The Changing Markets Foundation was formed to accelerate and scale up solutions to sustainability challenges by leveraging the power of markets.
Working in partnership with NGOs, other foundations and research organisations, we create and support campaigns that shift market share away from unsustainable products and companies and towards environmentally and socially beneficial solutions.
To address sustainability, we need to withdraw our support for those companies that are damaging society. If we do so at scale, we can create a self-reinforcing accelerating loop of positive change in global markets – change defined by the most sustainability-focused companies succeeding and forcing others to follow their lead.
We now know what society needs to do to address sustainability challenges and we have the means to act. Whether the driver is water scarcity, food availability, inequality, resource constraint or climate change, few people today question the need to do things differently. We need change – in the products we consume, how they are manufactured and how they are marketed.
However, despite strong community concern about these issues and growing acceptance of their urgency, sustainable solutions are not being taken to scale fast enough.
To address this requires integrated social change and market shifts – we need to mobilise community concern to shift market demand.
Supporting NGOs to drive such change presents a great opportunity for accelerating social and environmental progress. That’s why we formed Changing Markets.
With widespread acceptance of the urgency of action on sustainability we need to align markets to society’s values and beliefs. This requires major changes in markets, with companies acting on sustainability gaining market share at the expense of those who neglect it. Achieving this will drive a self-reinforcing, accelerating loop of change in global markets.
Our strategy, and our theory of change, is based on three central ideas:
- Society needs transformational change – incremental improvement will not be enough to address the systemic threats society faces. We need a low-carbon, clean and circular economy that shares prosperity fairly – and we need progress towards this urgently.
- Markets can help deliver the change – transformational change needs companies that have environmentally and socially advanced products and values, to rapidly succeed at the expense of companies that don’t. If this occurs at sufficient scale it will drive a self-reinforcing, accelerating loop of change in global markets.
- While there are some good examples of NGO market-transformation campaigns, more can be achieved. Changing Markets supports NGOs to run market-driven campaigns that further advance their goals.
How we work
We use our team’s extensive knowledge, experience and networks in sustainability, policy and campaigning to identify:
- critical issues that require urgent action and can be won by leveraging the power of the markets
- campaign ideas and strategies that will engage and mobilise people.
We then design and support the resulting campaigns to promote shifts in markets that support sustainability.
We do so by:
- Supporting NGOs – with advice, support and funding – to run innovative campaigns that more effectively activate market shifts;
- Conducting research, including market and supply-chain investigations that help advance the campaigns that we support;
Our capacity to achieve this unusually combines world-class campaigning skills, experience and networks from the NGO, policy and business worlds. It is the synergies between these that set us apart, helping us to combine an understanding of all of these worlds to accelerate sustainable change.
Who we are
The Changing Markets Foundation was established by Joakim Bergman and Paul Gilding – life long campaigners on environmental and social issues who decades ago recognised the potential in leveraging market forces to help drive change.
Paul and Joakim both have a deep history in campaigning with over 30 years working inside NGOs on both environmental and social questions. They have learnt the lessons on what does and doesn’t work in driving change.
But unusually, they also have a deep understanding of markets and business. Between them they’ve advised CEOs of global corporations on sustainability strategy, run countless campaigns to build markets for new products and owned and run their own entrepreneurial companies. They’ve done this while maintaining close connections and credibility with both the NGO and corporate sectors around the world, as well as maintaining high-level influence and thought leadership on global developments in sustainability.
The combined experience of the founders and our team brings to Changing Markets knowledge on how to create market change and, most critically given the urgency of the current global context, how to accelerate it.
The Changing Markets Foundation generates income through a combination of:
- funds generated by the founders’ other activities, including their strategic advice to companies with advanced sustainability performance;
- other foundations that want to support market shifts as a way of driving change.
The Foundation maintains full, independent control over its campaigns, their strategy and their direction. This ensures the campaigns stay sharply focused on the purpose of accelerating change on sustainability.