The Council’s important 2013 impact investing initiative is enriching this year’s Annual Conference agenda. Through sessions on Monday, April 8, attendees will have a chance to hear about innovative ways foundations are making investments that intend to produce social and financial returns.
The day kicks off with a breakfast plenary on food justice. With virtual remarks from His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, the session frames food justice in terms of food insecurity, obesity, malnourishment, and unsustainable industrialized food production, offering impact investing in healthy and sustainable food systems as part of the solution.
For those interested in a session with more of a focus on impact investing, plan to attend the concurrent lunch plenary, “The Returns of Impact Investing,” which will feature leaders of several of the most experienced impact investing organizations, including the Global Impact Investing Network, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Calvert Foundation, and UpLift Solutions. Through TED-style talks, these leaders will offer perspectives on how impact investing can help foundations better achieve mission, leverage private capital, and improve communities, and then answer any questions you may have.
Several sessions on Monday afternoon will also delve into the benefits of impact investing. At 2:30 p.m., attend, “Job Creation: Grantmaking and Investing in Entrepreneurship, Small Business, and Economic Development.” Building on Clara Miller’s timely piece, “The World Has Changed and So Must We,” the session looks at how philanthropy is devising sectoral and place-based strategies to stimulate job creation, combining grants and impact investing, and partnering with conventional investors to scale solutions.
Then, at 4:30 p.m., finish the afternoon at “Impact Investing: Learn, Share, Network,” which will feature speed networking and opportunities to engage in dynamic table conversations. Whether your foundation is considering impact investing, or expanding an already active program, these sessions promise current insights and opportunities to build a network for continuous learning in the months and years ahead. Follow the conference hashtag, #COF13, for takeaways from these live events and be sure to add your own comments.
Lisa Richter is a principal at GPS Capital Partners.