This event is invite-only. Interested in attending? Please contact Rebecca Melville (firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-481-7070 ex2).
To gather together a group of enthusiastic individuals with varied but plentiful experience in the impact investing/social entrepreneurship/blended finance world to connect on a deep level, exchange knowledge and best practices, and leverage each other’s experience and networks in order to expand our sense of the possible while continuing to push the movement forward in a good and purposeful way. The forum focuses on creating actionable solutions and concrete outcomes in addition to allowing space for thoughtful discussion. It seeks to be inclusive and to allow for a diversity of opinions and ideas.
The September gathering will bring together individuals from a variety of backgrounds including government, not-for-profits, charities and the private sector. The first part of the session will focus on building bridges and learning about each other and our common connections. We will also explore where Canada currently fits in the global social finance marketplace – how it is perceived, what its strengths are, and where it has room to grow. During the next piece we will consider the language being used in social finance/innovation – what narrative is currently being put forth? What language is helping grow the marketplace, and what might be holding it back? Finally, we will develop a significant initiative that will serve as a beacon to the world – one that seeks to exponentially grow the social finance marketplace, in order to benefit society, mobilize private, public and philanthropic capital for public benefit, and continue to create further opportunities for communities that are significantly under-represented in the current market. Finally, we will consider the role of government in this initiative and in the social finance/innovation space. What specific policy recommendations can we make that will allow for social finance/innovation to flourish in Canada? What role can the government take in pushing forward the Moonshot initiative?
This is the first gathering of what we hope becomes a regular action forum in the social innovation/finance space focused on specific initiatives that galvanize the global social finance marketplace and help define Canada’s leadership role. The Impact Group and Research Money Inc., as well as various other leaders in the space, will host the forum.
About the Impact Group and Research Money
The Impact Group along with its sister company Research Money have been working in Canada’s science, technology, innovation and finance landscape for over 30 years, with a particular emphasis on the role that policy plays in developing and shaping this landscape. Our focus has been on accelerating the growth of Canada’s knowledge-based ecosystem with the end goal of increasing the quality of life for Canadians and the world. We act as informers and connectors through our newsletters and conferences. As researchers and through our educational initiatives, we contribute to the healthy growth of the ecosystem. We held our first conference focused exclusively on Impact Investing and Social Finance in June 2016 at the Mars Discovery Centre. The initiative to create an ongoing thought leader action forum was conceived by some of those present at that conference in order to keep the momentum and energy of the event moving forward, and to try and produce some tangible outcomes that bolster the social finance ecosystem, both in Canada and internationally.
- Continue building the global social finance marketplace/connected community by mapping existing connections and increasing participant networks
- Position Canada as a hopeful beacon for inclusive social innovation/finance
- Re-frame and re-shape the current narrative around social innovation/finance to be more inclusive and engaging for all in order to:
- Reach out and engage more people from a variety of sectors including government, large institutions, etc.
- Open the door to social finance for those who might not currently “get it” or respect the movement
- Clarify and outline universal/unified talking points for people doing engagement work
- Support retail investors who want to be active participants in their financial destiny by giving them language to ask for impact investments at their institutions, opening doorways for them to make the transition if they don’t get support at their institutions, etc.
while ensuring that the voice of the impacted communities remains at the centre of the social finance/innovation conversation
- Involve successful social entrepreneurs in the impact investing conversation and identify exemplary case studies of successful social enterprises/entrepreneurs
- Engage government in creating strategies to increase government support in ways that are helpful and effective
- Demonstrate that government is and can be an effective lever
- Come up with Moonshot initiative (and establish next steps)
A small group of 30-40 participants will include thought leaders from the social finance/social innovation space. It will be lead by a consortium of seasoned social innovators, impact investors and social finance practitioners from the United States and Canada including the following:
Jeffrey Crelinsten, CEO & Publisher, RE$EARCH MONEY & The Impact Group
Tina Crouse, Strategist, Social Finance
Jim Davidson, President, PeakChange
Rebecca Melville, COO, RE$EARCH MONEY & The Impact Group
Linda Montgomery, Marketing and Business Development Leader; VP Marketing, Blanc Labs
Amber Nystrom, Co-Founder & Curator, SDG Marketplace and Triple Revolution Collective and Co-Founding Partner, Prosparity
Holly Ruxin, CEO & Co-Founder, Montcalm TCR
Stephanie Wilson, Principal, ACCESS MD
We will also be inviting individuals from private equity, impact investment, charities, large financial institutions, and government. We’re looking for those with experience and interest in the space, as well as for what we are calling engaged customers – individuals who may not currently be active in the space, but bring the perspective of those we’d like to engage in the conversation (e.g. large financial institutions, family offices, policy makers, etc.). These individuals must show an active interest in impact investing/social finance, even if their institution does not.
A white paper produced by RE$EARCH MONEY with all participating attendees at the event who wish to be, listed as contributors. The paper could include:
- Map of connections between participants (potential basis for broader mapping exercise)
- Map of Canada’s strengths and weakness
- Suggestions of areas for Canada to grow, and potential connections to the work of our colleagues in other countries
- Discussion on language in social finance/impact investing
- “Communication cheat sheet” that attempts to unify and clarify talking points with re-framing of narrative as primary motivation
- The outline of a Moonshot initiative and people’s responsibilities to bring it forward
- 3-5 specific policy recommendations to present to the Canadian government or to the new committee
- Sharing of best practices/models
- Sharing of stories including challenges/gaps/positive experiences
- Everyone better equipped to bring ideas to boss/community/department/drunk uncle/etc.
- Outcomes that can be shared and communicated externally to further the conversation and expansion of social finance