‘The Invisible Heart’ Trailer

By Pat Mullen

Can corporate goodwill and profitability go hand in hand? The theory of “the invisible hand” might have held sway when philosopher/economist Adam Smith first introduced it in 1759 to convey how the self-interested pursuit of capital could benefit society overall, but a few centuries of a trickle down economics later, society needs something more productive to bridge the rich/poor gap.

The new doc The Invisible Heart, directed by Nadine Pequeneza, explores the new relationship between capitalism and charity in Social Impact Bonds. These bonds are products in which capital and social wealth go hand in hand, but investors only make a profit when their programs yield results by bettering the greater community.

The Invisible Heart explores the unexpected alliance between capitalism and philanthropy by witnessing the impact of Social Impact Bonds in the USA, UK, and Canada. (The land of the Maple Leaf hosts four out of the approximately 100 Social Impact Bonds worldwide.) Featuring figures such as Brigitte Witkowski, Executive Director of Mainstay Housing, David Macdonald, Senior Economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group, and Reginald Ross, preschooler at Chicago’s Melody Elementary School, The Invisible Heart weighs the ethics of putting human rights causes like housing and education in a relationship with capitalist interests. In short, can the “for profit” world benefit the non-profit sector without compromising care or integrity?

The film confronts Toronto audiences with this question on May 17 when Pequeneza debuts The Invisible Heart at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema with a post-screening discussion. Speakers at the event include Brigitte Witkowski, Cameron Graham (Schulich School of Business at York University), Denise Amyot (CICan) and Luisa Quarta (OPSEU). Additional events in Regina (Regina Public Library Theatre, May 8), Vancouver (Vancity Theatre:http://www.viff.org, May 15), and Ottawa (Mayfair Theatre, May 30) will tackle the tough questions with additional guests and screenings.

Follow the POV blog for additional screening details in the coming months and visit TheInvisibleHeart.ca for more info. (And stay tuned for more coverage!)