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This month, Bedrock celebrated the Changemakers who are giving differently – specifically, Alexandre Mars (Founder of Epic Foundation), David Rimer (Founder of The Storyboard Collective) and Peter McGarry (Founder of The Earth Foundation).
From our Changemakers event, we share below the different ways these three entrepreneurs are creating positive value for society, communities and the environment and what led them to find their purpose.
Alexandre Mars’ approach to solving important problems was to become an exceptional entrepreneur. He has always known that he wanted to create large-scale impact – “It was baked in me” he says. He speaks about his journey with a crystal clear understanding of his purpose to deliver the most good to the largest group of people possible from a very young age. His only challenge was precisely to understand the path he needed to follow in order to deliver that large-scale impact – becoming a teacher or a social worker was simply not enough to tap into the scale he aspired to. So he became an impact entrepreneur: he’s the CEO of Blisce, the first B Corp-certified investment firm in the EU with a commitment to investing differently. For Alexandre, profit enables, first and foremost, positive change.
With the profits of his success, Alexandre created the EPIC Foundation, which uniquely selects, monitors and funds charitable causes in which donations have the ability to deliver more. Epic’s principles of transparency and accountability ensure to donors that if they give 100, then 100 will be put towards creating impact rather than 50 getting lost or wasted.
For David Rimer, it was a process coming out of a particular need that led him to identify the change he wanted to see in the world. That need had to do with words – narrative. David started in the investment industry and, just like Alexandre, became a very successful entrepreneur. However, his environment started to resonate less and less with the words, the stories, and the values he held important. So, he turned to teaching. However, again, he couldn’t find the tools to teach the way he thought would be most impactful.
So, in true “I’ll do it myself” style, David founded the Storyboard Collective, a philanthropic organisation that tells engaged narratives through partnerships to build capacity and provide funding. David’s personal purpose of propagating messages that shine a light on complex problems came through after he identified a clear lack of tools to amplify impactful stories.
David detailed a very interesting point: in TV and cinema, success is translated into viewership and ratings. The films produced by the Storyboard Collective measure their impact in a very different way – with each production, the impact is quantified based on how many relevant discussions (the right conversation) with the relevant people (the people who can affect change) happen following a viewing – quite a different mindset.
Last but certainly not least, Peter McGarry’s approach to a better tomorrow starts with encouraging teenagers to be entrepreneurial in the classroom. Peter is a hedge fund manager but also the founder of the Earth Foundation. This organization aims to inspire, educate, mentor and empower students, schools, researchers, and young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to tackle environmental challenges. The Earth Foundation gives out the annual $200,000 Earth Prize to the winner of the competition, and so far, this initiative has mobilized thousands of teenage students in 144 countries and territories.
Peter’s trigger into stepping into this journey was a demonstration of young people on the streets of Geneva. He didn’t know what they were protesting against (frustration with the schooling system, he later found out ), but the sheer passion emanating from this young group of people made Peter start to think how it could be harnessed and funnelled into addressing environmental problems.
In conclusion, our Changemaker event highlights the transformative journeys of three exceptional changemakers who have harnessed their entrepreneurial skills to create meaningful and sustainable impacts on society, communities, and the environment. This paradigm shift in philanthropy, marked by increased transparency, impactful storytelling, and empowering the next generation, underscores the evolving landscape of charitable efforts.
At Bedrock, we are committed to supporting changemakers like Alexandre Mars, David Rimer, and Peter McGarry, who embody this new wave of philanthropy. We are dedicated to assisting individuals and families in their philanthropic and impact investment initiatives, offering expertise to ensure that resources are optimised for positive change. Your commitment to driving positive change can be facilitated and magnified through our support. Together, we can shape a better future.
Author: Maria Villax, Head of Family Strategy & Governance