We all live in “mediocracies” whatever our country’s form of government. We live in “attention economies” where brands, keywords and media trump politics, economics and culture in what Marshall McLuhan called “our global village”. Today we see countries following Britain’s branding in the 1990s as “Cool Britannia,” such as China’s promoting “The Chinese Dream” and the “circular economy”.
The sustainable, responsible investing (SRI) movement began in the 1970s with weapons-free portfolios of Pax World Fund and Alice Tepper Marlin’s “peace portfolio” at the Council on Economic Priorities. The growth of this movement, now worldwide, has gone through many branding stages: from negative screening, pioneered by Calvert, shunning South African companies under apartheid in the 1980s, to embrace positive screens typified by Ethical Markets and our Green Transition Scoreboard®,Ethical Biomimicry Finance® and EthicMark® Awards.