The world is horrified at the calamity unfolding in Israel and Gazasince last week, with no end in sight. The slaughter of innocent citizens and continued assaults can seem insolvable as the crisis is unfolding. Cleary there will not be a simple solution or way forward. But times like these require us all to try and help to define a peaceful way forward. Such challenging times call for bridging leadership.
Given the gravity of the conflict, this week on The Caring Economy, we decided that instead of airing a new program, we would re-air last year’s interview with Sir Ronald Cohen as an example of what bridging leadership in the Middle East looks like. His work and that of his charity The Portland Trust, can give us one example of possible ways forward.
A Pioneer in Impact Investing and a Champion of Peace
Sir Ronald Cohen is a pre-eminent international investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, social finance innovator, and impact pioneer. He is the chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and The Portland Trust.
Cohen is best known as the “father of British venture capital” and the “father of social investment.” He is a co-founder of Apax Partners, one of the world’s leading private equity firms, and Bridges Fund Management, a social investment fund manager.
Cohen is a passionate advocate for impact investing, which is the practice of investing in companies and projects that generate both financial and social or environmental returns. He believes that impact investing has the potential to transform the global economy and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Cohen’s work with The Portland Trust is a prime example of his commitment to impact investing. The Portland Trust is a non-profit organization that promotes peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians through economic development. Cohen co-founded The Portland Trust in 2003 and has served as its chairman ever since.
Cohen’s work with The Portland Trust has had a significant impact on the Palestinian economy. The Trust has helped to create thousands of jobs, increase Palestinian GDP by billions of dollars, and improve the lives of vulnerable people in Israel.
Cohen’s work with The Portland Trust is also a testament to his belief that economic development is essential for peace and stability. He believes that by creating a more prosperous future for Israelis and Palestinians, he can help to build a more peaceful and just world.
The Portland Trust: Promoting Peace and Stability Through Economic Development
The Portland Trust is a British non-profit organization founded in 2003 to promote peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians through economic development. It works with a range of partners to help develop the Palestinian private sector and relieve poverty through entrepreneurship in Israel.
The Portland Trust’s mission is based on the belief that a strong economy is essential for a durable peace. It works to create jobs, build businesses, and promote economic growth in both Israel and Palestine. The Trust also works to build bridges between the two communities and foster cooperation and understanding.
The Trust has several programs and initiatives that focus on economic development, including:
- Entrepreneurship support: The Trust provides training, mentoring, and financial support to Palestinian entrepreneurs. It also helps them to connect with markets and investors.
- Trade and investment promotion: The Trust works to promote trade and investment between Israel and Palestine and with other countries. It also works to improve the business environment in Palestine.
- Financial sector development: The Trust works to develop the Palestinian financial sector by supporting the development of new financial products and services and by strengthening financial institutions.
- Public-private sector dialogue: The Trust facilitates dialogue and cooperation between the public and private sectors in Israel and Palestine.
- The Portland Trust has had a significant impact on the economies of Israel and Palestine. It has helped to create thousands of jobs, start hundreds of businesses, and attract millions of dollars in investment. The Trust has also helped to build bridges between the two communities and to promote cooperation and understanding.
The Portland Trust is a highly respected organization that has been praised by leaders from both Israel and Palestine. It is an asset to both communities and is playing an important role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.
In addition to its work in Israel and Palestine, The Portland Trust also supports economic development initiatives in other conflict-affected countries, such as Afghanistan and Myanmar. The Trust’s work is based on the belief that economic development is essential for peace and stability.
We do not have a crystal ball to see how the current crisis in Israel will end, nor do we know how The Portland Trust will factor this month’s grim reality into its work. But we do know that peace can be the only goal for the long-term. Organizations like The Portland Trust, and leaders like Sir Ronald Cohen are just two examples of where we can see ways toward the goal of peace. While the current conflict is a dramatic fall backwards, it does not have to be permanent. It just requires bridging leadership to bring out a better way forward.
As with all guests on The Caring Economy, Sir Ronald Cohen and his Portland Trustshow us how leaders with purpose-driven lives and careers are shaping our contemporary lives for the better. We must all keep the faith.