On the first day of Total Impact Boston, panelists focused on ESG and impact investing strategies across asset classes. The day started with a powerful statement from Ian Simmons quoting his co-founder and wife, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, “We don’t invest in products and companies that, when used properly, kill people.”
On Day 2, in addition to continuing to explore strategies and emerging opportunities across asset classes and sectors, Total Impact Boston featured key Boston stakeholders, local impact success stories, and innovative place-based opportunities. The importance of developing strong local ecosystems and fostering cross-sector collaboration was reiterated time and again over the day.
Our approach is simple: avoid investing in the bad stuff and find opportunities for good stuff. The field is always evolving so it takes a commitment to being open to new opportunities. Impact investing is treated as novel, but most of it is traditional business strategies with more standards.
Toniic is proud to announce the Impact Terms Project (ITP), a free and publicly accessible resource that offers practical guidance to investors, entrepreneurs, and intermediaries seeking to generate social and environmental impact while achieving financial returns.
Greater adoption of impact is driven by a combination of value alignment, risk mitigation, and growth opportunities. Clients are motivated by holding corporations accountable, supporting specific issue areas, and having a positive impact. In our research, 8 out of 10 investors believe companies should seek responsible growth by making a profit while taking responsibility for impact.
Our work at BII sits at the intersection of activism and finance. Finance and capital have key roles in perpetuating economic disparities. We are using the tools of finance to redirect wealth into the hands of people from whom wealth has been extracted.
There is a critical and pioneering role for lawyers to play in advancing the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. As social entrepreneurship and impact investing become mainstream, as companies and investors look not only to financial performance, but also to social and environmental impact, there is a growing need for new legal systems, new legal structures, new legal thinking and innovation.
In May, members of the Good Capital Project team traveled to Jordan on the invitation of the Jordan country team of the United Nations on a fact-finding mission to study at close quarters the SDG investment landscape of Jordan. Over the trip, the leadership of the UN country team and GCP members, met a broad range of stakeholders at central government, local government, central bank, leading private corporations, international development agencies, accelerator programs, and entrepreneurs with the intent to understand the current initiatives underway to bolster the investment ecosystem, and the impediments to attract and retain private investments in Jordan.
The SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network is coordinated by The Intentional Endowments Network to help connect stakeholders including students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and financial professionals on campuses across the country that are involved with student-managed funds pursuing sustainable investing strategies and sustainable investing curriculum development. Participants share best practices, resources, curricula, and undertake other activities to support sustainable investing funds and education.
For any industry to grow, eventually lawyers need to be involved to create the legal framework and structures that allow an efficient market to flourish. There needs to be a rule of law, set of market norms, and legislated regulatory framework which is necessary for an industry to achieve scale. Otherwise, the sector will become the Wild West.
Our goal is to reimagine the future of higher education. We utilize a design-thinking approach, which means we start with the ‘answer.’ In our case, the ‘answer’ for the vast majority of people who enroll in higher education institutions is they want a good first job, or a better job.
On July 11th, ImpactPHL and The Philadelphia Citizen hosted Citizen Speakers - Business for Good. Over 150 innovators, entrepreneurs, and social impact stakeholders gathered to discuss how businesses can influence positive social change in local communities. The panel included entrepreneurial leaders from Landit, B Corporation, Sundial Brands, and La Colombe Coffee. After thought-provoking panel discussions and Q&A, the event ended with Emmet Dennis, Chief Community Officer of Sundial Brands, inspiring attendees to work towards an impactful legacy. “All great entrepreneurs go after problems that we are not going to solve in our lifetime. Our legacy is to build a framework for our children and their children to follow.”
As responsible investing gains momentum, the world’s most influential asset managers are expanding the application of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles as a strategic investment tool. Asset managers, such as Blackrock and Wells Fargo, are about to launch their first-ever ESG funds for retirement savings plans, in a validation of the remarkable growth in demand for responsible investment options.
Universities are ramping up impact investing curriculums.Education is a vital component to progress impact investing from a niche sector to the mainstream financial markets. Universities across the United States are developing curricula to train the next generation of financial professionals in the increasingly popular field of social impact investing.