NEW YORK – Nov. 9, 2015 – The Soho Loft Conferences and Victoria Global supported SOCAP15 organized by Social Capital Markets held October 6-9, 2015 in Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, California.
SOCAP15 is a timely event that presents a great opportunity for social innovators and impact investors to interact and network – David Drake
SOCAP15, a top global conference on social enterprise and impact investing that unites innovators in tech, business, health, sharing economy, philanthropy towards advancing social and environmental causes took place this 6-9 October 2015. Organized by Social Capital, this premier event brought together top impact investors, innovative practitioners across various sectors and world class entrepreneurs at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California.
David Drake, the Chairman of LDJ Capital, The Soho Loft Media Group, and Victoria Global says, “SOCAP15 is a timely event that presents a great opportunity for social innovators and impact investors to interact and network.”
The SOCAP15 conference featured varied activities including presentations, keynote speeches, panel discussions, networking and workshops. On day one, attendees engaged in activities such as special programming for scholarship entrepreneurs, impact accelerators, sector-based or geography cohorts and other groups. A kick-off party for the conference took place later that evening, a great opportunity for attendees to explore the conference venue and interact with others attending the conference. On day two, the conference started off with a keynote speech. Attendees engaged in a series of panel discussions, workshops and presentations throughout the day. Day 3 featured panel discussions and presentations and a closing party. The conference ended at 2pm day four.
Some key takeaways of the SOCAP15 Conference were:
1. Impact investors are concerned about Social risk.
Clara Miller, who is the President at F.B. Heron Foundation that invests all its assets for impact posed the question, ‘what if investments are adjusted towards social risk as opposed to financial risk?
2. Mainstream investors are starting to appreciate impact investing as a strategy for diversification.
Microvest CEO, Gil Crawford said ‘we are beginning to get investors who are skeptical about impact invest due to the lack of connection in the wider market’.
3. There is a need to speed up progress by measuring social progress.
Ann Mei, the Executive Director at Global Development Lab managed by USAID said, ‘Social and development impact bonds are just the beginning, there is an urgent need to measure social impact and harmonize blended investments’.
4. Thinking about environmental and social return is critical to the survival of capital.
Governor Deval Patrick from Bain Capital said, ‘For the planet to be saved, communities uplifted and capital to survive, the world needs to shift into considering environmental and social return as part of investing’.
5. Entrepreneurs want Investors to be more transparent.
According to the Impact Investing Director at Echoing Green, Min Pease, entrepreneurs are increasingly raising the ‘impact thesis’ question to investors.
6. Extraordinary claims must be backed by exceptional evidence.
According to Carl Sagan, ‘any extraordinary claim needs the backing of evidence that is equally extraordinary.’ The way to prove extraordinary claims such as alternative financing is by providing evidence that speaks for itself, evidence that will make traditional investors take a look.
7. There is need to combine top-bottom and bottom-up approaches in changing investor framework.
Gil Crawford advised SOCAP15 attendees to get confident as well as confrontational as they talk to investors. He suggested that smaller firms should make noise, set the bar, and not just leave that to the big firms. F.B. Heron Foundation President, Clara Miller suggested that everyone has a role in changing the investor framework so they can include environmental and social risk in their portfolio.
8. Millennials are driving Impact Investing.
Positive change is attracting a lot of interest across different demographics around the globe. This is the wave that social capital is capitalizing on and the enthusiasm that the young generation has for impact needs to be capitalized on. BlackRock Inc’s Deborah Winshel explained that the unit for impact investing in BlackRock is a product of a business model developed by a team of millennials working in the firm.
Representatives of leading social enterprise investing organizations spoke during this event.
The SOCAP15 event was supported by innovation partners such as Echoing Green, Agora Partnerships, Blackrock, ImpactAssets, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Cisco, Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, Vodafone Americas Foundation and UBI Global. Pitch partners for this event included Prudential, Berkeley, C&A Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, Agha Khan Foundation USA, RSF Social Finance and U.S. Global Development Lab. Idea partners include PWC, Calvert Foundation, Enclude, Raffa, Invest Forward and SparkVentures. Media partners for this event included ImpactAlpha, SocialFinance.ca, NextBillion and RealLeaders. Network partners include Balle, Toniic, Invest with Values, Mentor Capital Network, ReWork and Net Impact.
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