SOCAP19 Themes

The SOCAP content team identifies themes by listening to the field and focusing in on areas of energetic debate, untapped opportunities, and timely insights.

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Impact Investing

SOCAP continues to host the world’s largest gathering of thought leaders and practitioners of impact investing for conversations that focus on the why and the how of unlocking global markets for impact. Sessions cover the state of the field, new product innovation, infrastructure and service providers, impact measurement and evaluation and range from tangible case studies to wide-ranging philosophical discussions on the purpose of capital.

Sustainable Agriculture

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.

Opportunity Zones

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.

Catalytic Capital

In order to address significant gaps in financing for promising impact enterprises and funds, there is often a need for catalytic capital that is patient, risk-tolerant, flexible, or below-market. This capital differs from conventional investment but is complementary in its ability to mobilize a range of other capital and enable blended finance solutions. Hear from creative leaders deploying catalytic capital to bridge financing gaps across the risk-return spectrum in pursuit of greater breadth and depth of impact.

Racial Equity

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.”

LatAm

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.

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.

Indigenous Communities

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.

Refugees

Global migration is headline news and is clearly disrupting the socio-political landscape around the world. However many still think of refugees in camps, subject to temporary displacement, without realizing that permanent and widespread forced displacement due to climate events and conflict will reshape our collective economic future as well. Building on last year’s commitments from the SOCAP mainstage, we’ve gathered a wide range of organizations and initiatives that are using the tools of investment and entrepreneurship to enable economic prosperity for refugees.

Impact Tech

There’s an app for everything and technology is pervasive but the shine has worn off the sector as awareness grows of unintended consequences and irresponsible governance of widely utilized technologies. Technology is also enabling scale and efficiencies that have inspired countless social enterprises, has revolutionized delivery of critical goods and services, and has the potential to solve some of the worlds biggest challenges. We’ll dig into impact tech across sectors and issue areas to explore the opportunities and concerns of our inevitably tech-enabled future.

Meaning

We hold space for conversations that prioritize the deeply help but often buried motivations driving this field because integrating our beliefs, communities, and families into conversations about business and value will lead us all to a more sustainable future.

Wildcard

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. We strive to be an open marketplace of ideas, opinions, and challenges which makes SOCAP overwhelming and hard to categorize but it is often the unexpected sessions that spark new insights and collaborations.