An "Ode to the Joy" of Impact Investing


The holiday season is a time of joy, connection, and reflection.  And, of course it’s also a time where holiday background elevator music plagues us through the end of December, Dolly Parton’s Home for Christmas album is a favorite amongst us at PeakChange. Stirring anthems of emotion such as Joy to the World and Ode to Joy inevitably get stuck in our heads and then eventually enter our hearts.  These particular melodies have persisted in our culture for centuries:  Joy to the World was first published by Isaac Watts in 1719, with lyrics based on Psalm 98, 96: 11-12 and Genesis 3:17-18.  Ode to Joy was first performed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1824 as the final movement of his 9th Symphony, with lyrics taken from a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785. In a more contemporary context, a popular “flashmob” performance of Ode to Joy on YouTube captures the attention and elicits emotional reactions from people of all ages

PeakChange seeks to foster a permanent spirit of joy within our community of impact investors.  We believe that the PeakChange vision, developed and refined during the past several years, is now in the process of becoming realized.  Within our collective reach is an aligned impact investing ecosystem that nurtures a just and regenerative economy that benefits everybody.  PeakChange has recently introduced our initial offerings of investor services to assist groups and individuals who are focused on the impact space; we are eager to roll out additional services to facilitate relationships between investors and entrepreneurs within a collaborative business environment.

The breakthrough innovation by Beethoven in Ode to Joy was the use of human voices in a major symphony, thereby creating the world’s first “choral symphony.”  Musical instruments can magically evoke emotions.  But, people, singing in unison and in harmony, create a special kind of energy.  This unique connection is worth exploring further…

I have come to appreciate that, fundamental to activity in the impact investment space, people invest in people to solve those specific critical social problems about which they share a passionate concern.  Impact investors provide their money, time, and energy because they believe in the ability of entrepreneurial teams to build companies dedicated to finding and delivering profitable answers to these pressing needs.  Whether delivering clean drinking water to remote communities (Jibu) or helping people find love and their soulmates (MeetMindful), impact investors and social entrepreneurs embark together on a mutual journey of adventure and discovery.


Risk is inherent in innovative enterprises, particularly at the early stage.  When it comes to the triple bottom line, concerns for purpose and planet are often predicated on profit.  So, due diligence, financial ROI, and tracking company KPIs preoccupy attention of both investors and entrepreneurs.  Moreover, tension is inherent in the relationship between investors and entrepreneurs.  High net worth individuals become wary when they are constantly asked for money; entrepreneurs become frustrated when their energies are consumed on a neverending fundraising tour.  Moreover, ensuring relationship alignment requires clear-eyed examination of prospective obstacles and downside scenarios.  Such attention to serious, practical matters can drain joy from the social entrepreneurship experience.

Our community is mission-driven.  Our relationships are based on mutual trust and clear communications.  The role of PeakChange in our ecosystem is to identify and promote best practices, to help strengthen relationships between all stakeholders, to communicate knowledge and provide feedback to a widening audience, and to identify and deliver products and services that satisfy client needs. PeakChange is determined to keep joy in our hearts during the holidays and throughout the investing process in the years to come.

Let’s take satisfaction from the alignment of our actions with our values.  Whatever your impact investment journey may bring in the coming year, remember to make time for joy this holiday season.

Are you ready to join us in creating a joyful impact investing ecosystem? I can’t think of a better holiday gift or way to start off the new year of impact.