World Economic Forum Drives Impact Investing
15 January 2014 at 8:48 am
The World Economic Forum has launched a global learning exchange to develop the impact investing movement worldwide.
The Global Learning Exchange on Social Impact Investing (GLE) was launched in collaboration with the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC) and the support of the UK Cabinet Office.
According to the World Economic Forum, the GLE will will drive impact investing as an important innovation for public good and will complement the ongoing efforts of the Social Impact Investment Task Force, the working group announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the G8 Social Impact Investment Forum in June 2013.
Impact investing – which intentionally seeks to create both financial return and positive social impact – is an emerging investment approach hailed for its potential to reconcile key shortcomings in traditional financial markets.
“The timing is right to do this in tandem with work of the International Task Force, related country-based work and the momentum being developed by existing networks, building on the leadership of the World Economic Forum and IIPC,” Rosemary Addis, IIPC Senior Fellow, GLE Director and Founding Director of Impact Investing Australia, said.
“The Exchange is intended to provide a high-value platform which is action-oriented, open, collaborative and inclusive – connecting leaders and practitioners from across sectors.”
David Aikman, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, said there was a clear need to introduce impact investing to new audiences, not only among G8 countries but more broadly across the world and among diverse stakeholders.
“The spirit of cross-sector collaboration among stakeholders and of sharing information is not only central to the GLE but also core to the founding and operating mission of the World Economic Forum,” he said.
The program will cover a range of topics, including financial innovation, impact enterprise, social entrepreneurship, public leadership, market and intermediary infrastructure, social inclusion and investor participation.
The rollout was closely followed by the World Economic Forum’s release of From Ideas to Practice, Pilots to Strategy: Practical Solutions and Actionable Insights on How to Do Impact Investing, intended to provide investors, philanthropists and other professionals with actionable insights on how to incorporate impact investing into their work.
“We are on the threshold of major change,” Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of the Social Impact Investment Task Force established by the G8, and Co-Founder of Big Society Capital, The Portland Trust, Social Finance and Bridges Ventures, said.
“Investors are starting to see the benefits of allocating capital to impact investments while old and new intermediaries are bringing innovative instruments into the market.
“This publication draws on experience and knowledge to showcase best practice and to provide insights for investors on the place of impact investment in their portfolios.”
The World Economic Forum said it would continue to advance the impact investment agenda, including identifying best practices and organisational structures that asset managers, private wealth managers and financial services institutions could implement to make impact investing an integral part of their strategy and operations.
Over the coming year, as part of the GLE, the organisation will also hold a series of online and face-to-face meetings, bringing together government, industry and civil society leaders to look at how to develop social impact investing.
Download the report here.