Centre for Global Impact Investing Launched
20 February 2013 at 10:05 am
An American University has embraced the growing trend of Impact Investing by establishing a Centre for Global Impact Investing thanks to a large philanthropic donation from a digital video entrepreneur.
The University of Utah announced the launch of the James Lee Sorenson Center for Global Impact Investing that it says will engage students to creating sustainable change on regional and global levels through high-impact social investment, innovative curriculum and research.
President of the University of Utah David Pershing said that the new Impact Investing centre will provide “unparalleled experiences” for the school to participate in solving some of the world’s “thorniest and most persistent societal problems”.
“The Center will be a global leader in the creation of new knowledge of how to solve widespread structural problems, while training a generation of transformative leaders in social impact investment,” he said.
According to the university, the problems the Center will address will range from health care in the United States to education, housing, sustainable and green energy and agriculture.
“In addition to its investment involvement, the Center will focus on research that fosters greater understanding of how free enterprise can be employed to create large-scale societal change,” a university statement said.
The $13 million donation to fund the centre came from James Lee Sorenson, a past inductee into the University's Business Hall of Fame. In 2000, Sorenson founded Sorenson Media which laid the foundation for the online video industry by developing the technology that helped enable Apple QuickTime, Adobe Flash and YouTube to gain global prominence.
His company was also involved in developing ‘video relay services’ designed for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
“It is an honor to participate in this venture, which has the potential to effect genuine societal change and improve the quality of life for countless individuals throughout the world,” said Sorenson.
“On a personal level, this Center is an opportunity to apply on a greater scale the lessons I learned about high-impact societal change at Sorenson Communications, where the major risk we made in time, energy and money yielded extraordinary returns in opening up brand new personal and professional possibilities for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.”
The Center says it will work to cultivate impact investment expertise in students through real-world experience while providing consulting and advisory services in the social entrepreneurship and impact investment sector.
For both undergraduate and graduate students, the Center says it will provide an array of fellowship opportunities in social impact throughout the world.