Impact investing leaves its mark on David Brooks

Posted by on January 27th, 2015
David Brooks

New York Times writer David Brooks

New York Times columnist David Brooks gave a huge endorsement to impact investing this week calling it a promising tool to transform capitalism.

“Impact investing is not going to replace government or be a panacea, but it’s one of a number of new tools to address social problems. If you want to leave a mark on the world but are unsure of how to do it, I’d say take a look,” said Brooks in his Tuesday, January 27 piece.

“Right now social capitalism is a more creative and dynamic place to spend a life.”

Read more from David Brooks in, “How to Leave a Mark.”

SOCAP15 Tickets on Sale Now

Posted by on December 17th, 2014


You spoke. We listened. 

We heard many of you wanted to take a break for Labor Day so this year we are moving SOCAP to October. Here’s your chance to enjoy Burning Man or recharge with friends before heading to SOCAP!

Join the world’s leading social innovators in San Francisco at Fort Mason Center, October 6-9 for SOCAP15. Buy your tickets today.

Tickets are on sale early so those of you who have money left in your professional development budget can take advantage of this great price. SOCAP is a great educational opportunity to learn directly from entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and social innovators to accelerate your career.

We are offering the lowest SOCAP15 ticket rate that will be available – 50% off at $697.50 – until December 31, 2014.

SOCAP15 is building off a SOLD-OUT 2014 EVENT that gathered 2,200+ innovators representing 60+ countries. If you’re committed to enriching your own social impact knowledge, career, projects & networks while helping to build the momentum of a global movement don’t miss SOCAP15.

Your ticket will include access to 3 full days of content, meals, evening parties, online connection platform & more.

P.S. If you would like to pay for part of this with money from your 2014 budget and pay the rest in 2015, email for more information.

Why we started the Neighborhood Economics Conference

Posted by on November 5th, 2014
SOCAP Co-Founder Kevin Jones

SOCAP Co-Founder Kevin Jones

Since the very beginning, SOCAP has pioneered new ventures, investment tools, and ultimately relationships at the intersection of money and meaning. We know that if we don’t change the narrative of our economy we are all in trouble. It’s been quite a journey so far, in many ways we are just getting started, and through the process we are learning a lot.

One of the major movements we are seeing and becoming part of is a return to the local economy. I experienced this firsthand a few years back when I moved to Asheville, North Carolina from San Francisco to be near my grandsons. Looking at local economies, I’m amazed at all the incredible new platforms, businesses, investment tools, and fresh thinking that are popping up all over the place.

This is a huge reason why we’re hosting the Neighborhood Economics Conference, November 12 to 13 in Louisville, Kentucky. This event will give us a chance not only to ask the big “why” questions of the economy, but we’ll be able to pull together dozens of leaders and organizations who are innovating at the neighborhood and city level and sharing their ideas.

I think the movement toward place-based innovation and a network of resilient towns and small cities in an economy that is ultimately rooted in relationships of trust is a movement we must learn from and humbly participate in.

The Neighborhood Economics Conference is an incredible opportunity to join in with what’s already happening, while also signaling that this is a crucial path for SOCAP to follow.

We want the SOCAP community, you all who have been leading this movement, to take a deeper look at local economic renewal with us. Join us November 12 to 13 in Louisville, Kentucky and receive a special discount off your registration with the code: SOCAPLOCAL.

I hope to see you in Louisville.


Why Invest in Girls?

Posted by on October 10th, 2014
Credits: UN Women/Phil Borges

Credits: UN Women/Phil Borges

Attention SOCAP community…October 11 is the International Day of the Girl! Just two years ago, the UN declared October 11 as the “International Day of the Girl Child” (IDGC) to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. It’s one day a year when activist groups come together to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.

The theme for this year is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence,” in recognition of the importance of investing in and empowering adolescent girls and of preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence they experience.

We will share important gender inequality facts and issues via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our goal is to spread awareness about the benefits of investing in girls to the SOCAP community. What is the business case for investing in girls? How can investing in young girls improve a country’s economic growth? What social benefits will these investments bring on a global scale? And most importantly, why girls? Girls are economic factors who can speed up development in their communities.


Investing in Our Economic Future

Posted by on September 19th, 2014


Place matters. Too often, opportunities for success are defined by factors that are not in our control: the neighborhoods where we grew up, where we went to school, or our parent’s income. Our work in philanthropy, in investing social capital, is to make opportunity accessible to everyone.

As we are doing this work together, we have to be mindful that when we are talking about innovation, when we’re talking about making the economy work for families and children, and when we are addressing the effects of inequity that place matters, but so does race.

Our state and region will soon be majority people of color. Yet when we look at the educational achievement gaps, health disparities, and other key indicators it is clear that the very people who will be the majority tomorrow are being left behind today. Equity is no longer just a moral imperative or argument. It is essential for the sustainability and prosperity of the region, our state, and our nation.

We know that the Bay Area is a microcosm of the issues that we’re seeing across the state and the nation. So when we innovate and create new models for economic growth here, we are making change that will become the models for our country.

One of my first projects working for the City of San Francisco involved doing a deep data dive and analysis around kids and poverty. We mapped out data points around children’s health and wellness, as well as child welfare, and the indicators all pointed to one glaring fact: the overwhelming majority of kids who were most the most vulnerable lived within walking distance of 7 corners in San Francisco. One is the corner of Jones and Eddy in the Tenderloin and the rest were in front of public housing.

Our mandate was clear, and from this projects like HOPE SF were born.

The Bay Area is home to constant innovation, and there is a lot going on to create a pipeline from cradle to career so that in 15-20 years your zip code will no longer determine your future and opportunities for success.

From jumpstarting the African American Male Achievement Initiative in Oakland which has become a model for the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative; to creating the first Transit Oriented Affordable Housing Fund in the country to ensure that there is flexible capital to support community-focused development; to leading system wide change with our public schools, working hand-in-hand with Superintendents and school districts in the Bay Area to implement comprehensive services at our schools, we’re tackling barriers at their root.

And we are not alone. Together, we are pooling resources and taking the best practices from across the country and bringing them to scale here in the Bay Area. In Hayward and San Francisco, we are working in tandem to support organizations and leaders of the Promise Neighborhood programs, based off the great work and lessons learned from Harlem’s Children Zone, providing children and families with cradle to career quality services to achieve economic opportunity.

This work takes patience. It takes fortitude but at the same time there is a tremendous sense of urgency because windows of opportunity open and close very quickly. Often by the time infrastructure is built, the opportunity has shifted.

Our work is to invest bold and invest together in groups that have authentic demand and measurable impact. In groups on the ground who are mining the best data, the best thinking, and the best practices and who are bringing people together to achieve new models for economic growth.