10 September 2020 Press Release Finance and Capital Markets

Laudes Foundation makes first grants towards more inclusive economic policies

LONDON, UK - 10.09.2020 – In its journey to catalyse systemic change, Laudes Foundation has formed partnerships with the Council on Economic Policies (CEP) and the New Economics Foundation (NEF), two organisations working collaboratively to ensure that economies do not return to business as usual.

To tackle the pressing challenges of inequality and climate change, Laudes Foundation recently embarked on a mission to accelerate the existing movement towards an inclusive and regenerative economy. As communities around the world count the tragic human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, the global economic system is once again being questioned. A growing number of voices are calling for countries to seize the opportunity to build a new model based on the principles of equality and sustainability.

These two new grants, totalling €5.5 million, are part of Laudes Foundation’s COVID-19 response. They are the first of a programme to support efforts to promote a transformation of the current economic system.

CEP and NEF have been collaborating for years on integrating environmental sustainability into the role of central banks.

CEP is an economic policy think tank for sustainability. It will receive €1.5 million over three years to advance its work on global monetary policy, tax expenditures and trade policy.

“This engagement from Laudes Foundation could not come at a more critical time”, says Alexander Barkawi, founder and director of CEP. “The economic decisions governments are currently taking will shape our lives for years to come. This grant provides us with a strong foundation to expand our activities for a sustainable and resilient recovery, as core beliefs about fiscal policy, central banking as well as the global trading system are being questioned and economic policies are being reconfigured.”

NEF is a grassroots organisation that aims to create a new economy that works for people and within environmental limits. It will use its €4 million grant from Laudes Foundation to develop recommendations that lock in a path to a more equal, low carbon economy.

"We are living through an exceptional moment in history. The scope and ambition of economic policy is being rewritten at a speed rarely, if ever, seen during peacetime history. As countries ride the waves of health, economic and social disruption from global pandemic and environmental change, the precise nature of the rebuilding effort will be critical” says Alfie Stirling, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the New Economics Foundation. "This grant from Laudes Foundation comes at a crucial moment to influence not just the welfare policies and industrial strategies of national governments, but the deep-rooted frameworks and objectives that underpin them as well. By developing ideas and coalitions of support for policies from a new minimum income guarantee, to the creation of high quality ‘green jobs’ – as well as for new fiscal rules that can make it all possible – NEF will be using this grant to Build Back Better in the interests of a more equal and environmentally sustainable future”.

The new partnerships represent a foundational first step for Laudes Foundation as it joins the movement towards a just and regenerative economic model.

“The last few months are a stark reminder that the current system is not working,” says Kelly Clark, Director of Finance and Capital Market Transformation at Laudes Foundation. “COVID-19 is both an enormous humanitarian challenge and an opportunity to reshape our economic system so that value is measured in more than just dollar signs.”

Clark believes the timing is crucial: “The need for economic reform has never been clearer or greater and our support for NEF and CEP is part of an exciting broader movement for change. NEF is strong on research, analysis and writing policy recommendations that appeal to and are understood by the general public. CEP excels at research and policy insights as well as building global communities to drive change from the inside. Together, they are a winning combination that can break down siloes and bring institutions and communities together around a shared vision.”

“COVID-19 and the climate and ecological crises demand systemic change, not small shifts in the right direction.” Clark adds. “Working with NEF and CEP, allows us to work through existing coalitions to make a compelling case for economic transformation and in turn, to use that momentum and evidence base to influence policy makers, politicians and businesses to value people and planet alongside profit.”



About Laudes Foundation
Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation joining the growing movement to accelerate the transition to an inclusive and regenerative economy. Responding to the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality, Laudes supports brave action that will inspire and challenge industry to harness its power for good.
Part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise and learning from six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy, Laudes Foundation advances the work of C&A Foundation to work collaboratively and persistently to both influence capital and transform industry, starting with the built environment and fashion industries.

About Council on Economic Policies
CEP is an international non-profit nonpartisan economic policy think tank for sustainability. It formulates and promotes economic policy solutions that strengthen individual opportunity, social cohesion and environmental stability. To target its objectives, CEP leverages existing analysis, fills research gaps and translates findings into policy recommendations across three fields: fiscal, monetary and trade policy.

About New Economics Foundation
For more than three decades, the New Economics Foundation’s mission has been to transform the economy so it works for people and the planet. NEF works with people igniting change from below and combines this with rigorous research to fight for change at the top. NEF aims to create a new economy that by 2040 works for people and within environmental limits through policy and research; transforming local economies; and campaigning, organising and movement building.


Media contact
Stephanie Klotz
Sr Brand & Communications Manager, Laudes Foundation