With five months to go until SOCAP19, we are close to finalizing this year’s conference themes and beginning the process to develop a full agenda of informative and interactive sessions. As always, the SOCAP content team identifies themes by listening to the field and focusing in on areas of energetic debate, untapped opportunities, and timely insights. As we enter the last few days of SOCAP Open submissions, there is still opportunity for new themes to emerge, but here is what we are seeing so far:
Future of Work
The landscape of work is rapidly changing around the world as demographics shift, automation and AI rise, new industries emerge and old ones die off. A diverse set of stakeholders is taking action to invest in the future of work, recognizing both immediate and long term potential to equip our global population to contribute to healthy economies and reduce harmful unintended consequences.
By 2050, global food production will need to increase by over 70% from 2005-2007 levels to feed a predicted global population of 9.6 billion people. The agriculture supply chain has a massive impact on global energy consumption, water, and climate change, so figuring out how to meet rising demand for food in sustainable and regenerative ways will be essential to the long-term health of people and planet.
Capturing the attention of the U.S. impact investing community over the past two years, Opportunity Zones offer a precarious promise of unlocking transformative capital for low-income communities, while they also risk incentivizing extractive, harmful development. Catch up on the frameworks, collaborations, and deals to embed impact into the implementation of Opportunity Zones, and be a part of shaping the next phase of this evolving policy.
Inequities of opportunity, access, and support by race are systemic and pervasive and will take generations to address. With dedicated tracks at SOCAP17 and SOCAP18 and the inaugural SPECTRUM event, we have been applying a lens of racial equity to impact investment and social enterprise to shine a light on blind spots and have honest conversations about identifying and dismantling bias. As one of our speakers, Lisa Yancey, said of the racial wealth gap, “it’s intersectional, it’s complex, it’s structural, but it’s not intractable.”
The Latin American impact ecosystem has burst onto the scene in the past few years and continues to show tremendous growth. With Chile hosting the 2019 GSG Impact Summit, Latin America has the attention of the impact investing and social entrepreneurship community. During these sessions, leading accelerators, fund managers, and investors from the region will join us to provide an update on the issues and industries driving measurable impact and compelling returns.
All land is native land, and indigenous communities hold wisdom and traditions to protect the land and people that have been overlooked or ignored for far too long. From within these communities, social entrepreneurship and community-led solutions are growing organically but are largely cut off from expertise and access to capital that could accelerate and connect these high-impact enterprises. We will bring together indigenous leaders to explore the opportunities and limitations of market-based solutions in a native context.
Power of Story
Lasting impact comes from changing culture. Stories and narratives have the power to reach new audiences and convince them to engage with challenges they are unfamiliar with and consider solutions they may have overlooked. Entertainment, media, storytelling, and branding are tools that drive impact, but they need investment to realize their full potential to create widespread positive change. Explore the power of artists, creatives, journalists, and other culturemakers to take impact to new levels.
As the largest global convening of the social capital markets, SOCAP19 will continue to feature conversations that focus on the why and the how of Impact Investing – the state of the field, new product innovation, infrastructure and service providers, impact measurement and evaluation – as well as conversations that elevate Meaning inside and outside of markets, because integrating our beliefs, communities, and families into conversations about business and value will lead us to a more sustainable future.
There are many other emerging topics at the intersection of money and meaning that may develop into multiple sessions, a mini-track or a full theme. We will be adding themes over the next few months as the final SOCAP Open submissions come in. Additional topics developing for SOCAP19 include Catalytic Capital, Refugees, Blended Finance, and Exponential Technology.
SOCAP Open: Send Us Your Session Idea Today
Even with the long and diverse set of topics listed here, there will be content that falls outside of these areas on the SOCAP19 agenda. SOCAP isn’t constrained to these themes – the nearly 600 people that have already registered before any themes or speakers have been announced know that there is something for everyone. Add your ideas – aligned with these themes or not – to SOCAP Open before submissions close next week and plan to join us October 22-25 in San Francisco!
Send us your session proposal through the SOCAP Open platform today! The deadline to send in your idea for a SOCAP19 panel or workshop is Friday, June 14, 2019.