Join interactive sessions on the impact investing industry’s most pressing topics

With more than 30 hours of content provided by 150 senior speakers, the GIIN Investor Forum agenda is designed to advance and scale the market by bringing all of the crucial elements of the world’s impact ecosystem together in one place.

Covering five core streams, our sessions cut through the noise and go straight to the heart of the industry’s most pressing issues. Whether you are a seasoned impact professional or new to the industry, this year’s agenda has something to offer you.

Agenda

  • Agenda at a Glance


  • Day 1

    October 2, 2019

  • Day 2

    October 3, 2019

  • Finance as a force for good
    • The GIIN’s Roadmap articulates a future where finance is a force for good but doesn’t that require impact investors to think about their negative impacts as much as their positive ones?
    • Should it be “basic hygiene” to incorporate ESG considerations into every investment, including impact investments?
    • Is it too costly to focus on maximizing the positives, minimizing the negatives, and doing it all with operational excellence?

  • Panel
      Data and Disruption: Aggregation, Analytics, and a New Paradigm
    • What role will impact data play in the rising tide of impact investing?
    • What advancements are already happening to get us there?
    • What is this new paradigm and what does it look like?
       
    Fireside Chat
      Spotlight on Innovation: Climate & Technology
    • Explore how climate change and technology are disrupters in today’s investment paradigm
    • Are they disrupting finance and investing themselves?
    • What innovations are headed our way that we need to know?

  • This session will explore the “what if” of aggregate impact data. If, as the industry has asserted, it’s no longer acceptable to base impact decisions on intuition, how can investors drive toward evidence-backed decision-making and industry-level impact data?

  • Blended solutions are starting to make institutional investments possible in new and hard to reach areas. In this session, institutional asset owners discuss why these investment opportunities are important, and explore examples of how blended finance vehicles have made it possible to invest.

  • As the impact investing industry matures, investors increasingly face competition for star deals. Learn from investees as they share their experiences raising capital and evaluating prospective investors. What can investors bring to the table to stand out among competitors and how can they effectively navigate the due diligence process?

  • What does it take to build an investment portfolio promoting diversity, equity, and inclusions? Explore key considerations, including evaluating whether DEI goals and targets are being met, ensuring that the investee voice is included across the investment process, and more.

  • As new climate-related disclosure requirements come to fruition, what does it mean for impact investors? In the absence of similar, private market disclosure requirements, what can impact investors do to provide similar data?

  • Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable is one of the UN’s sustainable development goals. In this session, reflect on learnings from current real estate investments in affordable and sustainable housing, and explore the potential for scaling up investable opportunities in both developing and developed markets.

  • Faith-based investors use the values and tenets of their faith to guide their investment activity. Explore how the diligence process can help put those values into practice, from evaluating prospective investment opportunities to allocating capital.

  • Develop your approach to ensure diversity among your fund managers (i.e., emerging fund manager program) by exploring key takeaways and lessons learned from those who have done it. What are practical ways to find and select diverse fund managers or investee company founders or leadership?

  • In this 90-minute workshop, walk through a practical 101-level summary of the “what,” “how,” and “why” of IMM. Topics will include norms around best practice and tools that can help start and strengthen investors’ IMM practices.

  • Any reasonable interpretation of the Paris Agreement includes a significant role for natural-systems-based carbon sequestration. In this workshop, explore the role that impact investors in forestry and agriculture can play in creating a negative sequestration world.

  • What are lessons from successful retail impact investment products and how is the actual impact of these products safeguarded? What’s needed for their replication and further growth? Explore these questions and more in this dynamic session.

  • Setting financial and impact targets, impact measurement approaches, and investment terms with investees can yield stronger financial performance and greater impact. But that doesn’t mean the process is easy. Refine your approach by hearing from investors and their investees who will dive deep into the negotiation process, the benefits of buy-in and alignment, and common sticking points faced along the way.

  • A DEI leadership position can be hugely beneficial, but how do you get there? Hear practical advice and lessons learned about the actual process of creating a diversity & inclusion leadership position, and what happens after the role is established.

  • Chair welcome & recap
    Panel
      Interpreting fiduciary duty
    • Dive deep into the complex relationship of fiduciary duty and impact investing.
    • How do investors interpret it, and how do they pursue impact investing in line with their fiduciary duty?
     
    Panel
      Sensational sidebars, or serious situations?
    • There is a lot of fear about “impact washing,” but is it really as big a danger as some suspect? To whom?
    • How can clear expectations, like those in theCore Characteristics of Impact Investing, help investors recognize products masquerading as “impact”?
    • What expectations are investors setting with investees to know they’ll actually achieve the financial and impact performance goals they set?

  • As temperature increase predictions continue to rise, some investors are shifting focus from mitigation to adaptation. Learn about three investors’ adaptation-focused strategies, and how adaptation has been integrated into investment planning and decision-making.

  • Although there are still gender gaps across sectors and geographies, knowledge of gender lens investing continues to grow. Join this workshop to explore the tools and resources that have been developed to date, and reflect on how gender lens investors are advancing their practices to grow their impact.

  • Explore the challenges and pain points of operating in emerging or frontier markets – including currency risk, corruption, volatility, and business model execution risk – and uncover strategies to mitigate them.

  • As impact investing scales, public markets offer the greatest potential for growth both in terms of assets under management and number of investors. Public equities actors will debate impact in public markets: what is possible, what’s not, and how do you know?

  • What is needed to adjust institutional mandates to make more impact investments? In this session, institutional investors discuss their ambitions and experiences, the real and perceived hurdles, and ways to overcome them.

  • Investors often provide non-financial support to address business challenges and improve impact results. But how do you do so effectively? And is it possible to fund sustainably at scale? This session will explore these and other questions, to uncover the ins and outs of how non-financial support can help drive impact.

  • The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have catalyzed engagement toward solving the world’s largest problems across industries and fields, including impact investing. Asset owners and managers will share how they have built portfolios that respond to the SDGs and measured progress against them.

  • This session will explore the opportunity and demand for climate-related impact investing products that are aligned to the Paris Agreement. How are investors translating the policy-based targets of COP21 into usable guidance for investor action against climate change?  

  • What does a deal gone bad look like? Barefoot Power will speak about how impact investment into the organization failed to deliver its intended results, and what was learned in the process. (20-minute Session)

  • This session will explore the legal challenges unique to structuring deals in impact investing. How can investors and investees set terms to drive impact, and what are the responsibilities if impact returns are lower than anticipated? How can investors structure relationships and deals such that they have latitude to act on insights garnered through impact measurement and management?

  • Some exciting programs in the water and sanitation sector have made it possible for market-rate institutional investors to play a significant role next to governments, DFIs, and foundations. In this session, participants will explore financial innovations through public-private partnerships, what has worked, and what needs to change in order to address the financing gap for basic services in water, sanitation, and health.

  • How have you incorporated DEI considerations into your policies and procedures, including the hiring process, due diligence, and post-investment engagement? What DEI efforts do you measure, monitor and report on? How do you conduct evaluations to ensure that goals and targets are being met? How do you ensure that the voices of your investees are included across the investment process?

  • Environmental stewardship is a shared tenet across many faiths. As a result, numerous faith-based organizations are utilizing their assets—land holdings along with investments—to protect the environment. In this session, Faith-based investors will discuss how they approach translating their faith values into compelling environmentally-focused investing initiatives.

  • How can institutional investors find high impact assets in emerging markets with a suitable risk-return profile?  In this session, dive deep into examples of investments in these markets and explore how development banks are making investments possible for institutional investors.

  • Will public finance live up to the green bond hype? Will capital flows result in tangible environmental impact reduction? How can asset owners separate the green from the green-washed? Answer these and related questions at the intersection of climate and public finance.

  • The impact investing industry continues to face liquidity concerns and exit constraints. In this session, explore best practices and key takeaways from investors who will share their experiences navigating exits in such a way that also preserves their social and environmental mission.

  • In this 90-minute workshop, participants will get a summary of how IRIS+ makes emerging norms – including the SDGs and five dimensions – actionable for impact investors, and how they can use it most effectively. Participants will get small-group support in setting up their IRIS+ profiles and accessing core metrics sets, guidance, resources, and templates.

  • Today, we are facing the largest forced migration crisis in human history. Showcasing what it means to invest with a ‘Refugee Lens,’ this session will uncover how private investments are benefitting refugees and host communities and the financial opportunity these investments create.

  • Explore what level of portfolio engagement is appropriate for private equity investors interested in maximizing the impact of their portfolio companies.

  • Chair welcome & recap

      Panel
      How much money is enough money?
    • The impact investing market – sized at USD 502 billion – is far too little to meet the demands of global needs like those articulated in the SDGs, but what should we be aiming for?
    • How much impact AUM is a realistic goal by 2030?
    • What specific steps will investors, individually and collectively, need to take to get us there?
       
    Closing

Identify the sessions that matter most to you by
exploring our five core streams

The GIIN believes in a future where it will be ‘normal’ to factor social and environmental impact into all types of investment decisions. In order to achieve this, the implementation of strong impact measurement and management needs to be standard for all investors. In the Integrating Impact sessions, explore how the IMM groundwork of today will shape the market of tomorrow. Find out how investors and other key impact investing stakeholders are measuring their societal and environmental impacts, engaging with best practices and norms, utilizing impact data to inform investment decisions, and driving adoption in the wider financial market.

The capital markets have huge potential to help make the Sustainable Development Goals achievable, but to do so requires wide-scale adoption of impact investing. While the number of impact investment products is growing quickly, the market still needs more investment vehicles that meet the requirements of investors – especially institutional investors – across asset classes. The Product Development sessions will surface asset owners’ needs, from impact objectives to product types, and allow space for asset owners and asset managers to workshop new innovations.

For impact investing to solve pressing social and environmental challenges effectively, the absorptive capacity of investees must grow in tandem with the supply of capital. In this stream, investors can explore how to more effectively and efficiently contribute to the success of investees’ and the pipeline of high-quality investment opportunities. Sessions will tackle various points of intersection between stakeholders along the investment lifecycle. Topics include pre-investment readiness, expectations-setting at the time of investment, effective investment management, and exits.

Addressing social and economic inequalities is a common motivator for the impact investing community. But in a world that many feel is becoming more unequal, challenges persist in how to advance towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) stream will surface challenges that investors face in achieving their DEI investment objectives, and shed light on existing strategies and innovative approaches practitioners are adopting.

Investments in ESG-aligned strategies are an essential part of any 2-degree scenario. But, with global temperatures in a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario now set to rise as much as 5 degrees by the end of the century, exclusion of poor performers across ‘E’ criteria is not enough. In the Climate & the Environment stream, investors will discover available and emerging investment solutions tackling climate change mitigation and adaptation, and explore how capital can lead the way in meeting the targets laid out in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Are you interested in contributing to the agenda?
Let us know.

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