In May, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, announced a US$4 billion plan to kick-start Israel-Palestinian Territories peace talks. Sir Ronald Cohen has been arguing exactly that since 2003. He has direct experience of the suffering and dislocation conflict can cause in the Middle East because he and his family became penniless refugees from their home in Cairo after the Suez conflict. In Jordan, apart from Mr Kerry's initiative, there was another example of a strategy towards peace in a business framework with the "breaking the impasse" plan, aimed at getting Israeli and Arab business leaders in the region working together. Sir Ronald was involved in that from its inception. His plans have had significant beneficial outcomes in local projects to reduce prisoner recidivism, tackle homelessness and illiteracy. Most recently he was the chairman of Big Society Capital, the United Kingdom's first social investment bank.