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Elena Panaritis, author of Prosperity Unbound: Building Property Markets with Trust (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007 -www.prosperityunbound.com), is a social entrepreneur, institutional economist and policy innovator. Ms. Panaritis is also one of the pioneers of “triple-bottom-line” social entrepreneurship. She founded Panel Group, www.panelgroup.com, a company that transforms informality (illiquid real assets). The firm leverages Ms. Panaritis’ methodology and knowledge in creating stable property rights systems around the world, and applies reform techniques funded entirely through private investment. The reforms undertaken by key stakeholders produce significant social, environmental, and financial returns. Panel Group closed a fund and currently implements an initial municipal model project in Bulgaria She has also founded PG Thought for Action, an educational foundation to create awareness about transforming informal property http://www.prosperityunbound.com/pgtfa/ . PG Thought for Action is a social enterprise based on creating social change. Ms. Panaritis blogs at www.prosperityunbound.com/blog.

Elena Panaritis spent years convincing policymakers, development organizations, and local stakeholders in Peru that transformation of informal property rights is possible and that it carries sustainable economic, financial and social dividends. The actual reform application though took only three years and succeeded in bringing over 9 million Peruvians into the formal economy.  She has worked in numerous countries identifying informality and developed the methodology “Reality Check Analysis” as a diagnostic tool that leads to the tailored solution of transforming informality to robust formal markets.  She captures that experience in her book Prosperity Unbound and affirms her belief of triple-bottom-line model of social entrepreneurship as a catalyst for positive change. Ms. Panaritis was awarded the International Best Practice and Innovation award.

Robert Litan, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and Vice President for Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Entrepreneurship calls her work “a real contribution.”

In his Financial Times online column, Willem Buiter, an LSE professor and former chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also praises Ms. Panaritis ideas and reform efforts. He singles out “useless” and “harmful”finance based on derivatives to task and writes that “effective and efficient financial intermediation is a necessary condition forprosperity.” In contrast, he refers to Ms. Panaritis’ work as “useful finance” and continues: “The world described in [ProsperityUnbound], where the foundations of a productive market economy are being put in place, appears light years removed from the world of Wall Street …”