2017.

Says the entry: “In Britain, there is a tendency to see racism as something that happens on the other side of the Atlantic. Through their work, they aim to challenge that view, and open up conversations about racism in Britain today. They strive to challenge the structural racism reproduced by the British state through community organising, education and peaceful direct action”.

Another big hitter is Rising Up, the network behind Extinction Rebellion, which received £1,500.

We learn: “Rising Up are focused on system change through non-violent uprising (knowing that is ridiculously ambitious!). They deliberately don’t identify with a particular political orientation (e.g. anarchist or socialist) because they believe in creating the conditions for genuine dialogue / participation rather than imposing pre-determined models”.

Rather worryingly, given my concerns about the influence of impact capitalism, one of Edge Fund’s grantees is called Positive Impact Community (“campaigning for justices for young people, predominantly those who are East african, and refugees who are facing deportation”).

ubeleQuite a lot of the groups that have received Edge Fund money since 2012 are involved in issues around race or refugees, such as the Brighton & Hove Black Women’s Group, the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (“Support their integration into their new societies”) or The Ubele Initiative (“an African Diaspora social action focused organisation” focused on “intergenerational leadership and social action processes”).

There is also PAC45 Foundation in Manchester, which works “to create spaces and opportunities for the Black community to comprehend, articulate and challenge the racist practices that lead to a life of exclusion in our so-called post-racial society”.

Taking a more pro-active position are Speaking Statues (“repurpose and subvert the ways in which these white supremacist symbols exist in our society with very little challenge”) and Mixed Race Families Scotland (“challenges the social acceptance of Blackface for Halloween and other regional festival and cultural celebrations such as ‘Up Helly Aa'”).

There are also several groups involved with gypsy, Roma and traveller issues such as Travellers and Roma Against Prejudice, United Europe Roma, Hampshire’s Romanys and Kushti Bok.

Other recipients are focused on mental health, such as Recovery in the Bin (“a group of Mental Health Survivors and their supporters”), Phoenix in Leicester (“a collective of working class mental health survivors”) and Empowering Renewal UK (“Sustainable activism and radical mental health in the UK”).

Feminism is represented, such as by Feminist Webs (“campaigning to challenge sexism and develop a fairer world for young women and girls through liberatory youth work”).

transprideTransgenderism features prominently, for example with TransActual (“amplify the voices of trans people”), Childcare Collective in Glasgow (“women, non-binary identifying, and trans-masculine folk”), London Trans+ Pride (“actively opposing any transphobic legislation”), and CliniQ in London, a “holistic, wellbeing service set up by the trans community for the trans community” which is “providing resilience strengthening community-level programmes”.

There is also Open Lavs, which is apparently “a practical, online tool for finding non-binary (gender neutral) loos across the UK”.

But Edge Fund clearly has a special liking for projects which invest in victims suffering from more than one element of oppression or domination.

Here are some examples of funded groups boasting this identity politics “intersectionality”:

African Rainbow Family. “Run horizontally by LGBTIQ people seeking aslyum and refugees with lived experiences of persecution based on their sexuality, gender identities, religion, race, ethnicity, disability”.

Association of Black Parents of Disabled Children. “Make sure their voices be amplified, and their needs considered”.

swouSex Worker Open University. “Working to end state and societal violence against all sex workers, and to dismantle the structures of oppression through which many sex workers face compounded violence: such as transmisogyny, racism and xeno-racism, classism and homophobia”.

Beyond Bars. “Queer and trans prison abolitionists who send books and other educational materials to LGBTQAI+ people who are incarcerated”.

Ffena – Black Women Living with HIV. “Building social capital”.

Global Majority Network. “A coalition of black, brown and diaspora people, including migrants, LGBTQ+ people, Muslims and revolutionaries from different campaigning and community groups”.

LGBT Unity, Scotland. “The only place in Scotland where the space is held solely for LGBTQ asylum seekers and allies to come together”.

Phillippa Willitts. “The intersections of disability, race, class, sexuality and gender identity”.

Sisters of Frida. “They would like to build a sisterhood, a circle of disabled women to discuss, share experiences and explore intersectional possibilities”.

Just Books – Belfast Solidarity Centre. “Providing people at the receiving end of intersecting oppressions the resources to resist”.

Lesbian Immigration Support Group. “They challenge myths about LGBT people and about asylum seekers and refugees”.

6 Rang. “A group of concerned Iranian lesbian individuals”.

Queer AF BrightonQueer AF Brighton. “Formed in response to the rise of racism and transphobia in the community and beyond”.

Rainbow Noir. “A community group for Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) people”.

In a testimonial on the Edge Fund site, a representative of Black Lives Matter UK reports their delight at the intersectionality on offer at an Edge Fund meeting in Birmingham on July 15, 2017.

They write: “It was so invigorating to know how much grass routes [sic] work is being done all over the country across the issues of sex worker rights, housing, climate change, LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health, addiction recovery, and racial justice”.

Antifascist groups have also received Edge Fund cash, such as Brighton Antifascists (“part of the South East Antifascist Regional group and also the nationwide Antifascist network”), Leeds Anti-Fascist Network and Berkshire Anti Fascists, who are “more interested in action than political philosophy”.

Edge Fund grants have gone to many groups which are familiar to me and which I have campaigned alongside or had dealings with.

There is the Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre, Smash IPP, the Black Triangle Campaign, Focus E15, Fuel Poverty Action, Glasgow Autonomous Space, Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, Liverpool Social Centre Collective/Next to Nowhere, Belfast Solidarity Federation, Peace News Summer Camp, Space Hijackers, Fitwatch, Anti Raids Network, Green and Black Cross, Reel News, Empty Cages Collective, Food Not Bombs London, Haringey Housing Action Group, UK Uncut, Undercover Research Group and the Stop the Arms Fair Coalition.

transition heathrowMoney has been given to environmental groups which I have supported, such as the Land Justice Network, Transition Heathrow, Coal Action Network, Rossport Solidarity Camp, Misson Springs anti-fracking camp, Frack Free Upton, The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley, Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, Frack Free South Yorkshire, Frack Free North West, Keep East Lancashire Frack Free, Frack Free Five Valleys, Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, Anti-Fracking Nanas and Fracking Free Ireland.

The London Anarchist Bookfair, which I attended for decades and where I have run various stalls and workshops, is on the Edge Fund list.

g8 sticker for print_Layout 1Even Stop G8, with which I was heavily involved in 2012-2013 received a “small grant”.

The Edge Fund grant recipients also include Shoal Collective, of which I was a member until a year ago and for whom I wrote a number of reports on the Gilets Jaunes uprising in France. More on that later.

I mention my personal connections not just for the sake of transparency, but to make it clear that I am not coming from a position of a priori hostility to this radical left milieu and that I am not suggesting (how could I?) that people who have been involved in these groups are necessarily “dodgy” or “controlled opposition”.

All I am doing is stating that these organisations are all listed by Edge Fund as having applied for and received financial grants.

4. A network of global funders

When I started researching Edge Fund, it quickly became clear that it is very much part of a broader network which seems a million miles away from the radical left which it helps bankroll.

For instance, in this 2014 report, Edge Fund appears alongside the likes of the Shell Foundation and its contribution to the theme of ‘Balancing funder power’ is listed just before that of ‘100% Impact Investing’ as exemplified by the USA’s KL Felicitas Foundation.

In the report, Edge Fund is praised by Maria Chertok, director of the Russian branch of the Charities Aid Foundation (“We consult with the world’s leading brands. Inspiring, enabling and transforming their purpose into impact”).

maria chertok

It seems that Chertok likes the Edge Fund idea of “balancing funder power” because this is “another new approach to funding”.

Chertok previously worked for the Ford Foundation and is also “a member of the Editorial Board of Alliance magazine“, a publication which we will encounter again later.

Edge Fund also crops up in a 2016 report on ‘Internet Philanthropy in China’ from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China.

This notes that Edge Fund’s approach allows it to “better target needs and ensure community ownership over the management process” and concludes that “the greatest area for improvement in the management and reporting system lies in ensuring consistent and thorough reporting and performance tracking across organizations”.

Edge Fund in UNDG report2

The same report also praises the Shell Foundation, noting that it “exemplifies the increasing comprehensiveness of internal evaluations” and that “this kind of transparent and honest evaluation is valuable for the effectiveness of philanthropy more broadly”.

It is difficult, for an outsider, to understand where exactly Edge Fund fits in to this strange and murky world of so-called philanthropic funding.

So I was pleased to discover a 2018 report from Edge Fund’s Influencing Funders Group which helps shed some light.

Pritchard Amlak BoaseExplaining its own history, the Group says: “This initiative began to really gather momentum after three members, Sophie Pritchard (Edge co -founder), Isis Amlak and Patrick Boase (Network for Social Change) attended the Funders for a Just Transition meeting in La Bergerie, Paris (14-16 March 2014).

“The meeting was organised by what has since become Edge Funders Alliance Europe. The main objective was for the funders present to share information and to begin exploring possible ways of collaboration.

“In April 2015 we were selected to facilitate a workshop at the EDGE Funders Alliance’s conference, Towards A Just Transition, in Baltimore”.

Edge Funders AllianceEDGE Funders Alliance, based in the USA, is not the same entity as Edge Fund in the UK, but is closely linked.

It tags itself “Engaged Donors for Global Equity”, which explains where the “Edge Fund” name comes from, apart from being an obvious pun on ‘Hedge Fund’.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research wrote about this US organisation in 2016, saying: “In 2013, the Rockefeller Brothers representative Tom Kruse co-chaired EDGE’s program committee.

“At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Kruse was responsible for ‘Global Governance’ under the ‘Democratic Practice’ program.

“Rockefeller Brothers grants to NGOs are approved under the ‘Strengthening Democracy in Global Governance’ program, which is broadly similar to that put forth by the US State Department”.

baltimoreA glance at the programme for the 2015 Baltimore event attended by the UK Edge Fund delegation confirms the Rockefeller connection.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is listed as one of the conference’s sponsoring groups, along with the Ford Foundation, Open Society Justice Initiative, the American Jewish World Service, the Wallace Global Fund, Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, The JMG Foundation and New Venture Fund.

Chossudovsky points out the presence on the EDGE Funders board of a representative of the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

Today, this presence is even more evident, with the board co-chaired by an employee of George Soros’ Berlin-based organisation.

This is of particular interest for my little investigation, because that person is none other than Rose Longhurst of the UK’s very own Edge Fund.rose longhurst pic

5. Rose Longhurst

In her Twitter profile, Longhurst describes herself as “wearing many hats”, adding elsewhere that “the work I’m involved in is quite unusual”.

One of the 38-year-old’s hats is that of a director of Global Greengrants Fund UK (seeking “solutions to make a lasting impact on the health of our planet and people’s rights”).

This organisation is funded by Swift Foundation “financial activist” Jen Astone, “an RSF Integrated Capital Fellow focusing on transformative food system investments”, plus an impressive range of individual and institutional donors.

The UK outfit is part of the US-based Global Greengrants organisation whose secretary Katherine Pease is director of impact investing at Cornerstone Capital Investment Advisors and “regularly speaks about the intersection of impact investing and social equity”.

We also learn from the EDGE Funders website: “In 2017 Rose helped to establish FundAction, a participatory fund and platform for European activism” .

FundActionFundAction is described as “a new participatory fund making grants for social transformation, organised around a community of activists based in Europe to support social movements working towards a transition to a just and equitable world”.

This helpful information comes from Guerrilla Foundation, the funders of Extinction Rebellion and other “activist” groups exposed in November 2020 as belonging to the world of impact capitalism.

They explain: “FundAction was born out of conversations between activists and funders at several occasions. At the EDGE Funders Alliance European Retreat in 2016, four foundations (Open Society Initiative for Europe, European Cultural Foundation, Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation and Guerrilla Foundation) decided to pool funding”.

The Guerrilla Foundation presentation of FundAction even features a lovely photo of Edge Fund’s Longhurst running a workshop during an EDGE Funders Alliance Meeting.

rose longhurst guerrilla f

Another article mentioning Longhurst’s involvement in FundAction describes the project as “imagining an alternative to the rise of popularism and extremism”.

This is a strange phrase to find associated with an initiative supposedly interested in funding radical change! A fear of “popularism and extremism” is more what you would expect from those interested in protecting the status quo, isn’t it?

The quote in question in fact comes from Longhurst’s profile as an Atlantic Fellow (“for social and economic equity”) – yet another of the many hats she wears!

The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, based at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is “building a catalytic, values-led global community of people who are committed to using collective leadership to work towards social and economic justice for all”.

It says it is “empowering a new generation of change-makers, including policy-makers, activists, researchers, practitioners and campaigners, to work together across disciplines, backgrounds and borders”.

Over 20 years, the scheme “will support over 400 Fellows drawn from both the global South and global North” and was “established with a landmark gift from The Atlantic Philanthropies in 2017”.

Atlantic Philanthropies was formed by American tycoon Chuck Feeney in 1982.

Atlantic Philanthropies

It uses the slogan “Big Bets for a Better World” and declares “Today’s Investments Pay Big Dividends for Many Tomorrows”.

chuck feeney and bill gatesAmerican billionaire Warren Buffett has described Feeney as “my hero and Bill Gates’ hero” and Gates himself hailed Feeney in 2012 as “a remarkable role model”.

Longhurst’s Atlantic Fellows profile also reveals that in 2013 she joined Bond, “the UK network for international development and humanitarian organisations”.

We learn from this organisation’s own site that “Bond’s work is funded by member subscriptions, income generated through paid-for service, and grants, including strategic funding from UK aid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”.

Bill and Melinda Gates2

6. Isis Amlak

The chair of Edge Fund is Isis Amlak, a 54-year-old American citizen living in London.

The Edge Fund Annual Review 2017-2018 reveals that she attended an EDGE Funders Alliance conference, with Longhurst, and “spoke on the closing plenary panel”.

Isis AmlakIn 2020, Amlak also took part in an EDGE Funders Alliance webinar entitled ‘Dismantling philanthropy. Towards a True Just Transition’, alongside Limay Ho, executive director of Resource Generation.

Ho’s organisation aims to “organize 18-35 year olds with access to wealth who are among the richest top 10% of individuals or families in the U.S.”. It has been funded by the Ford Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation and provided with New York office space by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

Amlak, speaking from 57 minutes in, introduces Edge Fund in the UK to an international audience, declaring: “Our raison d’être is that we recognise that grassroots activist campaigners and social movements are the people who are at the vanguard of seeking to reconfigure society and we are all about systemic change. So we realise that in order to bring about systemic change, to do the work that they’re doing, they need resources”.

Isis Amlak video

She says Edge Fund are pioneers of a “participatory” model of philanthropy, which is now being adopted elsewhere: “It is important to understand that we were established specifically to do this kind of work”.

She adds that the project is about “building a movement and keeping that movement growing”.

Although she is sometimes described as an “anti-racism activist”, Amlak in fact boasts very specific professional expertise.

A profile explains: “Isis’ leadership experience includes successfully managing partnerships, service level agreements (contracts), building effective relationships and liaising with a range of stakeholder groups and audiences, across sectors”.

This information comes from the website of an organisation called Olmec, of which Amlak is a trustee.

Olmec describes itself as “a BME led Social Enterprise which champions race equality through economic and social justice”.

It says: “We support people into jobs, into social businesses and on to Boards. We work as a catalyst for social change”.

olmec blm

The home page of its website is very much focused on Black Lives Matter and it even boasts a whole page dedicated to the “movement”.

But its 2014 report on ‘First Steps in Social Enterprise’ paints a slightly different picture of its allegiances.

olmec first steps report cover

For a start the report’s sponsors include those well-known campaigners for “economic and social justice” the City of London and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Furthermore, the language and content of the report makes it quite clear that Olmec belongs to the world of social impact investing, or “impact capitalism” as Sir Ronald Cohen calls it.

olmec methodologyFor example, under the heading “methodology” it lists “Focus on migrant-led social enterprise”, “Programme Impacts on social housing residents”, “Impacts on Olmec as the delivery organisation” and “Linking First Steps in Social Enterprise case studies with socio-economic impacts”.

The report adds: “Because of its social enterprise perspective, Olmec is able to help migrants to design dynamic organisational structures which embed their community’s social aims, channel surpluses to meet social objectives and foster active stakeholder involvement”.

Olmec go on to describe a “social impact study” carried out by the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) with funding from Affinity Sutton and Catalyst.

They say: “HACT is also working on a pilot microfinance initiative programme to develop viable and scalable micro-loan fund for housing association residents. The pilot is being developed with a number of partners including Community Development Finance Association (CDFA), regional community development finance institutions and Big Society Capital“.

Big Society Capital, is of course, the institution set up by Cohen, the father of impact capitalism.

As Amlak herself once said: “There is also a great deal of suspicion, rightly so, about sources of funding; who are the benefactors/philanthropists behind the scenes? What is the real agenda?”

ronaldcohen2

7. Sophie Pritchard

Sophie Pritchard is, according to the Open Democracy website to which she has contributed, “the coordinator and co-founder of Edge Fund”.

The 44-year-old from Bristol tells the Edge Fund site: “Prior to working in grant-making I mostly worked as a fundraiser for animal rights, environmental and social justice organisations”.

In 2007 she was listed as working for Friends of the Earth International in the Netherlands and shortly afterwards she set up a blog called ‘Food for Change’.

This very much pre-empted the attack on traditional animal agriculture currently being pushed by corporate fake-greens like George Monbiot and the rest of the Great Reset crowd.

“A reduction in beef and pork consumption could cut $20 trillion off the cost of fighting climate change”, declared Pritchard in 2009.

Sophie-PritchardTurning her back on the organic approach to animal welfare, she even publicised a report claiming that “intensive animal farming is better for the environment than extensive farming”.

Pritchard commented: “Whilst farmers and environmental groups battle it out; the truth is clear. When it comes to animal agriculture there isn’t a sustainable, environmentally responsible solution”.

More recently, Pritchard has been coordinator of Bristol Energy Network.

She is also a director of TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality & Respect), who describe themselves as “intersectional feminists” who want to “encourage young people to question and challenge gender norms, stereotypes and unconscious biases”.

They say: “We strive to improve mental health and well-being through our wide range of training and workshops for schools, youth groups and also businesses, by exploring and challenging the impact that different strands of gender biases and discrimination can have in the school environment and in the workplace. In doing this we aim to push for higher aspiration amongst young people and increase productivity for staff in the workplace”.

Note the use of the word “impact”, the talk of “aspiration” and the confessed aim to “increase productivity”…

In March 2013, seven months before she sent out the Edge Fund email to anarchist groups in the UK, Pritchard was attending an event in London entitled ‘Social Justice Philanthropy Implications for Practice and Policy’, where she spoke on ‘Using philanthropy to promote economic and social inclusion’.

Alliance Magazine2The University of Kent’s (archived) report on the conference features a link to Alliance Magazine, a journal to which Pritchard and Rose Longhurst have both contributed and which takes a keen interest in the work of Edge Fund and the EDGE Funders Alliance.

In a 2017 article for the publication, Longhurst enthuses about “the emergence of innovative forms of charitable giving such as flow funding, impact investing and direct cash transfers”.

She praises FundAction, the initiative she helped set up with financier Antonis Schwarz’s Guerrilla Foundation, as offering “a low-risk way of dipping a toe into new ways of working”.

Pritchard herself wrote a four-page article for Alliance Magazine in September 2013, in which she introduces Edge Fund and cites the work of Global Greengrants Fund of which colleague Longhurst is a director.

Her connection to Alliance goes even deeper as she “discussed questions arising from Alliance magazine’s September 2013 special feature on Philanthropy and Power at the September 2013 Alliance Breakfast Club held in association with Philanthropy Impact“.

alliance breakfast

In February 2014 Pritchard’s 2013 article was praised on the Alliance Magazine site by Tris Lumley, in a piece entitled ‘Power to the people?‘.

He writes: “Sophie Pritchard of the Edge Fund gives an exhilarating tour of a number of philanthropic vehicles in which beneficiaries are involved and sometimes lead the decisions about where money should go.

“This brief article should be a source of great inspiration to us all, and spur innovation in new forms of philanthropy. At NPC we’ve been arguing for a greater focus on outcomes and impact for well over a decade”.

NPC is New Philanthropy Capital, where Lumley leads its work on “innovation, developing new approaches, programmes and ventures” and “developing NPC’s relationships with core funders—philanthropists, foundations and businesses who have a shared commitment to transforming the social sector to achieve its full potential”.

tris lumley

New Philanthropy Capital is listed on Alliance Magazine’s website as one of its official partners, alongside, by a remarkable coincidence, EDGE Funders Alliance and Bond, the Gates-funded network to which Edge Fund’s Longhurst belongs.

Spring ImpactOther partners include the China Global Philanthropy Institute, the African Youth Philanthropy Network, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network and the British Asian Trust, “founded in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales” whose “mission is to unlock the potential of disavantaged people in South Asia by maximising the impact and support from the Asian diaspora and beyond”.

There is also the European Venture Philanthropy Association (“creating positive societal impact through venture philanthropy”), the Fondazione Lang Italia (“Strategic Philanthropy to increase the impact of social initiatives”), Philanthropy Impact and Spring Impact.

Another Alliance Magazine partner is the UN Development Programme, famous for its Sustainable Development Goals (a key framework for impact capitalism).

New Philanthropy Capital itself is described as being “a charity think tank and consultancy that occupies a unique position at the nexus between charities and funders, helping them achieve the greatest impact”.

Its website explains that NPC sets out to “create the conditions for impact”, with its ‘Open Impact’ page revelling in the “opportunity” presented by the use of “digital technologies and data” to “break down some of the barriers preventing progress”.

NPC open impact

NPC, initially and very briefly known as Project Utopia, was set up in 2001 by David Robins, Peter Sweatman, then vice-president of JPMorgan, and Peter Wheeler, formerly of Goldman Sachs.

Harvey McGrathWherever NPC is mentioned, the term “impact” crops up.

Current director Harvey McGrath said in a 2014 interview: “Drawing on my business background I have always tried to find ways in which you can get leverage and NPC provided that.

“I would have to say that I am particularly pleased with NPC because of the cumulative impact the organisation has had on the sector”.

In fact, NPC, for whom Edge Fund is such a “source of great inspiration”, sometimes actually brands itself “the social impact think tank and consultancy”.

NPC social impact

It is, thus, no shock to find that former NPC director (2005 to 2007) Danielle Jeannine Walker Palmour went on to sit on the board of impact capitalist Ronald Cohen’s Big Society Capital between 2011 and 2019.

Or, indeed, to discover that McGrath himself is also on the board of Big Society Capital and is, in fact, introduced on its website as its chair.

Harvey mcgrath big society capitalNEW

8. Connecting the dots

A name that crops up time and time again when researching the world inhabited by Edge Fund is Lankelly Chase.

For instance, in March 2018 this organisation co-produced and funded, with Edge Fund admirers NPC, a brochure entitled ‘Thinking Big. How to use theory of change for systems change‘.

lankelly chase Thinking Big

Lankelly Chase has directly funded Edge Fund activities in recent years. Reports the Edge Fund website: “Following the work of our Influencing Funders group, we received a grant from Lankelly Chase, so that they could learn more about participatory grant making, shadow and support us in our model of participatory, member-led funding. This grant allowed us to run a funding round, 3 sharing forums and a workshop on fundraising for grassroots groups”.

And again: “In August, with the help of a grant from Lankelly Chase, we opened our 11th funding round with over 150 groups applying for funds”.

lankelly chase Edge Fund

lankelly Chase Edge Fund2

It was also on Lankelly Chase’s site that Edge Fund’s Rose Longhurst boasted in 2019 that “the work I’m involved in is quite unusual”.

She went on to explain that she had attended a “recent retreat convened by Lankelly Chase”.

Longhurst says that the EDGE Funders Alliance, of which she is co-chair, insists philanthropy “must embrace an alternative praxis” and “create brave and safe spaces”.

She adds: “One such ‘brave and safe space’ was the Lankelly Chase convening. As I emerge from the retreat, I’m galvanised to connect the dots between the local, the national and the global”.

lankelly chase logoOthers might feel “galvanised to connect the dots” regarding the role of Lankelly Chase in the Edge Fund project…

Lankelly Chase describes itself as an “independent foundation”, whose money originally came from the property development sector.

It says it is “working in partnership with people, across the UK, to change the systems that perpetuate severe and multiple disadvantage”.

On July 27, 2017, Lankelly Chase was proud to publish on its website a press release revealing its involvement in the “world’s 1st social impact bond”.

Other investors in this Peterborough Social Impact Bond included the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, the K L Felicitas Foundation, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

ronald cohen bookAlso involved in the scheme, needless to say, was the R&S Cohen Foundation.

Indeed, pioneering impact capitalist Ronald Cohen boasted in his 2020 book Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change that it had “paid investors 3.1 per cent a year on top of their capital”.

Another dot worth connecting regards Katie Boswell, one of the authors of Langkelly Chase’s ‘Thinking Big’ brochure.

She has written approvingly elsewhere of Edge Fund and the way it has “embraced collective decision-making structures”.

Like Edge Fund coordinator and co-founder Sophie Pritchard, Boswell frequents Alliance Magazine Breakfast Club events.

katie boswellShe wrote after a “great discussion” on feminist philanthropy in December 2019: “So much that philanthropists of all stripes can learn: focus on power & intersectionality, think about how you structure relationships & fund movements, change who makes decisions & who decides what ‘impact’ looks like”.

Just like her colleagues at Edge Fund, she has also written a number of articles for Alliance Magazine.

Boswell is a trustee of The Finance Innovation Lab, under chair Sue Charman, recently retired as head of “Sustainable Business” at WWF-UK and formerly with Barclays Bank. WWF-UK is one of the Finance Innovation Lab’s founding partners.

Fellow trustee and vice-chair David Carrington is “an experienced non-executive board member, adviser and consultant, working with social purpose organisations on governance, income generation and the development of social impact investing” and “a non-executive director of the Impact Investing Institute“.

His profile explains that he is a founder-director and chair of Inspiring Impact and has been a member of the Social Investment Task Force and the Commission on Unclaimed Assets (see here).

Carrington was a director of Cohen’s Big Society Capital from 2012 to 2017. Funny how this organisation keeps cropping up!

He was also a founding director of the Alliance Publishing Trust, publisher of Alliance Magazine, which has been so generous in its support of Edge Fund.

Finance Innovation LabFinance Innovation Lab treasurer is Kate Ormiston Smith, formerly working on “sustainablity” with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and now working with Richard Branson’s The B Team.

Boswell herself is employed by NPC, those close collaborators of Lankelly Chase and Edge Fund, where she “works with a range of charities and funders to improve their strategies and maximise their impact”.

Her profile reveals: “As a result of her work, Katie has received several honours and awards, including an RSA Fellowship for her community research work, and the title of Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum”.

Yes, that’s right. Boswell is actually part of Klaus Schwab’s Global Shapers Community, a fact confirmed on that insidious organisation’s own website.

katie boswell global shaper

9. Implications

In an important January 2021 article on her Wrench in the Gears website, Alison McDowell warns of the sinister agenda behind impact capitalism.

Alison McDowellShe writes: “It is the ‘impact metrics’ that enable the world’s richest to profit off misery. The general idea is that social problems are assigned a cost, which creates an offset that is used to fund ‘evidence-based’ ‘solutions’.”

“Philanthropists, acting on behalf of finance and technology interests, fund academics at elite institutions to formulate ‘human capital’ equations that justify this predatory enterprise”.

This is “wokewashing” hypocrisy of the first order – pretending to be acting in the interests of the very people you are exploiting.

As the result of the research I have detailed above (now summarised in this Twitter thread), I am entirely convinced that Edge Fund is an integral part of this impact capitalism scam.

It stands out from the rest of the impact crowd only because of its particular approach to funding, which enables it to reach beyond charities and other institutions into the world of left-wing and anarchist activism.

When an arm of the capitalist system surreptiously pours money into networks which are often avowedly anti-capitalist, there is obviously a question of control at stake.

end of lineUp until very recently I would have said it was simply about taking control of radical groups and networks to ensure they present no real threat to the system.

There is certainly this element. By diverting radicals’ attention and energy into the dead-end narcissism of identity politics, the 0.01% ensure that their own domination is not challenged.

Firstly, this compromised left actively promotes and amplifies the causes and ideologies favoured by the wealthy elite, namely those calling for a more “inclusive” capitalist system.

Secondly it enforces this “new normal” way of thinking within what used to be the anti-capitalist movement, taking on a “thought police” function in shaming and excluding all those radicals who refuse to toe the line.

This is why the “woke” die-hards never seem prepared to discuss the issues, or to “agree to disagree” like most of us are prepared to do with comrades.

Their job is to impose a particular, very narrow, way of thinking and so they jump to insult and intimidation to try and get their way, with no interest in consensual compromise.

It seems very telling to me that many of the people and groups imposing “politically correct” identity politics also turned their back on any questioning of the climate capitalist agenda, dismissing all such analysis as “conspiracy theories”.

They have also generally taken the side of the system since the Covid crisis began, supporting lockdowns and masks and shaming dissidents (see this article or this one).

shoal logoI have had some personal experience of this, not least with Shoal Collective, a group funded by Edge Fund (and other similar organisations), to which I belonged until a year ago.

My exit from Shoal (Shexit?) began at a meeting in north London on December 4 2019 at which I said that I wanted to keep working with Shoal, but did not want to be censored in any way.

Pushed for an example of the kind of censorship I had in mind, I cited, on the spur of the moment, the absurd gender-politics insistence that there is no difference between trans women and women born as women, or indeed between trans men and men born as men.

This was a fairly hypothetical issue, in fact, as I had never really dealt with gender issues in my writing. But as a matter of principle around free speech it felt important.

My point of view was not acceptable to my comrades, who, despite my insistence that I had no problems with trans people on a real-life individual basis and that my objections were on the level of simple common sense logic, declared me guilty of “transphobia”.

To back up some observations about the Big Pharma connection to transgenderism, I subsequently sent my comrades a link to this important article by feminist Jennifer Bilek.

centaurOne of them replied (December 8 2019): “I remain unconvinced by the argument that trans movements are driven and shaped by the interests of corporations. In my view they are grassroots movements by an oppressed section of society. These movements are bringing about a major change of people’s mindsets about gender. Something I think is incredibly important, and revolutionary”.

Another chipped in: “i found it completely offensive the other day when you said ‘if one day i decide that i’m a horse does that make me a horse?'”.

She added a few days later that “the theory that the pharmaceutical industry is driving the trans movement” was “just like what the Daily Mail says” and therefore automatically wrong.

With her comrade still adamant that “denying that trans women/men are women/men is oppressive”, I drifted away from Shoal, aware that my views were considered deeply problematic, but unsure as to whether or not I had been definitively excommunicated.

However, after I started challenging the Covid coup in the spring of 2020, I heard back from Shoal, who were unhappy that my website profile still identified me as part of their collective.

One of them wrote on April 21 2020: “A number of people have now approached us to critically ask us about your writings and tweets around coronavirus, as they think that we are still working with you”.

She went on to accuse me of spreading “conspiracy theories” and “misinformation”, such as by criticising 5G, suggesting “that numbers (cases/deaths) are being exaggerated” and reproached me for my “continuous tweeting about Bill Gates”.

black-starShe added: “it’s really sad because although you may be gaining more respect from certain people (your views are also views of a lot of far-right people, as well as David Icke), you are also losing respect of anarchists in the UK who previously really valued your work and your contributions to anarchism, and who saw you as a comrade”.

It is a strange world indeed where challenging a global techno-fascist coup is regarded as a resignation letter from the anarchist movement!

Since exploring the world of impact capitalism, I feel that the role of the identity-politics thought police goes further than simply preventing meaningful opposition to the system.

It is clear that they are actually working for impact capitalism, either directly or via the pressure of conformist groupthink.

bankstersImpact capitalists have only one interest in life and that is to make money.

If they are prepared to go to such lengths and take such risks by “investing” in far left groups, it is because they are hoping for a considerable financial return.

Proponents of identity politics act as agents of influence for the impact industry, as their ad reps, their marketing staff, their PR division, their security wing. 

Maybe they would have been doing all this anyway, for ideological reasons, without any cash from Edge Fund or Guerrilla Foundation or FundAction, but if the impact capitalists can show that they have invested even small amounts in these groups, they can then claim credit and financial benefit from the results they help bring about.

So impact leftists not only help push public opinion into accepting that impact-related causes are worthy of support and therefore of taxpayer funding, not only help silence those who question these agendas, but also – through the very fact of being traceably funded by impact networks – help the impact investors reap profit when desired “outcomes” are reached and financial returns are triggered.

And why are impact investors so keen on intersectionality? Could it be that, for them, identifying an intersection of “problems” to be “solved” in one single individual is like spotting a “triple word score” when playing Scrabble?

If they make good use of the opportunity to show they have funded several successful outcomes with one single investment, do they reap a greater profit?

triple_word_score

10. The future

A “radical” movement so thoroughly riddled with corporate corruption has obviously come to the end of its useful life and is completely discredited.

Maybe, to be fair, those unwittingly caught up in the phenomenon (like me, to some extent) should be given one last chance to come clean and join the resistance.

capitalism pyramid2If they decline to leave the corporate camp through this narrow window of opportunity, they should henceforth be regarded not as former comrades in the international struggle for freedom, autonomy and justice, but as hostile infiltrators working for our historical enemy, the global ruling class.

More than this, the sterile, divisive mindset they have been spreading on behalf of their corporate paymasters should be thrown on the scrapheap of ideological history, where it belongs.

As Miguel Amorós has warned, an “intersectional game of oppressed minorities” has gradually been replacing a collective resistance to established power.

For years now, fake leftists have been pouring scorn on authentic opponents of the system.

They have branded anyone analysing and challenging the corporate elite and their imperialism as “conspiracy theorists” or apologists for foreign powers.

Any criticism of the financial ruling class is declared to be automatically “antisemitic”, even when ethnicity or religion is not the issue, with the whole anti-globalisation movement dismissed out of hand as “an anti-Semitic brown-green-red alliance”.

The impact left have smeared women standing up for their rights as “terfs” or “transphobes” and tried to claim that anti-industrialism and a love of nature is “fascist”, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

We need to ditch all this accumulated toxicity and start again with a radicalism that challenges the system to the core.

We need a resistance to the global wealthy elite that is deeply and fundamentally opposed to everything they are promoting in their bid to further enslave and exploit us.

We need to be delving into their machinations and manipulations, exposing their scams and denouncing their lies.

medieval sowerOur resistance needs to be based on solidarity and unity in the face of oppression, rather than on divisive classification and fetishisation of people along lines of race or gender.

It has to be rooted in a love of freedom, independence and self-expression rather than grafted on to a fearful cowed obedience to authority and its propaganda.

We need to say clearly that the values we cherish have nothing to do with the low money-lust of the corporate crooks and their sweaty dreams of endless profit and power.

Turning our backs forever on their corrupt transhumanist death-cult politics of artifice, hypocrisy and deceit, we need to stand tall and loudly proclaim our belief in nature, in humanity, in truth, in beauty, in justice, in the life energy itself.

orgrad-logo

MORE READING:

Ronald Cohen, impact capitalism and the Great Reset

Guerrillas of the Great Reset

Corporate-branded activism

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

The Great Battle for the Future

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Ronald Cohen, impact capitalism and the Great Reset

  1. Introduction
  2. Blair and Brown’s banker
  3. Financial services for the poor
  4. Meet the impact gang!
  5. Saving capitalism
  6. Privatising government
  7. Problems and solutions
  8. The fascist model
  9. Freed from regulations
  10. Profits before people

1. Introduction

Social impact investing is at the heart of the Great Reset. It reduces human beings to the status of potential investments, sources of profit for the wealthy elite.

In ‘Guerrillas of the Great Reset‘ we saw how the Guerrilla Foundation, ostensibly a body that gives grants to activists involved in “a variety of social causes”, in fact very much belongs to the world of social impact investment.

antonis-schwarzFounder Antonis Schwarz (pictured) even actively promotes a WEF-supported course on ‘Impact Investing for the Next Generation’ aimed specifically at young billionaires.

And our five-part series on the WEF’s Global Shapers revealed that impact investment is one of the pillars of their New Normal project.

There is a section of their website entitled ‘Impact’ and the term crops up time and time again, like an sinister leitmotif, throughout their activities in the UK, Europe, the USA, Africa and India.

gs-leading-for-impact

If you want to understand what impact investment is all about, we recommend you explore the work of Alison McDowell of the Wrench in the Gears site – here and here, for example.

But why take the word of an outspoken opponent of impact investment? Why not go straight to one of the leading figures behind its development and find out what he has to say about it?

Blair and Cohen

2. Blair and Brown’s banker

Sir Ronald Cohen, a 75-year-old UK businessman and political mover and shaker, is sometimes called “the father” of impact investment.

He is notorious in the UK for bankrolling the neoliberal “New Labour” governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Reported The Evening Standard in 2006: “Sir Ronald is believed to have donated up to £800,000 to the Labour Party, and is clearly carving out a role to become the Chancellor’s ‘private banker’.

“Sir Ronald and his wife Sharon have rubbed shoulders with Prince Charles and are friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who they regularly entertain at their luxury second home in New York”.

Cohen is apparently a member of the executive committee of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, “a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict”.

IISS’s funders include NATO, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the UK Ministry of Defence, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Army, the Canadian Department of Defence, the Carnegie Corporation, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, the Embassy of Israel to the UK, the Kingdom of Bahrain, The Nicky Oppenheimer Foundation and US Friends of the IISS, which “allows the Institute to raise tax-deductible contributions in the United States”.

On its website it offers visitors “analysis with impact”.

iiss impact

Cohen has been involved in controversy in the past.

He was chairman of venture capital firm Apax Partners at the time of the Apax-owned British United Shoe Machinery pension collapse in 2000, which left 544 workers, many of them with long service, without any pension. (1)

MPs Edward Garnier, Patricia Hewitt and Ashok Kumar all called for a proper enquiry, Garnier citing the “mysterious circumstances” under which the pensions “disappeared”.

But no new investigation took place, leading Kumar to say: “I feel so angry on behalf of decent upright citizens robbed of their basic human rights. Somebody should be made responsible. There should be a public inquiry into this. People should be brought to account. These are greedy, selfish, capitalists who live on the backs of others”. (2)

These days Cohen is involved with Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, whose website describes him as “a preeminent international philanthropist, venture capitalist, private equity investor, and social innovator, who is driving forward the global impact revolution”.

The WEF adds: “He is Chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment; Chairman of the Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East; Chairman and co-Founder of The Portland Trust; co-Founder of Social Finance UK, US, and Israel; co-Founder of Bridges Fund Management UK, US, and Israel; and co-Founder of Big Society Capital.

“Each of the initiatives he leads today aims to shift the allocation of human and financial resources to creating positive impact”.

Cohen’s Big Society Capital is all about social impact investment, which it insists is “a trend that is set to continue”.

As its chairman, he enthused in 2014: “I believe there is, at the very least, an untapped $1 trillion of private sector impact investment”.

ronald cohen bookCohen explains his interest in impact investment in much greater detail in a book published in 2020, entitled Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change. (3)

Here, he explains that we can thank him for having introduced venture capitalism to the UK, since during his continuing education at Harvard he “discovered venture capital just as it was emerging”.

Cohen adds that the arrangement for his studies in the USA required him to bring back something of value to the UK: “I ended up bringing back venture capital, for which I was knighted in 2001”. (4)

The businessman explains that he later switched his attention to impact investment, mainly through the Social Investment Task Force, which he set up in 2000 at the request of Tony Blair’s regime.

He recalls: “After David Cameron’s Conservative election win in 2010, he elevated responsibility for impact investment to the Cabinet Office which reports directly to the prime minister, where Frances Maude, Nick Hurd and Kieron Boyle led, among many other initiatives, the effort to establish Big Society Capital as a social investment bank that can drive the advance of the impact ecosystem”. (5)

In 2013, he says, Cameron “asked me to lead the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce, in order ‘to catalyze a global market in social impact investment’”. (6)

3. Financial services for the poor

Like his WEF colleague Klaus Schwab, and the business organisation’s phoney “youth movement” the Global Shapers, Cohen likes to depict “impact capitalism” (7) in the rosiest of lights.

As we will see later, the impact network’s presentation of its activity as indisputably worthy and in the general public good performs a crucial role in its overall strategy.

Thus Cohen coos that impact capitalism “will lead us to a new and better world” (8) by “helping those in need and preserving our planet”. (9)

It will address “a variety of social issues”, including homelessness, affordable housing, community organizations, childhood obesity and mental health, (10) not to mention “poverty, under-education, unemployment, an aging population and environmental destruction”. (11)

It will do this by “helping disadvantaged young people”, (12) supporting “refugee and immigrant integration” (13) and boosting “women’s empowerment and gender equality”. (14)

Impact projects aim to provide “financial services for the poor”, (15) “affordable and green housing” (16) and to “transform the lives of more than 12,000 households in rural Kenya and Uganda”. (17)

Cohen declares: “We must shift our economies to create positive outcomes”. (18) Make a mental note of that particular phrase…

gs leadership

4. Meet the impact gang!

Unfortunately for Cohen, the effect of all this “wokewashing” verbiage is severely undermined by his own account of the organisations and individuals who are on board his impact gravy train.

He tells us: “All big movements, including recent neoliberalism, were funded by philanthropists, and the same is becoming true of the impact movement. The Omidyar Network, Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, Kresge and Hewlett Foundation in the US; Europe’s Bertelsmann Stiftung in Germany and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal; Lord (Jacob) Rothschild’s family foundation, Yad Hanadiv, and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, in Israel; and Ratan Tata and the Tata Trusts, in India, have all supported the impact movement”. (19)

He adds: “One of the most promising new family foundations is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). In 2015, at the age of 30, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced that they plan to direct 99 per cent of their $45 billion wealth into CZI. Their goal is to make a substantial commitment to impact investing that is focused on ‘personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities’”. (20)

Cohen approvingly quotes Megan Starr, the global head of impact for the arms-dealing Carlyle Group (closely linked to the WEF and its Global Shapers – see here and here), when she remarked that “it’s no longer possible to generate high rates of return unless you invest for impact”. (21)

Bill and Melinda GatesHe lists Goldman Sachs, “another big-name asset management firm that is involved in impact investing”, (22) “Unilever, under the enlightened leadership of CEO Paul Polman”, (23) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, (24), Accenture, (25) Nestlé (26) and Coca-Cola. (27)

Cohen tells us that Bono, of U2 and Band Aid fame, has, through his Rise Fund, “become a powerful advocate for the use of impact investment”. (28)

He mentions Emmanuel Macron (29) and Richard Branson’s B-Team, (30) while praising both Andela (31) in Nigeria (see here) and Ashoka, (32) that strange cult-like organisation so closely linked to Klaus Schwab’s Global Shapers as well as to the Transition Movement’s Rob Hopkins.

No self-respecting “philanthropist” billionaire today would be caught without his own personal foundation and Cohen explains why. “The nature of foundations makes them a perfect leader of the Impact Revolution. Because of their charitable status and sense of mission, they can experiment with different roles – acting as grantors, investors, guarantors or outcome payers. They can fund efforts to support the growth of the impact field, as well as influence delivery organizations, governments and investors to collaborate in new ways in tackling social problems”. (33)

And he does nothing to dispel suspicions of something rather alarming going on when he describes the activities of one particular foundation.

“Silicon Valley alumni Charly and Lisa Kleissner’s KL Felicitas Foundation is going all-in by dedicating its total assets of approximately $10 million to impact investing, and they are encouraging their peers to do the same. Under the umbrella of Toniic, a global action community of impact investors, the Kleissners co-founded the ‘100 per cent Impact Network’, a collaborative group of more than one hundred family offices, high-net worth individuals and foundations who have each pledged to dedicate their portfolios to impact investment. The group has a collective $6 billion of assets, with more than $3 billion already deployed, and aims to create an international movement of impact investors”. (34)

Gilets Jaunes

5. Saving capitalism

A fascinating aspect of the thinking behind Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset is his avowed fear of “political backlash”, “antiglobalization and “social unrest”.

The same anxiety seems to underlie Cohen’s mission to bring about what he repeatedly describes as the “Impact Revolution” (35) but which, in this light, would clearly better be termed the “Impact Counter-Revolution”, or the “Impact Coup”.

He writes, for instance, of his fear that a “curtain of fire” could soon separate the rich from the poor in our cities, as people revolt against injustice: “We have recently seen this curtain rise in countries such as France, Lebanon and Chile, which have suffered violent protests, while in the UK rising inequality was a factor in the decision taken in the referendum of June 2016 to leave the EU”. (36)

Cohen argues: “The fact is that our existing social contract has expired and we are now in the process of drawing up a new one in the form of impact capitalism”. (37)

In other words, his impact revolution aims to save capitalism by reshaping it. It is part of the Great Reset.

Cohen talks about “a historic transition”, (38) “resetting investment for a new reality”, (39) and dedicates a whole chapter to the thesis that “Impact investing sets the New Normal”. (40)

“Impact changes everything,” (41) he says. “Impact thinking will now transform our economies and reshape our world”. (42) “There has never been a more tangible opportunity to make a transformative difference”. (43)

klaus schwabUsing the very same term as Schwab, the Global Shapers and the Guerrilla Foundation, Cohen believes in the importance of making “systemic change”, (44) and makes it quite clear in which direction this would take us.

He writes: “Impact entrepreneurs leading delivery organizations will be able to raise the funding they need to implement their innovative approaches at scale, bringing systemic change – just as venture capital and tech entrepreneurs brought systemic change through the Tech Revolution”. (45)

Indeed, Fourth Industrial Revolution technology inevitably forms part of Cohen’s vision, with talk of “drones and driverless cars”, (46) biotechnology, (47) and equipping schools in rural Africa with “an individualized e-learning platform, computer tablets and broadband access”. (48)

Like Schwab’s Great Reset, the Impact Revolution is apparently “an idea whose time has come”. (49)

Cohen announces, with all the thunderous authority of the Old Man of Davos: “It will take at least a decade to transform our system, and the transformation will unfold in stages: starting with impact investment and impact measurement; through the development of impact economies; to a new global system of impact capitalism”. (50)

private keep out6. Privatising government

So what precisely is impact capitalism and how, on a practical level, does it work?

It essentially amounts to a privatisation of the role of governments across a wide range of spheres, in which bringing about certain social outcomes is treated as a potentially profitable financial investment.

In Cohen’s words, describing an early scheme hatched up with New Labour’s Jack Straw: “If our effort helped the government save money, both investors and the organizations they funded could pocket a fraction of the money saved”. (51)

The word “impact” has been used in this context for the last 14 years. Recalls Cohen: “It was in 2007, at a meeting hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation at its Bellagio Center in Italy, that ‘impact investing’ was coined as a term to replace ‘social investment’”. (52)

Data is central to the way that impact schemes work, because investors need evidence of a positive outcome in order to justify the eventual profitable dividend. These are “pay-for-success investment models”, (53) explains Cohen.

He says: “If we regard impact investing as our rocket ship to social change, impact measurement is our navigation system. It will lead to change and the establishment of new norms”. (54)

The new norm for the large part of the world’s population is that their lives will be regarded as nothing but investment opportunities for the financial elite and their hopes, fears, successes and failures reduced to statistics on a centralised database.

Global Value Exchange2

Cohen speaks warmly of the Global Value Exchange, “a crowd-sourced database of over 30,000 impact measurement metrics that offers valuations in a similar way to the Unit Cost Database. For example, you can find out the annual cost of a homeless person who is out of work in the UK based on the benefits payments they receive, their lost income tax and national insurance payments, and their lost economic output”. (55)

Cohen explains more about the rules of  this lucratively entertaining new game of gambling on the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives across the world: “Social impact bonds involve three key players: outcome payers, social service providers (these are generally non-profit organizations, but they can also be purpose-driven businesses) and investors”. (56)

Children’s lives are of particular interest to the financial vampires of the impact scene, particularly those most ripe to be “improved” in a “pay-for-success” context.

Cohen writes about the work of the Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East, which “aims to raise $1 billion to improve the education of ten million children”. (57)

He reveals it is “supported by an international group of foundations looking for innovative ways to maximize improvement in education in Africa and the Middle East, notably the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Ford, Omidyar, The Big Win, ELMA, UBS Optimus, Hewlett and DFID”.

CAMFED - CopieIt will “help catalyze investment in effective education delivery organizations, such as Camfed, an NGO that has supported the education of over 500,000 girls in the most deprived communities of Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia and Malawi”. (58)

Cohen wants to “integrate impact investment into international development aid” to create a new kind of impact imperialism closely tied in to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which “will require $3.3–$4.5 trillion each year over the next decade”. (59)

He is pleased to report that the UK’s Department for International Development in the UK “launched its Impact Programme in 2012 and planned to provide up to £160 million ($212.8 million) over 23 years, in order to catalyze the market for impact investment in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”. (60)

For impact capitalism, everything is a potential source of investment and, thus, profit – from nature to education, from the oceans to gender.

Cohen says: “Bringing impact measurement to the bond market, which as we have previously seen totals $100 trillion, will also have a major effect. The place to start here is with green bonds (climate), which are now being followed by blue (oceans), education, social and gender bonds.

“For example, Prince Charles, founder of the British Asian Trust, and Richard Hawkes, its CEO, have announced the launch of a $100 million gender bond to provide access to better education, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for half a million women and girls in South Asia.

“The market for green bonds stands at around $750 billion today; if they and other purpose-driven bonds that measure their impact come to account for 10 per cent of the $100 trillion bond market over the next ten years, this would bring $10 trillion of funding to companies for projects that contribute to the SDGs”. (61)

For Cohen, this “new model for philanthropy and aid” (62) is the start of something big and he says it is “time to scale Outcome Funds”. (63)

These are “professionally managed vehicles that sign outcome-based contracts with social delivery organizations” and their goal is to “drastically reduce the time and cost it takes to put them in place”. (64)

“We must shift our economies to create positive outcomes”, (65) he declares. We told you to bear that phrase in mind. All is becoming clear!

snake_oil

7. Problems and solutions

Impact investing is all about problems and solutions.

“As the natural torchbearer of the impact movement, philanthropy has the power to usher in a new dawn for charitable organizations, investors, entrepreneurs, businesses and governments, to bring solutions to the greatest social and environmental problems of our time”, (66) writes Cohen, glossing over the fact that impact capitalists are not so much bringing solutions as selling them.

In order for Cohen and his friends to be able to sell a “solution”, the “problem” which this supposedly addresses needs to be officially recognised as such.

It is here that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals play a key role.

They define specific areas in which governments should be taking action and require them to find money to pour into these issues.

Cohen is, in fact, a member of the UNDP’s Global Steering Group for Impact Investment.

Ronald Cohen SDG impact

SDG Impact, as it calls itself, “is a UNDP initiative tasked with developing resources under three central pillars to accelerate investment towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”.

It boasts that its “transformational impact” will involve “opening up $12 trillion in market opportunities”.

Cohen notes, with appreciation, in his book, that “in 2015, the impact investing movement gained focus and urgency with the release of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”. (67)

But he adds: “It has been estimated that financing the achievement of the SDGs will require an additional $30 trillion in investment over the next decade”. (68)

UN SDGsWhere is a typical cash-strapped government going to get that all money from, apart from by increasing an already-crippling national debt to the global bankers?

Cohen suggests that states “release unclaimed assets to establish ‘impact capital wholesalers’”.

He explains: “Imagine that you could snap your fingers and create an extra $2.5 billion in a country’s budget, without either raising taxes or cutting crucial programs. Governments around the world are starting to discover that they can do this by using unclaimed assets, essentially creating money out of thin air”. (69)

He adds that in this way a government “can access money that is public money but not tax money, such as unclaimed assets in banks, insurance companies and investment funds. This money can be used to develop a strong sector of impact investment managers who provide start-up and growth capital to charitable organizations and purpose-driven businesses”. (70)

So he thinks the money created “out of thin air” by these “unclaimed assets” should be diverted, by the state, directly into the impact investment slush funds with which he is involved, so that they can be essentially lent back to the state in the form of pay-for-success social investments, to the eventual profit of impact capitalists?

There certainly seem to be significant sums involved. Cohen writes: “In 2019, the Dormant Assets Commission chaired by Nick O’Donohoe reported that up to an additional £2 billion ($2.7 billion) could be released from unclaimed assets held by insurance companies, pension funds and investment funds”. (71)

Nick O'Donohoe

It is no coincidence that Cohen himself was chairman of a similar initiative, the UK’s Commission on Unclaimed Assets, from 2005-2007. (72)

He reveals: “The UK was the first country that saw the potential of unclaimed assets to spark real change in society. In 2011, following the recommendation of the Commission on Unclaimed Assets (2005–7), which I chaired, Francis Maude, who was then leading the Cabinet Office, asked me and Nick O’Donohoe from JP Morgan to establish a social investment bank along the lines recommended by the Social Investment Task Force in 2000.

“The Cameron government, he informed me, was prepared to provide £400 million ($532 million) of unclaimed bank assets for this purpose. In 2012, this money, having been supplemented by an additional £200 million ($266 million) from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, went to establish Big Society Capital (BSC), with me as Chair and Nick O’Donohoe as CEO.

“Since then, an additional £600 million ($798 million) has been released to the Reclaim Fund, which collects the flow of unclaimed assets and distributes them according to the instruction of the government”. (73)

It interesting to note that fellow impact investor Antonis Schwarz of Guerrilla Foundation, funders of social justice “activists”, has spoken about his “campaign to unlock dormant assets for social impact investing in Germany”.

Impact capitalists also have their eyes on pension funds, as former employees of British United Shoe Machinery may not be surprised to hear.

Cohen writes: “The world’s pension funds held $38 trillion in 2016, nearly 20 per cent of the world’s total investment assets. If our pension fund managers were to optimize risk–return–impact, they could significantly support the achievement of the SDGs”. (74)

“Pension fund regulations are a priority for governments, given that pension funds hold so much money globally. It is reasonable for pension savers to be given the option, as happens in France, to choose savings programs that will invest in line with their values – for example, portfolios that aim to contribute to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”. (75)

8. The fascist model

It is clear from all this that the impact capitalists have taken a big step away from the classic liberal free market mentality which regards the state as purely an impediment to entrepreneurial activity.

Instead, the state plays a crucial role in their plans. The merger of public and private which they seek is not the state-communist idea of government taking over business, but rather the fascist model of business taking over government (see here, here and here).

Cohen, in his book, specifically states that the “new system” of impact capitalism “aligns the private sector with government” (76) and makes it quite clear that impact investment could not work without the active involvement of the state.

After all, the whole idea is that the debt-crippled nation-state cannot afford to provide the “solutions” demanded by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and is therefore obliged to seek pay-for-success investments in these areas from impact capitalists.

Cohen makes no effort to hide what impact capitalists want from governments.

“Governments can accelerate the transition to risk–return–impact economies. They are best positioned to catalyze rapid growth in impact investment, just as they did for venture capital in the late 1970s”, (77) he writes.

The Entrepreneurial State“The role of governments in creating systemic change is crucial. Mariana Mazzucato rightly argues in The Entrepreneurial State that governments have actively shaped and created markets. This is what governments need to do for the impact market today. They can stimulate its growth in very clear ways”. (78)

“Governments can provide financial support for incubators and accelerators that nurture purpose-driven enterprises, help prepare them for impact investment and mentor them so that they are capable of delivering impact at scale”. (79)

“Philanthropy can only do so much to help governments meet these challenges: philanthropic foundation donations stand at $150 billion each year globally, a small figure relative to government expenditure”. (80)

“I hope the new thinking revealed in these pages will lead our governments to direct their massive economic measures in such a way that it creates the maximum positive social impact”. (81)

“As the risk–return–impact model disrupts prevailing business thinking, and governments introduce new incentives to drive impact entrepreneurship, impact entrepreneurs will revolutionize our approaches”. (82)

“Shifting the mindset of government procurement from pre-scribing services in detail to paying for outcomes achieved through SIBs will drive the use of pay-for-outcomes approaches, and create a thriving outcomes market for the first time”. (83)

“It is time for governments to lead us on the new path of impact investment, towards impact economies and impact capitalism”. (84)

“Governments must play a role in facilitating and nurturing the impact market, by developing standards in measurement and reporting, building market infrastructure and introducing incentives for investors”. (85)

Yep, we’ve got the picture, Ronnie.

Ronald Cohen1

9. Freed from regulations

Of course, the fly in the governmental ointment for the entrepreneurial class is that states do insist on regulating and limiting money-making activities in order to curry favour with The Voters, those poor saps who imagine that the politicians they elect are there to represent their interests and not those of the Global Business Community.

However, as Schwab noted with some satisfaction in his own 2020 book, the Covid crisis means that those inconveniently democratic days are now behind us and we can march forward to a glorious New Normal of totally unchecked profit and exploitation.

“There has never been a better time to launch an impact business, in part because the legal and regulatory environment is becoming much friendlier,” (86) declares Cohen.

He looks back nostalgically to the last major round of financial regulation that allowed him to amass his own personal fortune at the expense of the rest of us: “The explosion in venture capital in the 1980s offers an example of how an industry can be radically transformed through regulatory changes and tax incentives”. (87)

“After 1979, pension fund commitments to venture capital rose dramatically as a result, from $100–200 million a year during the 1970s, to more than $4 billion each year by the end of the 1980s. This important change in regulation combined with the reduction of capital gains tax to 28 per cent in 1978 and to 20 per cent in 1981 gave a big boost to venture capital, which has since grown to become about a trillion-dollar global pool”. (88)

Apax Partners“The experience of my own firm, Apax Partners, shows what is possible when a change in regulations opens up a market. Our first fund in Europe, which was raised in 1981 to invest in the UK, amounted to just £10 million ($13.3 million). Our last European fund before I left the firm, raised in 2002, amounted to €5 billion ($5.6 billion), and Apax has since raised an €11 billion fund ($12.2 billion)”. (89)

Cohen and his fellow impact capitalists have been doing all they can to anticipate and avoid any government regulation or taxation that might hinder their activities.

By aligning their investment strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals – or should that be the other way round? – they ensure that their schemes are officially classified as “doing good” and thus “we avoid the risks that accompany investments that do harm: the risk of future regulation, taxation and even the prohibition of activities that could put a halt to business altogether”. (90)

But he would still like to see positive state help in this respect: “Government must adapt to the new thinking about risk–return–impact, and use its regulatory power to accelerate its advance”, (91) he insists. It should “boost the supply of impact capital through changes in regulation and tax incentives”. (92)

“We saw earlier that changes in regulation can be a huge boost in the financial arena. We must widely replicate the initial breakthrough in the US, where a change in regulation opens the door for trustees of foundations and pension funds to make impact investments”. (93)

Ronald Cohen impact

10. Profits before people

The bottom line behind all this talk of “social impact”, as will be blindingly obvious by now, is good old-fashioned profit.

Cohen is, in fact, quite eager to point out the lucrative potential of the project, perhaps anxious that some might be fooled by all the talk of “helping those in need and preserving our planet” into imagining that he has gone soft in his old age and is no longer the hard-headed business tycoon we all know and love.

He recalls: “For me, the breakthrough in impact thinking came in September 2010, when for the first time we linked the measurement of social impact to financial return”. (94)

“We wanted to make an impact through investment, so we thought like investors and set out to find a way to deliver measurable impact, alongside a 10–12 per cent annual financial return. Eighteen years on, Bridges has raised over a billion pounds and delivered an average net annual return of 17 per cent”. (95)

“The Peterborough SIB achieved a 9.7 per cent reduction in the number of convictions, and paid investors 3.1 per cent a year on top of their capital”. (96)

pile of gold - Copie“Being able to supply underserved populations with products and services allows businesses to tap into huge demand, which in turn creates the opportunity to grow more quickly than companies that serve mainstream markets at higher prices”. (97)

“When entrepreneurs aim for profit and impact at the same time, they are able to define ways to succeed without sacrificing financial returns and are often turning their impact into a key driver of their success. Because they place impact at the core of their companies’ business models, their profits grow together with their impact”. (98)

Cohen is very proud of the fact that the world’s first Development Impact Bond in India, put together by Instiglio, the Colombia-founded impact finance advisor, was “a success”.

UBS OptimusHe relates: “UBS Optimus Fund recouped its initial funding of $270,000 from the outcome payer, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, plus $144,085 representing a 15 per cent annual return”. (99)

“Starting an impact venture is a reliable way to be more successful”, (100) Cohen stresses. “Investors will come to realize that we are able to increase returns not in spite of impact, but because of it”. (101)

“When we view the world through an impact lens, we discover opportunities to achieve higher growth and returns that we would otherwise pass by”, (102) he explains. “Impact thinking uncovers opportunities that we would otherwise miss”. (103)

“Investment returns from risk–return–impact will be at least as good as the returns from risk–return, and most likely better”. (104) “Impact helps deliver higher rates of return”. (105)

One possible pitfall awaiting the impact capitalist model regards the supply of raw materials from which they can extract these significant financial returns.

These raw materials are the “problems” for which the investors sell the “solutions”. As Cohen puts it himself: “Impact entrepreneurs thrive wherever there are major social and environmental issues to tackle”. (106)

One way to ensure that there are enough problems from which to profit is to define a certain state of affairs as “a problem”, have that definition officially recognised and then get paid by the public purse for “solving” it.

If, for instance, the fact that large parts of the population of Africa or India live close to nature and are not connected to the internet is defined as a “problem”, then the “solution” of technological “inclusivity”, pushing them into the digital world, is going to pay out for impact investors.

intersectionalityIn the “woke” world to which these capitalists are so strangely close, there will always be another oppressed minority waiting to be discovered and championed. On a pay-for-success basis.

The other way that impact capitalists can rely on there being enough problems for which they can offer “solutions”, is to ensure that, while they might be able to statistically prove “positive outcomes” in very narrow and specific areas, the poor underlying conditions remain intact.

They are, of course, doing just that by treating the wide-ranging damage caused by capitalists as just another money-making opportunity for those very same capitalists to exploit.

By getting richer and richer from their investments, the impact investors actively make sure that social injustice remains a problem for which they can keep selling so-called “solutions”.

By promoting the Fourth Industrial Revolution and all the mining, manufacturing, power consumption and waste that comes with it, they are making it inevitable that the environmental destruction they claim to be solving with their snake-oil fake-green technologies will not just continue but will massively increase.

This means that they can keep making money by selling yet more “solutions” to the problems they are helping to perpetuate!

Wall St tradersIn addition, as Alison McDowell points out, economic parasites can also make money by gambling with these impact deals on the financial markets, so that even failure can turn out to be profitable for some.

She writes: “Bundling the debt that SIBs represent transforms them into liquid securities that are immediately available for high frequency trading.

“The level of risk associated with these derivatives fluctuates as data flows through digital platforms linked to public service delivery.

“As bets and counter-bets are made by elite financial investors, the future prospects of real people are woven into the oppressive operations of global financial markets”.

While Cohen may see all this as “a win-win-win situation”, (107) it represents nothing short of disaster for humanity and our Mother Earth.

Like some demented monster feeding furiously off its own excrement, the impact capitalist empire will keep expanding, bloated with its own endlessly recycled toxicity, until its insane and insatiable greed has destroyed us all.

Unless we can stop it.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Mourad_Cohen
2. Kumar, described as “fearless in pursuit of what he saw as right”, was found dead in his home in Middlesborough just before the 2010 general election. The Indian-born 53-year-old was not believed to have been unwell but his death was quickly declared by police to be of natural causes.
3. Ronald Cohen, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change (London: Ebury Press, 2020). All subsequent notes are ebook position references (%) to this work.
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MORE READING:

Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset

Great Reset page of resources

Shapers of slavery: the plan

Shapers of slavery: the leadership

Shapers of slavery: the empire

Shapers of slavery: the virus

Shapers of slavery: the awakening

The Great Battle for the Future

Back to top

Dismantling tyranny

by Paul Cudenec

The only good thing to have come out of recent nightmarish months is that a lot of people have had to think seriously about the way they see the world.

I have not been exempt from this phenomenon, of course, and have been forced by circumstance into serious bouts of ideological soul-searching, but am delighted to report that, as 2020 draws to an end, I remain attached to the same principles with which I began the year!

What has changed, though, is that I now feel the need to provide certain additional explanations to my overall viewpoint which I would not have previously considered necessary.

Take, for example, my position with regard to the nation-state. I have been outspoken in my condemnation of nation-states and nationalism in my writing, but the global fascist coup has reminded me that a different perspective exists.

This says that truly independent nation-states, free from the chains imposed by all those globalist institutions from the World Bank and the IMF to the United Nations and the World Health Organization, would not have succumbed so meekly to the global capitalist putsch.

I can concede that the resurgence of anti-globalist national sovereignty, in the Global South as well as in Europe and the USA, might well be the best short-term bet for seeing off this horrific attempt to permanently enslave humankind in a techno-fascist world dictatorship.

However – and I would emphasise that word! – it is crucial to remember that nation-states were the first form of centralised authority imposed on free human communities and that the nation-state is the tool with which the exploiting class has long kept us in line.

The weary old mantra of “we’re all in this together” is the language of nationalism, in which the supposed common “national” interest of the serf and the billionaire, and their shared hatred of “foreigners”, is supposed to override any sense of social injustice on the part of the former.

If we ever want to taste real freedom, we will have to decentralise power completely, to the community level

The nation-state, with its fake “democracy”, its “legitimate authority”, its controlled media narratives, its public figures, its academic institutions, its police and its monopoly on violence, is the very real and immediate means by which we are oppressed.

Globalism may be the prison, but the nation-state is both the cell in which we are held and the prison guard standing outside.

If we ever want to taste real freedom, we will have to decentralise power completely, to the community level.

Unless we dismantle the national level of tyranny as well as the global one, everything will remain in place for the same thing to happen all over again.

A second issue I have been contemplating has been the issue of private property. My past criticism has been levelled at the system of private property (particularly land ownership) rather than at individuals who own their own home or farm.

In this society, we have no choice as to whether we want to participate in the system of private property. If we are not home-owners then we are home-renters. It is no better to be ripped off by a landlord than by a building society. People get by as they can.

When I first saw the World Economic Forum propaganda proposing a future in which we “own nothing”, my blood ran cold for a moment. Had I had been inadvertently promoting their agenda through my criticism of private property?

No, because the globalists’ vision is, like everything else they come out with, a lie. They certainly want the vast majority of human beings to own nothing, but that is because they want to own everything themselves – including those selfsame human beings!

Their “own nothing” option in fact represents the next step in the domination of private property, rather than its reversal. They want to consolidate the power of their own ultra-rich ruling class to the extent that the rest of us are left with nothing at all.

It is important to note that it is only through the development of private property as we have hitherto known it, that they have been able to reach this point.

Over many centuries, the ruling class has used its property to create wealth, used its wealth to acquire property and power, used its power to protect and increase its property and wealth.

Our overlords may have thrown us a few crumbs from the table as a sop to keep us quiet – convincing us that we too were part of their “property-owning democracy” – but it was always only a matter of time before they would try to push the thing a step further and grab everything for themselves.

Again, if we were able to pull back from the brink of this global totalitarian coup, there would be no point in returning to the pre-Covid status quo, as all the conditions would remain in place for the global ruling elite to try the same thing again, a few years down the road, using a different trick.

We need to prevent property from being used as a form of power and exploitation over others and develop organic form of communal democracy and co-operative ownership which cannot be hijacked by greedy tyrants.

I do not want to see land or homes owned either by billionaire capitalists or by the state, but by people, in ways that suit them best, on the most decentralised local level possible, in a spirit of sharing, caring and mutual aid.

The third issue I want to address here is that of business. I hate the “business” ethos which was notoriously instilled in the UK under Margaret Thatcher. Greed is good. Anyone who makes money (off other people) is a hero and the rest of us are all losers.

So it was strange to find myself sympathising with the plight of smaller businesses in the face of the lockdowns.

Strange, but perfectly explicable when I looked at it more closely.

As with the previous two thorny issues, what we are seeing today is the massive amplification of the “business” principle which I oppose, not its negation.

The Great Fascist Reset is, after all, being promoted by a business organisation, the World Economic Forum, and all the bias built in to the so-called “sustainability” agendas of the EU, the UN and so forth concerns prioritising the ongoing growth and expansion of business “stakeholders”.

The version of “business” sold to the little people by the global financial mafia was nothing but a gesture, a carrot dangled in front of them to persuade them to consent to the marvellous capitalist system and to stand with the billionaires against any “freedom-hating” left wingers who wanted a fairer distribution of wealth.

Now, that little game has outlived its usefulness and the people who thought they were living the free-market dream will find themselves herded into the same electronic concentration camps as the rest of us, as the slave-masters move to seize complete economic and social control.

The seeds for this have been there all along, from the moment that our societies started moving away from old-fashioned community values and towards the worship of money above all else.

Ferdinand Tönnies

In the words of the German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855-1936), this was the historic transition from Gemeinschaft (traditional community) to Gesellschaft (modern commercial society).

The French radical Georges Lapierre talks about the dominating “cosmovision” of a society based entirely on money: “In a mercantile society we are all merchants, our heads are filled with the thoughts of big capitalist merchants, we all think about money”.

If there is a Great Awakening from the Great Reset, there is no point in falling back into the money-thinking that has progressively corrupted our world for the last 500 years or more.

Just because things are worse now, with the Covid coup, than they were a year ago, or ten years ago, does not mean that we should aim to return to that previous step of the process.

I keep thinking of the apocryphal story of the man who fell from the top of a skyscraper and, as he passed each floor on the way down, was heard declaring “so far so good!”

While it may have been better to have been alive in 1960 or 1980 or 2000 than in 2020, rewinding to any of those stages would only condemn us to live through the same thing again, as we plummet towards the current calamity.

We need to rediscover what it means to be truly human

Instead, we need to go back to the point before we fell off the edge and take a different civilizational direction.

We need to rediscover what it means to be truly human, to cherish value over price, communal belonging over personal self-interest, honour above wealth.

We need to look deep inside ourselves and search out and nurture everything that makes us noble, authentic, generous and kind.

We need to remember that we are animals, that we are part of nature, part of the living cosmos and that respect for everything around us is essential for our happiness and survival.

That ancient human wisdom is still there, even though it has long been marginalised and spat upon by the same venal parasite class which is currently trying to steal everything from us and turn us into their slaves.

Our task is to find it, to drink it in deeply and then to share it as the health-giving elixir of a free and natural future for all of humankind.

Further reading: Organic radicals website

See our Great Reset and Climate Capitalists pages for more resources.

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Rob Hopkins: transition to what?

by Paul Cudenec

Rob Hopkins (pictured above) has become one of the iconic figures of the environmental movement, not just in the UK but throughout the world.

“There’s no one on earth who’s just done more stuff – and inspired more doing – than Rob Hopkins,” as one admirer has put it.

He started the Transition movement in Totnes in 2005 and soon Transition Towns were springing up all over the country.

I went along to a few events where I lived, in Sussex, attracted by the idea of encouraging a shift away from industrial capitalism and consumerism into a healthier decentralised way of being.

There were some pleasant people involved, some of whom I already knew from local eco-campaigning, but it was not quite my thing.

The Post-It note brainstorming sessions, rejection of “political” activity and much use of the UK state-approved term “resilience” all put me off a bit.

But I didn’t hold it against them. There is more than one way of campaigning and it’s unrealistic to imagine that everyone will do so in the way we personally would prefer.

I initially felt the same thing, from afar, about Extinction Rebellion until the penny dropped and I realised they were an astrofurf organisation being used to manipulate good-hearted people for hidden corporate ends.

So I drifted away from the Transition Town crowd with no hard feelings and didn’t really give them much more thought until last month.

It was then that I came across an essay entitled ‘The Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead‘ written by something called the Global Scenario Group in 2002.

This announces: “The global transition has begun — a planetary society will take shape over the coming decades”.

The imminent “Planetary Phase of civilization” would involve “Global governance” and “Globalization”.

This “Great Transition” sounds very much like the Great Reset announced by Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum, also branded as the Fourth Industrial RevolutionBuild Back Better and the Future We Want.

I was struck by the fact that this Great Transition document came out just three years before Rob launched his own “Transition” project in Devon.

But I was also very aware that he seemed to be proposing something very different – relocalisation rather than globalisation. Surely there could be no connection?

I decided, out of curiosity, to have a look at what Rob has been doing and saying, to see if this could shed any light on the matter.

The first thing I read was an article from August 2020 in which Rob sings the praises of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which he describes as “one of the few rays of hopeful sunshine in the UK’s currently bleak political landscape” and “rather brilliant”.

There were a couple of strange lines in Rob’s article.

For instance, he says that the future brought about by this Bill would “would feel like all of the brilliant inventiveness of the Industrial Revolution compressed into 20 years”.

“Brilliant inventiveness of the Industrial Revolution”? That’s a peculiar turn of phrase for anybody dedicated to combating the deadly damage caused to Mother Nature by industrialism!

He also writes: “This Bill would give a clear signal to the education system, to business, to investors, that this is now the ‘new normal’…”

The new normal? Now where have we heard that before?

Browsing through Rob’s blog, I next noticed that he had been the “keynote speaker” at an event in Belgium on November 10, 2020.

Here he mixed his chosen theme of “the human imagination” with talk about “bold international action”, “governments acting with vision and purpose”, “individual lifestyle changes” and businesses acting with “a willingness to reimagine everything”.

If that last turn of phrase sounds familiar, it is perhaps because it had been used earlier in 2020 by Klaus Schwab: “We need to reimagine everything… What we need is a Great Reset”.

Hmmm.

I was also a little concerned to see Rob using the term “storytelling” in his talk, explaining how public opinion could be shaped by “a longing created not by graphs, by statistics, by policy, but by storytelling and imagination”.

“Storytelling” is a term often used by corporate manipulators to describe the opinion-forming propaganda with which they try to mislead us into endorsing agendas we would normally reject. (See this article, for instance, or this).

Rob continues: “So much of my work is about creating longing for that low carbon world”. “Creating” longing?

I decided to take a closer look at the event at which Rob’s speech was “widely applauded by the 200 or so participants” – the Philippe de Woot Award Ceremony organised by the Louvain School of Management at UCLouvain.

The award in question “aims to promote sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility”.

Previous ceremonies have involved talks on topics such as “Citizen Participation in Smart Cities”, “The case of the Kenyan renewable energy sector” and a demonstration that “product carbon audits are a means to create value in supply chains“.

The award scheme boasts an impressive array of “financial partners“.

These include medical equipment business Iba (“We dare to develop innovative solutions pushing back the limits of technology”), chemical companies Solvay S.A. and BASF, steel wire business Bekaert, house-building firm Blavier, supermarket chain Colruyt, “professional services” business Deloitte, luxury leather goods firm Delvaux, multinational banking group ING, finance firm Investsud, minerals business Lhoist, mining company Umicore N.V, “clean energy” firm Engie (still using coal power stations in Chile), and, last but by no means least, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.

Philippe Emmanuel Marie Baron de Woot de Trixhe

The award is named after Belgian aristocrat Philippe Emmanuel Marie Baron de Woot de Trixhe, who died in 2016, six years after it was first handed out.

Baron De Woot was evidently a very well-connected individual, having been a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Royal Academy of Belgium and the International Academy of Management.

He also “served on the board of directors and advisory committees of several national and international corporations” and was “an active member” of the Global Responsible Leadership Initiative, an organisation founded in 2004 by the European Foundation for Management Development and the United Nations Global Compact.

The affinities between the late Baron’s world of business and global governance and Rob’s eco-friendly Transition project may seem hard to grasp – why did they choose him as their “keynote” speaker? – but this alignment is not a one-off.

In 2016, Rob’s work was cited by none other than Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum.

But then maybe they were just returning the favour, since in 2011 Rob had dedicated a blog post to discussing the “importance” of a WEF graph on “global risks”.

Delving further into Rob’s archives, I found this statement from March 2009: “I am delighted to be able to announce that I recently became a Fellow of Ashoka, the international organisation that supports social entrepreneurs.

“Becoming an Ashoka Fellow brings some great resource to Transition. It brings a stipend, which means for the first time I can be paid fulltime for the work I do, it also brings some amazing project support, both from Ashoka itself and from the range of organisations that offer pro bono work to them”.

Ashoka is a somewhat mysterious organisation which is funded by “charitable foundations” and wealthy individuals such as Antonis Schwarz, now of Guerrilla Foundation (see this article on the Winter Oak site) and provides advice to organizations such as the World Bank.

It is worth noting that the video was posted by Andres Falconer, who at the time was managing director of Ashoka UK and went on to become “head of partnerships” at the World Bank Secretariat for the Global Partnership for Social Accountability.

In August 2020 Falconer turned up as host of an online event for Climate Investment Funds, jointly staged with Climate Capital Partners (“We create climate finance solutions to help clients thrive in an ever-changing global environment”).

Another interesting aside regarding the video is that it involves what Rob describes as “some good people from Transition Stroud”.

Stroud in Gloucestershire, UK, would ten years later be hailed by The Guardian as “the gentle Cotswold town that spawned a radical protest”, as it was from here that Extinction Rebellion first surfaced.

Says the April 2019 report: “Two of the group’s three founders, Gail Bradbrook and her partner Simon Bramwell, live in the town.”

As regards the actual content of the video, Rob talks about decentralisation and relocalisation, as you would expect, but also about “resilience” and the need to come up with a “Plan B” for the economy.

“A Plan B for business” was later to become the main slogan used by Richard Branson’s B Team (founded in 2012), one of the key hubs of the global “climate capitalist” network.

Rob identifies three challenges facing the world in 2009, a year after the economic crash.

These are peak oil, climate change and “the rapid contraction of the economy, which is something that is quite historically unprecedented”.

Why is that a challenge from the green point of view that Rob is supposed to represent? If you want to see an end to climate change and environmental destruction, then the contraction of the capitalist economy would be a good thing, wouldn’t it?

The contraction of the capitalist economy is only a problem for the capitalists who get rich from that economy.

Is the “challenge” for them in fact to keep their wealth and profiteering going in the face of an imminent collapse of their fraudulent global Ponzi scheme? Does the goal of “sustainability”, for them, really apply to capitalism, rather than the environment?

Like his friends in Extinction Rebellion, Rob is keen to avoid any scrutiny of the capitalist system and its ruling elite.

He says in the video: “One of the things that makes Transition different from a lot of the previous environmental campaigns that we’re both [he and Falconer?] familiar with is that its starting point isn’t trying to work out whose fault it is that we’ve got into this mess so it doesn’t attribute blame, it focuses on we’re all in this together…”

“We’re all in this together!” Uncanny how he keeps coming up with these phrases!

Zooming forward 11 years to 2020, the big news in Rob’s world is the arrival of a new book, “From What Is To What If“.

You can often learn a lot about someone’s place in society by looking at who is keenest to praise them and their work.

Remember that quote at the top of this article, for instance, about there being no one on earth who’s “done more stuff” than Rob Hopkins? That was Bill McKibben.

Yes, that’s right, the Bill McKibben who founded 350.org and whose gang of full-time climate “activists” were thoroughly exposed in the film “Planet of the Humans” as “de facto lobbyists for green tech billionaires and Wall Street investors determined to get their hands on the whopping $50 trillion profit opportunity that a full transition to renewable technology represents”.

It’s very much the same story if you look at the rave reviews for Rob’s new book.

“I love this book. It is an extraordinary, reality-based report on people around the world applying the power of imagination to rebuild relationships and create a fulfilling, creative, and possible human future together. An essential read for all who care,” writes David C. Korten.

Korten has spent his life working for the likes of the Ford Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Forum on Globalization. He is a member of the Club of Rome.

Here is another review: “Rob Hopkins has long been a leader in imagining how we could remake our societies for the benefit of nature and humankind. His new book is a powerful call to imagine a better world. It should be widely read and appreciated”.

Christiana Figueres

That one comes from Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and World Bank Climate Leader, whose brother José María Figueres was the first CEO of the World Economic Forum, “where he strengthened global corporate ties to social and governmental sectors”.

For more on Figueres and her family, see this Winter Oak article.

Just as worrying as these endorsements for Rob’s work is the way he seems to give little nods of affiliation to the global capitalist elite by slipping their catchphrases into his own statements.

“Plan B”… “new normal”… “we’re all in this together”… “storytelling”… “reimagine everything”… Could all this really be down to coincidence?

Any lingering shred of doubt in this respect is swept away by the subheading of Rob’s new book – “Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want”.

The Future We Want! One of the branding slogans used to package Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset!

In his talk to the Philippe de Woot Award Ceremony, Rob described an exercise in which, echoing the title of his book, he invited groups of people “to come up with as many ‘What If’ questions they could”.

I would like to take part in this little game with some “What if” questions of my own.

What if Rob’s famous Transition project was never really about empowering local communities, about the relocalisation of society and a return to a natural way of living?

What if it has, all along, been a cunningly-disguised long-term “storytelling” propaganda exercise, softening up public opinion, building “social licence” and “creating longing” for the Great Transition aka the Great Reset?

What if its real roots do not lie in the organic allotments of Totnes, but in the boardrooms of mega-corporations and investment funds, at the UN, the World Bank and the WEF, in the toxic realm of a global power elite seeking to consolidate its complete control over humanity and the natural world?

What if Rob Hopkins is a total fake?

See our Great Reset and Climate Capitalists pages for more resources.

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A vile corporate conspiracy: exposing the Great Reset

A hugely important exposé of the Great Reset, aka the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has been published by our fellow campaigner Cory Morningstar on the Wrong Kind of Green website.

The thinking behind the Great Reset can certainly be understood by reading and analysing the works of Klaus Schwab, as we did in October.

But here Cory takes a big step further by highlighting the sheer scale of this incredibly sinister and dangerous project, not just in terms of its warped ambition but in terms of those taking part.

More crucially still, she does not just hint at or speculate about this massive web of manipulative ill-doing, but proves that it exists through link after link, document after document.

This wealth of detail is the cornerstone of the article, even if it means it will be a challenging read for some.

Cory explores numerous aspects to this vast technocratic push for total global domination and control, such as:

Artificial Intelligence
Automation
Information and Communications Technology
5G
6G
Bio-cybernetic identity
Smart phones
Smart cities
Satellites
Technocracy
2030 Agenda on sustainable development
Internet of Things
Industrial Internet of Things
Hyperconnected world
Creation of a digital technosphere
Virtual reality
Augmented reality
Immersive reality
Machine learning
3D printing
Crypto currencies
Autonomous vehicles
Precision agriculture
Gene editing
Robotics
Digital medicine
Neuro-technological brain enhancements
Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
Drone targeting
Hypersonic weapons
Blockchain
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity certification schemes
Digital identity systems
Hyperscale data centres
Personal data
Cashless benefit payments
Virtual wallets
Mobile phone advertising
Digital dividends
Militarized technologies
Food
Accelerated industrialisation
Private public partnerships
Corporate control
“Green” economy
Imperialism
Ruling class control
Global governance
Global policing
New economic architecture
Carbon offsetting
Seabed mining
Lithium extraction
Privatisation of nature
Destruction of informal economy
Impact investing/social impact bonds
Monetization of “social and human capital”

She refers to a vast array of organisations and individuals associated with what can only be described as the Great Reset Conspiracy, including:

The World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation
The World Bank
The Business Roundtable
The Imperative 21 RESET campaign
The Global Inclusive Growth Summit
The B Team
JUST Capital
B Lab
Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose Inclusive Capitalism
Conscious Capitalism
The Center for Humane Technology
PepsiCo
MasterCard
Unilever
Facebook
Amazon
Google
Apple
Microsoft
Salesforce
Ericson
Huawei
SpaceX
WWF
The Unfinished Network
Ashoka
Aspen Institute
Ford Foundation
Imperative 21
The Max Steinbeck Charitable Trust
McCourt
Mil M2
PolicyLink
The Shed
The Internet Society
Access Now
Avaaz
The Center for Democracy & Technology
Charles Koch Institute
RAND Corporation
Walmart
Twentieth Century Fox
Verizon
The World Health Organization
COVID Action Platform
The United Nations
The UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development
The UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation
The UN Industrial Development Organization
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
The World Food Programme
Aliba
The Nature Conservancy
Breakthrough Energy Ventures
The United Arab Emirates’ Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
ABRY
IrisGuard
Vodafone
BenevolentAI
Tencent
The Social Dilemma
Upworthy
Greenpeace International

Klaus Schwab
Bill Gates
Melinda Gates
Jeff Bezos
Mark Zuckerberg
Marc Benioff
António Guterres
Elon Musk
Jay Coen Gilbert
Bob Work
Tristan Harris
Julie Brill
Philippa Scarlett
Vint Cerf
Jack Ma
Eli Pariser
Chris Hughes
Mohammad Al Gergawi
Fadi Chehadé
Marina Kolesnik
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Ajay Banga
Nick Read
Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utolkamanu
Joanna Shields
Pony Ma Huateng

Cory explains that these players are trying to manufacture “social license” for their Great Reset by packaging it as a combined response to the climate/environmental crisis and to the Covid-19 “pandemic”.

It is here that the Great Reset/4IR conspirators are really scraping the barrel of the lowest possible type of human behaviour, displaying all the symptoms of what Cory calls a “depraved psychosis”.

In order to accelerate their destruction of our world with their toxic cult of greed, they are trying to pass themselves off as the planet’s saviours.

In order to push humanity into the high-tech cages they have prepared for us, they are using not just fear, but also a misplaced, hijacked, sense of social responsibility on the part of those who have swallowed their globally-orchestrated brainwashing propaganda about the need to “fight the virus”.

Cory writes: “Promises for a just transition, green deals, new deals, build back better schemes, are nothing but empty, hollow assurances, void of intent. These are the lies they tell. Promises and assertions that are nothing more than alibis.

“While ‘corona’ serves to distract a global populace, a virus Klaus Schwab describes as ‘mild’ in his book COVID-19 The Great Reset, one thing is clear – billionaires are the most dangerous virus of all”.

She identifies smart phones as a key weapon in the dictatorship’s technological armoury of repression.

“Anything ‘smart’ serves capital first and foremost. More than just abstaining, the solution has to be for everyone who owns a smartphone to trash it – never looking back… The truth is, if no one purchased smartphones, they would give them away in cereal boxes”.

“We are embarking on an inescapable and irreversible technological enslavement… This we know: the planet will not be saved by those that have destroyed it”.

And in one passage of particular wisdom, she challenges to the core the myth of “progress” which has been used to push us further and further away from natural happiness and deeper and deeper into an industrial capitalist hell.

“Humans have survived successfully for millennia without mobiles. All we require for our survival is healthy food, clean water, clean sanitation, and shelter. And as social animals, we seek physical community, companionship, joy, and love”.

Will we let the corporate control freaks steal all that from us for ever?

See our Great Reset and Climate Capitalists pages for more resources.

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Corporate-branded activism

Ha, you think it’s funny, turning rebellion into money

The Clash

After publishing our exposé of Berlin-based Guerrilla Foundation and its wealthy founder Antonis Schwarz, we came across a telling insight into the world we described.

This is on the site of Interweave, “an awarded, global Interactive Marketing Agency” working for “brands and companies worldwide”.

One of the “brands” Interweave have built is none other than Guerrilla Foundation, famous funder of activists.

Our favourite section comes under the heading “A Complete Corporate Visual Identity”.

This states: “As [sic] integral part of a holistic corporate identity, creating Guerrilla Foundation’s complete visual identity was one of the pillars of this project: a logo that stands out because of its elegant, minimal design illustrating all brand positioning aspects in a solid way – and everything that comes along: typography, colour pallette, letterhead, business cards, and corporate signature”.

“Corporate signature”. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

We have listed below some of the organisations that have been receiving funds from Guerrilla Foundation, according to its own site.

If any of our readers are in contact with any of these groups, we suggest they raise the Guerrilla Foundation question with them.

Those pocketing their cash might want to consider exactly what this corporate-branded grant-maker is telling us when it describes its mission as “bringing about major systemic change across Europe in line with the Great Transition”.

They might want to ponder over what Guerrilla Foundation really means when it says it wants to see a “deeply connected” world of “planetary civilization”.

They would do well to consider whether, when Guerrilla Foundation declares “We are not risk averse”, this is the language of activism or of financial speculation.

They could also join us in wondering what kind of “value” Guerrilla Foundation has in mind when it talks about a “broader value shift in society”. Ethical or financial?

And in what direction, precisely, does it hope this “value” will shift?

Receivers of Guerrilla Foundation grants include:

UK. Autonomy: “Could be described as an independent activist think tank, an action-oriented rebel research crew, or a multi-disciplinary lab for rethinking work”.

UK. Red Pepper Magazine: “A pluralist, socialist, feminist and environmentalist media collective”.

UK. The World Transformed: “Supporting, developing and delivering radical political education across the UK in order to build a movement capable of transforming society”.

UK. London Renters Union: “Building the power needed to transform the housing system”.

UK. Extinction Rebellion: “A campaign by the Rising Up network, that promotes a fundamental change of the UK’s political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm”.

UK. Plan B: “A network of volunteers pursuing a rational, evidence based response to the climate crisis through strategic legal action”.

Scotland. All Hands On: “A non profit, activist media group”.

Global. Shareable: “Nonprofit media outlet & action network that uses its global communications platform to empower activists, organizations, and municipalities to share for a more equitable, resilient, and joyful world”.

Belgium/Global. The COVID-19 Chronicles podcast: “We cannot go back to normal as normal was the problem”.

Italy. Genova che osa: A “grassroots” organisation that acts locally in Genoa and strives for “big structural changes”.

Germany. Brand New Bundestag: “A grassroots movement, which will channel the energy of social movements into the German parliament by encouraging civil society leaders to run for office and helping them win”.

Germany. Reclaim Our Economy: “Tackles economic leverage points by organising concerted activities to reimagine, co-create and experience systemic change”.

Germany. Frag Den Staat (Ask the State): “Part of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which has a mission to ‘create a more open world'”.

Germany. Disruption Network Lab: “New possible routes of social and political action within the framework of digital culture and information technology”.

Germany. Peng!: “Draw inspiration and learn from the arts, hacking, politics and big business in order to design provocative and critical culture-jamming interventions”.

Germany. The Centre for Intersectional Justice: “Offers a paradigmatic shift to the way we analyse, address and combat systemic inequalities”.

Austria/Europe. Stay Grounded: “Works towards an ecologically sustainable and just form of mobility”.

Netherlands. Fossil Free Culture NL: “Collective of artists and activists creating disobedient art to end oil and gas sponsorship of cultural institutions”.

Spain. The Artivist Network: “Focuses specifically upon climate justice organising for its power as an intersectional platform to unite diverse movements”.

Spain. Ulex Project: “Supporting organisations and groups who are working towards the structural transformations needed to address key irrationalities and injustices in the current socio-economic system”.

Spain. Minim: “A collective that amplifies the voice of municipalism by sharing practical and theoretical knowledge, via a community of activists, scholars, journalists, and public officials”.

Spain. 2020 Rebelión por el Clima: “New coalition of diverse eco-social movements from across the Iberian Peninsula”.

Serbia. The Ministry of Space: “Activist collective that envisions a city in which everyone participates in the decision-making processes”.

Hungary. The School of Public Life: “A grassroots training and research centre in Budapest that promotes active citizenship and social movement organising”.

Czech Republic. Limity jsme my: “Climate justice movement working to address the root causes of the climate crisis by striving to keep fossil fuels in the ground”.

Systemic or Systems Change Activism is what we’re banking on

Guerrilla Foundation

See our Great Reset and Climate Capitalists pages for more resources.

Also possibly relevant is this article.

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Guerrillas of the Great Reset

In this special report, we look at the ultra-rich investors who are funding “activists” in the hope of profiting from “systemic change”

The firepower behind the Great Reset can be utterly mind-boggling at times.

And the enormous scope and scale of this global fascist coup, led by the World Economic Forum, becomes particularly apparent when the scam is challenged.

Increased questioning of the vaccine agenda has led to calls for new laws to crush dissent and high-profile figures who speak out against tyranny are systematically smeared in a bid to shut them up.

In France, shockwaves of panic have been spread through the ruling elite by a powerful documentary film exposing the hidden Covid-19 agenda.

Since its November release, ‘Hold-Up‘ has been viewed, shared, downloaded and discussed by literally millions of people.

As word spread, boosted by the recommendation of actress Sophie Marceau, the Thought Police decided the film could no longer simply be ignored.

Macronist politicians screamed “conspiracy theory!” and “fake news!” and now-familiar fascistic measures swung into operation: Pierre Barnérias’s film was taken down from nearly everywhere it was put up online and its crowdfunding disabled.

The mass media played their usual role as well, with a deluge of derision from the whole spectrum of corporate propaganda outlets from Le Monde to Libération.

But this wasn’t enough! This kind of reaction only confirmed the film’s message that the truth was being hidden from the public by the establishment and its cronies.

Another special weapon had to be rolled out to defend the system.

So it was that so-called radicals stepped forward to condemn the film, not just for promoting “conspiracy theories” (automatically conflated with anti-semitism despite the total absence of any such content), but also for the crime of getting positive reviews by some right-wing websites. Smear by unsolicited association!

A certain breed of “activist” also rushed to circulate a video made by a group, ‘Partager c’est Sympa’ (‘Sharing is nice’), which attacks the Hold-Up film from what might appear on the surface to be a leftish perspective.

It attempts to discredit Hold-Up by means of a pseudo-deconstruction voiced by a self-satisfied and self-appointed representative of the Youth of Today wandering around a ruined chateau.

So what lies behind this would-be “debunking” of Hold-Up?

It is interesting to note, in this article showcasing Partager c’est Sympa, that they are involved in “copying Youtubers’ codes and formats” in order to influence viewers in a certain direction, using “unbranded, high-quality videos designed to communicate efficiently on social media”.

“Unbranded” videos and “copying Youtubers’ codes and formats”? This is the language of people trying to pass themselves off as something which they are evidently not.

The article in question adds: “What Partager c’est Sympa are doing has never been done before, in France, and probably in the world (as far as we know). They are a dedicated and young team (26-27 years old), with proven records that they know how to talk to millennials, working hard and fast, and are efficient at getting their videos shared far FAR beyond the usual crowd of NGOs”.

This description appears, in English, on the site of a Berlin-based organisation called Guerrilla Foundation, which has given thousands of euros to Partager c’est Sympa.

Guerrilla Foundation explains on its site that it is involved in “grant-making activities” and in what it calls “storytelling”. This “storytelling” is said to involve creating a “radical, systemic change narrative”.

The ‘Why We Do What We Do‘ section kicks off with a quote from the academic Marshall Ganz, clearly a great inspiration behind Guerrilla Foundation.

Ganz, who offers courses on ‘Leadership, Organizing and Action‘ at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, is widely credited with devising the successful “grassroots” organising model and training for Barack Obama’s winning 2008 presidential campaign.

He is also on the board of directors of the Leading Change Network, which describes itself as “a global community of organizers, educators, and researchers” involved in “training the craft of organizing both online and on the ground”.

Ganz is also an enthusiast for what Guerrilla Foundation term “storytelling”.

He declares, in the quote used by Guerrilla Foundation: “Movements have narratives. They tell stories, because they are not just about rearranging economics and politics. They also rearrange meaning”.

So who exactly are these mysterious grant-making guerrillas who want to tell us stories, rearrange economics and politics, even “rearrange meaning”?

The founder of Guerrilla Foundation is Antonis Schwarz, described on its site as “an activist, philanthropist and impact investor of Greek-German descent” who has “used his inherited wealth to support a variety of social causes since 2011”.

Not mentioned there is that Schwarz’s inherited wealth comes from the pharmaceuticals industry, namely Schwarz Pharma (sold in 2006), and that he is part of “one of the richest families in Germany“.

In this video, Schwarz boasts about having established “a powerful network across Europe”, which he presents as consisting of radicals opposing the capitalist system.

But one of the groups to have benefited from Guerrilla Foundation’s largesse (to the tune of “20-40K” in 2018) is Extinction Rebellion, long since exposed as an astroturf movement serving the interests of climate capitalists.

There are unfortunate echoes of that insidious agenda when Guerrilla Foundation declares on its website that “Systemic or Systems Change Activism is what we’re banking on”!

And further research quickly reveals that financial profit very much goes hand in hand with the kind of “activism” it promotes.

Guerrilla Foundation links to a sister site called ‘Good Move Initiatives‘, where Schwarz makes it totally clear that this kind of “philanthropy” is not about giving money away but about gambling today on the possibility of a massive pay-out tomorrow.

Schwarz enthuses: “Advocacy impact strategies are surely accompanied by high levels of risk. Outcomes are by no means guaranteed and your donation will be gone indefinitely irrespective of whether a change was achieved on the actual issue.

“However, if you are a risk-taker and care about achieving the maximum impact with your money, investing into political advocacy is very much worth looking into”.

In a video featured on the home page of the Good Move Initiatives site, Schwarz talks about his “campaign to unlock dormant assets for social impact investing in Germany”.

If you don’t know what “social impact investing” entails, then check out the work of Alison McDowell on her Wrench in the Gears site.

She summarises: “As bets and counter-bets are made by elite financial investors, the future prospects of real people are woven into the oppressive operations of global financial markets. Human potential is subsumed within a colossal machine designed to profit from suffering”.

Antonis Schwarz of Guerrilla Foundation

The reduction of human beings to the status of “human capital” by social impact investors is very much part of The Great Reset promoted by Klaus Schwab and his WEF.

It is therefore a little alarming to discover that Guerrilla Foundation’s mission statement speaks of their commitment to something they term “The Great Transition”.

One of Schwarz’s colleagues goes into more detail about this in the ‘Why We Do What We Do‘ section of the Guerrilla Foundation site.

He points readers towards a 2002 essay called ‘The Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead‘ from the Global Scenario Group.

“The global transition has begun — a planetary society will take shape over the coming decades,” this announces.

“We are now in the midst of a third significant transition, we argue, toward what we shall refer to as the Planetary Phase of civilization”.

The above table, which also features on the Guerrilla Foundation site, sets out the envisaged Great Transition from old-fashioned ideas like villages, settled agriculture, language and writing to the “Planetary Phase” characterised by “Global governance”, “Globalization” and “Internet”.

A graph shows how the authors imagine this change will happen. There are striking similarities here with how Klaus Schwab describes his Great Reset: a sudden crisis (“take-off” here) is followed by acceleration and then the “stablization” of a new normality.

The “storytelling” used by Guerrilla Foundation and others like them is intended to build a narrative justifying a certain kind of politics, to sell the illusions of nice capitalism, of progressive banking and sustainable growth.

They pride themselves on facilitating “unlikely collaborations” between “activists” and the world of high finance, as this rather strange article on their site reveals.

The author explains how Guerrilla Foundation paid “activists” to attend a capitalist Impact Hub “Unlikely Allies” event.

“We channel all our support towards activists & grassroots movements, so a pluralistic assembly of diverse backgrounds could not possibly be complete without self-identifying activists.

“Ergo, we pitched the idea to cover all expenses associated with participation, accommodation, travel for five European activists, who would not likely (pun intended) come to the event, to do just that”.

The article concludes: “‘Unlikely Allies’ is the name of a book that approximately four people have read, by professor Joel Richard Paul. It is about a merchant, a playwright and a spy who used espionage, betrayal and sexual deception to help win the American Revolution.

“While we are certainly not going to read it, we hope to see this gathering spread like populism, and we are going to take unlikely alliances seriously in helping to achieve the great transition that’s coming”.

There is that key Guerrilla Foundation theme again – the use of deception to bring about a “great transition”.

Schwarz: private wealth

Further insight into the agenda behind Guerrilla Foundation can be gained from another of its founder’s connections.

Antonis Schwarz is involved with the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich’s Department of Banking and Finance, Switzerland.

Under the title ‘Wealth Owner Programs’, this insititution offers a course entitled ‘Impact Investing for the Next Generation’.

This training apparently “equips next generation members of ultra high net worth families with the technical and soft skills needed to move assets towards impact”.

Schwarz actually makes an appearance in this promotional video of the course aimed specifically at the “wealth holders of the next generation” – the global ruling elite of the decades to come – although, in common with some other interviewees, his family name is not disclosed.

The course is also offered across the Atlantic by the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA – which by a remarkable coincidence is the very same institution where Guerrilla Foundation guru Marshall Ganz teaches ‘Leadership, Organizing and Action’!

A 2019 article on the Bloomberg website explains: “The program has barely been advertised since its founding in 2015 and word is spread through old-money networks and among European royalty”.

It reports the endorsement of Antonis “Guerrilla” Schwarz, who says: “It gets the scions of the world’s wealthiest families together to talk about impact investing, and I don’t know a lot of programs like that”.

And the article also quotes some of the participants, who are “all staggeringly wealthy”.

One of these is Cheng Ming Zhe, an analyst at Singapore-based Golden Equator Wealth, whose family “made a fortune in property”.

Says Cheng: “When people see there are people changing the world and earning a lot of money at the same time, I believe it will set an example for others of our generation to follow”.

“Changing the world and earning a lot of money at the same time”.

There’s the plan in a nutshell!

At the risk of being condemned as “conspiracy theorists” by an army of fake-left guerrillas, we would also like to point out that the ‘Impact Investing for the Next Generation’ course is held “in collaboration with” none other than Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum

See our Great Reset page for more resources.

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The Great Reset

The Great Reset (aka Build Back Better, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the New Normal, the Green New Deal or the New Deal for Nature) is an attempted global capitalist coup on a scale never before imagined. It is a bid by an ultra-wealthy elite to take total control over every aspect of our world, our lives and our bodies.

The future they have lined up for us is a fascist transhumanist hell in which freedom has been abolished and humans are merged with robots and turned into commodities for elite profit.

There is a massive overlap between those behind this insidious scheme and the Climate Capitalists whom we and others have previously exposed.

The scam is essentially the same: using a façade of combatting climate change, or a virus, or even social injustice, this criminal mafia intends to force us, our children, and our children’s children into a miserable future of slavery, while they install themselves as undisputed rulers of the world.

Their technological ‘solutions’ to the environmental crisis use the fig leaf of phoney #NetZero ‘sustainability’ to hide the toxic reality of spiralling economic ‘growth’ and profit.

The Great Reset will do nothing to help Mother Nature but will instead prop up and expand the very industrial capitalist system which is murdering her.

The more that people are aware of what this vile billionaire elite are really up to, the less chance they have of getting away with it, and we hope this ever-expanding collection of resources will help spread awareness and, therefore, resistance!

We invite you to have a look at our newly-created Great Reset page of resources.