Politician, civil rights lawyer, author and businessman, Deval Patrick joined Bain Capital in 2015 and is a managing director of the Double Impact business. He is the only African American to have served as governor of Massachusetts, served from 2007 to 2015 and was re-elected in 2010. A member of the Democratic Party, Patrick served from 1994 to 1997 as the United States assistant attorney general for the civil rights division United States Department of Justice under President Bill Clinton where he worked on issues including racial profiling and police misconduct. He attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. After graduating, he practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later joined a Boston law firm, where he was named a partner, at age 34. Deval is the author of two books, A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life, and Faith in the Dream: A Call to the Nation to Reclaim American Values.
Some highlights from Ryan’s interview with Deval include:
The two guideposts that have informed Deval’s career: 1) Doing something in our time that leaves something better for those behind us; & 2) No matter what the job is, never leave your conscience at the door
Deval expresses his frustration that philanthropy and government have been letting business off the hook and he sees impact investing in part as a way to address this
Deval’s observation that politics punishes failure, so it’s no wonder that we don’t see a lot of innovation in that arena
Bain Capital’s choice to not create their own impact metric tools but to use B Lab’s GIIRS, a commonly recognized impact metric tool that allows for more direct comparison
Balancing impact & financial return and challenging the notion that there must be a tradeoff between the two, Deval poses the question, “why would you trade return for impact if you don’t have to?”
An exploration of exit innovation and alternative exit strategies like worker-ownership
The growing trend led by millennials whereby businesses have to actually stand for something meaningful in order to remain relevant
LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.
Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate. You can email Andrew at email@example.com.
Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.