This year, Case Foundation CEO, Jean Case, and team again traveled to the Milken Institute Global Conference to lead conversations about how business can contribute to solving social problems. The Milken Institute has the mission to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health, and impact investing is increasingly seen as one of those collaborative solutions that will bring new capital and talent to the social sector.
For some background on the good news from the last year in impact investing, check out Jean Case’s blog that ran the first day of the conference: “A New Inning for Impact Investing.” And take a look at Jean’s ongoing series on Medium—”5 Characteristics of Thriving Social Entrepreneurs” for even more detail on best practices for starting and growing a business that turns a profit and changes the world.
At the Global Conference, the Case Foundation and our partners–Omidyar Network and the Milken Institute–hosted a roundtable of investors and funds to talk about the great progress from the past year—including announcements of new impact practices at Bain and BlackRock, and $2 billion worth of new commitments to impact investing from investors like Prudential, McKnight Foundation, Ford Foundation and others. The group at the roundtable also discussed ongoing challenges in the field—including the need for better measurement of social impact, need for more deal flow and the need for more education for investors and advisors on risks and opportunities.
Jean also moderated a panel—Impact Investing 2.0: Finding Value in Doing Good, which focused on the range of products, asset classes and returns expectations that are available to new impact investors. She kicked off the panel by saying, “We see a new class of entrepreneurs who don’t just want to build companies for profit, they want to address a social challenge. And there’s a new class of investors across sectors that want more than just a financial return from their investments.”
It was a lively discussion featuring Kimbal Musk, founder of The Kitchen and member of Tesla’s board; Thomas Hyland from Aspada Investment Advisors; Jacqueline Novogratz from Acumen; Dimple Sahni from Anthos Asset Management and Gary White from Water.org. You can find the full video of the panel here.
Jean also joined Forbes Editor, Randall Lane, at a dinner to talk about how philanthropists can think about the opportunities that are available to them, from grants to support organizations like B Lab that are building a stronger ecosystem to high-return, for-profit investments in social enterprises and funds.
We hope you will join us as we continue the conversation with partners like the Milken Institute and others over the course of this year. As Jean said during the events at Milken, “Too often we haven’t invited businesses, and specifically entrepreneurs, to the table in solving social problems.” Impact investing presents a path forward to bring the power and talent of the market and the private sector into the business of solving some of our most pressing social challenges.
For more, watch Jean Case’s discussion with TheStreet’s Rhonda Schaffler about the growth in impact investing and why a whole new generation of tech entrepreneurs are making more investments in the space.