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The Impact Investing Podcast

Dec 10, 2015

Impact beautifully distills the insights and deep wisdom of one of the world’s great social innovators. Etmanski’s book is far more than a practical guide: it’s an invitation to re-imagine possibilities for our lives and for the world we create.”
David Bornstein, author “How To Change The World”

Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author. He is a founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact. Previously he co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)with his wife Vickie Cammack and Jack Collins. Al is an Ashoka fellow, and a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD). 

Al Etmanski is helping to alleviate the financial and social challenges commonly faced by peoples living with disabilities by working directly with families. PLAN is a family-led organization founded to secure the future for people with disabilities and helps to develop personal networks and provide advice, assistance and advocacy on government benefits, home ownership, and legal and financial solutions for persons with disabilities. Al successfully initiated the world's first Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to benefit 500,000 individuals with disabilities, and the organization has mentored over 40 similar organizations worldwide. It is the first and only program of its kind, and is a life changing social financial innovation that is currently running only in Canada.

Al Etmaksi’s new book: Impact6 is about the six different pattern areas you can identify to spread your social idea and change. It’s a blueprint and action plan for innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers looking to have a social impact in their community and country.

Pattern One: Think and Act like a Movement
Pattern Two: Create a Container for Your Content
Pattern Three: Set the Table for Allies, Adversaries and Strangers
Pattern Four: Mobilize Your Economic Power
Pattern Five: Advocate with Empathy
Pattern Six: Who Is as Important as How

Impact6 explores the difference between short term success and lasting impact. It’s for those who have wondered why, despite our best efforts, talent and money we have not made as big a dent in our social and environmental challenges as we’d like.

Impact6 profiles more than 50 Canadians who are achieving lasting social impact, looking past quick wins and surface-level victories, and paying attention to the deeper patterns of change. Al’s hope is that this book will shine a light on the good work Canadians have done, are doing and will do to move the dial, change a paradigm, tip a system and achieve lasting social impact.

The book also explores the three different types of innovators Al says are necessary to create lasting and high impact social change. Receptive Innovators, Bridging Innovators and Disruptive Innovators

As many of you know, I think it is important to not only interview impact investors, but also the entrepreneurs who are doing the kind work that aligns with impact investors goals and values.
Al’s lifetime of work and social contribution comes in a field that is far too often not discussed in the fields of social enterprise and financial innovation –but is in my opinion very important and in a realm very worthy of discussion and highlighting.

This interview is more of a conversation and philosophical exploration than an informational interview. Al takes his time and makes sure to answer thoughtfully and deeply, speaking as though he was talking to an old friend.


BONUS: The entire first chapter of Impact is available on Al’s website and is chalk full of resources and bonus material!

Twitter: @aletmanski