Luc Lapointe and David Clemmons began their collaboration over a decade ago, focusing their energies on the (then) emerging field of VolunTourism. During these ten years, they have worked on projects and created models to mitigate currency exchange risk and to maximize voluntourism-based financial impacts at local community levels in destinations around the world. While Luc has made inroads to the corporate volunteering space through his work with Impact 2030 and acclimated himself to a new life in Cali, Colombia, as an adjunct professor covering Blended Finance and entrepreneurship, David has spent years working with a Care Team in Southern California focused on developing a new model for home-based health care for quadriplegics – Omni-Directional Care Awareness (ODCA).

In February 2017, they reunited in Cali, Colombia, to begin integrating Blended Finance and ODCA. The result has been the launch of The Blending Capitals, or BC, Lab. The BC Lab represents the ongoing exploration of the blending of capitals, be they natural, human, social (bonding & bridging), financial, cultural, political, relationship, psychological, intellectual, manufactured, and/or awareness (quite often referred to as “spiritual” without religious connotations).

Here at The BC Lab, we recognize that since the time of Adam Smith and the launch of our earliest understandings of capital, financial capital to be more precise, humanity has gradually moved from a world of financial and manufactured capital as its standard bearers to recognizing a host of capitals that play an integral role in the success of financial and manufactured capital. Traditionally these capitals have been referred to as externalities – unaccounted for and un-impacted, or so capitalism would lead us to believe. Descriptions of these capitals, explanations thereof, and research studies conducted on them have emerged over the past five decades, beginning with the work of Becker on Human Capital in 1964. Granovetter (1973) introduced us to the concept of “the strength of weak ties” or what has grown to become “bridging” Social Capital.

New capital frameworks began propagating in the late 1980’s as academics wrestled with the earliest iterations of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), in some circles, and the growing inequality between the richest and the poorest in societies. Boudrieu, a well-known French philosopher and sociologist, recognized that cultural capital, via “symbolic” (i.e., linguistic) capital, was leading to further separation between the wealthy and middle classes in France. His four-capital model was one of the first of numerous models which have followed, including: Bebbington’s (1999) Multi-Capital Framework; Flora’s (2004) Community Capitals Framework; and more recently, the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (2013) Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework; the Thriveability Index (2015), and MetaIntegral’s (2016) MetaCapital Framework.

What we want to emphasize, and are inviting readers like yourself to engage with us in a multi-faceted inquiry, is that humanity has reached a point in its evolutionary trajectory at which we recognize that financial & manufactured capital-centric capitalism has run its course. What does this mean? How does this potentially unleash the power of capitals which have, until very recently, been relegated to the “unvalued,” missing entirely from the balance sheets of the biggest companies in the world? How might we begin to draw these capitals, consciously, into the earliest incubation stages of entrepreneurial efforts, building incubators with human, cultural, social, and political capital from the outset?

Join us as we uncover omni-directional capital awareness (ODCA) in order to unleash the integrated, cooperative power of capitals to strengthen post-conflict Colombia on its course to national peace.