Katinka C van Cranenburgh is visiting scholar at ESADE and secretary general of the International Interfaith Investment Group 3iG, which conducts research among religious organisations in partnership with business schools and universities.
Religious organisations’ core business is ethics. Therefore, one might expect that the investment portfolios of these organisations would not be in contradiction with their ethics. Unfortunately, practice is different from reality. Twentieth century research shows a secular-sacred divide between (secular) investments and (holy) missions. But with the rise of CSR things are changing. Recent research from the ESADE Institute for Social Innovation, in cooperation with 3iG, the International Interfaith Investment Group, and Audencia School of Management, shows that faith groups, rich and poor, can be a force for change in business. That is, if the religious are willing to utilise their power as investors.