As more capital flows into impact investing, how do we maintain the spirit and ethos that led to SOCAP’s creation ten years ago while preparing for the future of the field? For this 10th Anniversary year, founders, leaders, practitioners and provocateurs convene to look back and look forward, strengthening the foundation of investing for impact while also developing new mindsets and models to invigorate the future of impact investing. Impact increasingly has a place across all asset classes and investor types, all represented within the big tent of SOCAP, which makes the conversation more dynamic and approachable than ever before.
From the beginning, SOCAP has been focused on the intersection of money and meaning. Each year we devote time to explore the foundational underpinnings of what motivates and connects us, the purpose of capital, the spirit behind the work, and the larger context of investing with intention. Reflecting on both timely and timeless themes, sessions will explore infusing activist principles, transforming relationships, creativity, and the self-care needed to take a stand, among other topics. The Meaning track at SOCAP17 will anchor the conversation of how to individually and collectively seek meaning in our efforts and connect to a larger purpose.
The need to address climate change continues to escalate from urgent to desperate. Previous U.S. administrations have neglected to prioritize the issue and the current administration has publicly rejected action to address climate change. In the absence of government, what solutions exist for entrepreneurs, private capital and the diverse community of changemakers at SOCAP to make a difference on climate change, locally and globally? Beyond regulation, business and capital markets are exploring options for mitigation and adaption that recognize and value the real assets of a healthy planet.
The global workforce and the future of work is changing as industries are disrupted by automation, globalization, and new technologies, creating risks and opportunities for ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Human capital is an area ripe for impact investment in both urban and rural areas, regardless of sector, for the obvious economic impact as well as related health, education, and societal outcomes. Sessions in this track will discuss what makes a “good job”, the latest research around jobs that are beneficial for business and society, creating good companies from the start, and how investors and entrepreneurs can align their efforts to invest in employees for meaningful return.
Place-based investing and financial inclusion are not quaint ideas, they activate local capital and drive critical economic growth in communities around the globe. What are the next steps for investing in resilient and economically just communities? Conversations in this track will examine engaging a wide variety of stakeholders, activating community voice, exploring small-scale manufacturing, and creating prosperity for all to retain and solidify local wealth.
A quality education is a leading indicator in economic growth for individuals, communities and nations, yet is elusive to millions of people on the planet. The nature of a quality education is also shifting rapidly to keep pace with 21st century skills and innovation. This track will examine the importance of early childhood education as the basis of any educational system, strengthening the pipeline of new economy ready students, global trends in education, the connection between employers and education systems, and how technology is being leveraged to increase access to education in the US and emerging markets.
Equity and Diversity
As the community gathers to discuss the vision for the next ten years, now is the time for an individual, institutional and systemic examination of equity and diversity in the impact investment field. In order to ensure that the solutions being created and invested in are truly fair, just, and equitable they must deeply engage with the diversity of people and communities being impacted. In this track we invite everyone to create a common language around equity and diversity, explore processes for change and lessons learned, and apply an equity, diversity and gender lens to capital.
Good Capital Project
As investors demand values alignment in their portfolios, a seismic shift of the financial markets towards being a catalyst for good is possible in the years ahead. The Good Capital Project (GCP) seeks to unlock this potential by leveraging expertise and best practices from financial, design, academic, non-profit, governmental and impact communities into the design of a purpose-driven impact economy. Following the June 2017 NYC kick-off, GCP invites the unique ecosystem at SOCAP to join in coordinating efforts, regardless of the type of capital or tool being deployed, and envision a role for all players in creating the good economy.
Beyond Aid: Achieving Development Goals
To address the world’s persistent challenges, additional capital beyond government and traditional aid must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite decreasing public sector resources for development, the SDGs provide a unifying framework for impact investors, development agencies, philanthropy, companies, countries, financial institutions, and multi-stakeholder engagements to coordinate meaningful impact. How can we better organize funding, collective goal setting and measuring and integrating impact in support of the SDGs? This track explores various roles capital can play, ecosystem building to mobilize additional stakeholders, and case studies of innovative tools, models, and approaches for replication and scale.