New Investment Formula: Collaborative Capitalism = (Triple Bottom Line) Profits

“Rich world” firms have invested $3 trillion in emerging economies since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the opening up of China, and growth surges in Brazil and India in the 1990s. Lately, this mega-deal is not going well. Political instability, sinking currencies, weak commodity prices, and slowing growth have caused Investments by rich world firms with above-average exposure to emerging markets to lag 40 percent behind the U.S. stock market for the last three years. What to do? First, a reminder: many of the problems are consequences of historic colonial capitalism and Great Power politics. The re-set button for those challenges must be continuously pushed. Secondly, a more collaborative capitalism that includes environmental, social, and governance issues at the local level as an integral part of business strategy would seem to be the best bet for increased profits—the triple bottom line kind.

John Howell, Editorial Director