Steering the impact community to mobilise capital where it is needed most

It has been close to a month since the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), in partnership with SpainNAB, hosted the GSG Global Impact Summit 2023 on 2-3 October 2023 in Málaga, Spain.

We brought together 1000+ practitioners and leaders from the worlds of finance, business, policy-making, and civil society from around the globe. It was our first in-person event in three years following the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was wonderful to welcome around 500 people—all delighted to be back and itching to work together in real-time again—with handshakes and hugs.

Before the main event, SpainNAB held their roadshow—Camino al Impacto—across four cities, bringing impact to the entire host country. Spain alone represented over 300 participants at the GSG Summit, from social entrepreneurs to high-level luminaries, leading investors, and philanthropists.

Centered around three core themes, our Summit celebrated achievements and identified strategies and actions designed to deliver positive impact at scale in the future. Here are my reflections on the Summit’s most impactful moments:

Using the tools of impact to achieve global impact transparency

We are clearly moving into a new era of global impact transparency, as former Commissioner of the U.S.  Securities and Exchange Commission, Allison Herren Lee, and International Sustainability Standards Board Chair, Emmanuel Faber, shared with us during their insightful keynotes.

Our President, Sir Ronald Cohen’s, online discussions with the Rt Hon Gordon Brown and leading economist Martin Wolf set out powerful arguments for addressing rising inequality and climate change through the tools of impact.

Participants intently followed issues such as demystifying impact valuation, building audit protocols, and assuring impact performance. Our numerous, bustling breakout sessions, led by experts including Jo Fackler, Mick McCreless, and Chul Woo Moon, demonstrated the hunger for clarity, consistency, and implementation of impact across our community.

Mobilising capital for people and planet

Mobilising impact capital worldwide was a priority for all attendees. Discussions touched on every aspect, from nature and bio to place-based investing, impact for global health to sustainable cities. Our panels pushed the frontiers of impact through blended and catalytic finance, entrepreneurship, innovation, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Rt Hon Nick Hurd, the GSG’s new Chair, set out a clear call to action on what we can all do together to mobilise more impact capital to where it is most needed. Global leaders in impact, including Ibukun Awosika, our new Vice-Chair, and Margot Brandenburg, from the Ford Foundation’s Mission Investments team, spoke about the need to continue to advance sustainable development and impact investing—both at the global and local levels, demonstrating impact for local communities at scale.

Building and accelerating impact economies

With representatives from Japan to Brazil, South Africa to Norway, and China to Canada, this Summit had diversity through and through. I was delighted that we could announce the six new countries which have joined our network of National Advisory Boards (NABs): Sri Lanka, Peru, Belgium, Norway, Greece, and Malaysia, with four more expected by the year-end.

Impact approaches to inclusion, gender investing, equity, and just transitions were all covered across our breakout sessions as we explored how to accelerate impact and social economies.

Steering impact investing and economies into the future

The impact investing community has come a long way over the past ten years, and as the GSG’s CEO, I am excited to see the progress we’re making. This was the GSG’s best event by a mile. From great speakers and excellent panels to a wonderful location, contagious energy, and a fascinating crowd, the feedback I’ve personally received has been nothing but positive!

I asked a repeated question throughout the Summit: “From what you’ve heard at this GSG Impact Summit, do you believe that impact investing and impact economies will be substantially stronger in the next three to five years?”

The answer was a resounding 99% yes! We’re on the right trajectory but must continue to work together to deliver positive impact at scale in the future.

Cliff Prior

Read more about the GSG’s Summit here, and please do share your experiences to inspire others.

The GSG announces expansion of its National Advisory Boards network at its Global Impact Summit, attracting over 1,000 attendees from more than 60 countries

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) concluded its highly anticipated Global Impact Summit, held from 2 to 3 October 2023 in Málaga, Spain. Hosted in partnership with SpainNAB, the Summit brought together over a thousand impact leaders and investors from around the world, as well as delegates from National Advisory Boards (NABs), governments, and policymaking organisations representing over 60 countries.

The Summit kicked off with a welcome from José Luis Escrivá Belmonte, Acting Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration of Spain; Carolina España, Regional Minister of Economy, Finance and European Funds of Junta de Andalucía (Regional Government); and Francisco de la Torre Prados, Mayor of Málaga City Council.

Other industry-leading speakers from the worlds of finance, business, policy-making, and civil society included:

  • Dolika Banda, Founding Partner, Mondiale Impact;
  • Emmanuel Faber, Chair, International Sustainability Standards Board;
  • Maya Ziswiler, CEO, UBS Optimus Foundation;
  • Nick Hurd, Chair, GSG;
  • Şafak Müderrisgil, Founder and Chair, Etkiyap; Founding President, EYDK;
  • Sir Ronald Cohen, President, GSG.

The highlight of the Summit was the announcement of six new countries joining the GSG’s network of NABs since the beginning of 2023 – Sri Lanka, Peru, Belgium, Norway, Greece, and Malaysia. Welcoming the six new NABs, GSG CEO Cliff Prior commented:

“We are delighted to see how much growth the impact movement has experienced over the last ten years. As more markets around the globe are embracing impact, NABs are becoming driving forces for innovation and opportunities, charting the course toward a global impact economy and ensuring a just transition that leaves no one behind.”

During the Summit, thought-leaders, changemakers, and impact leaders also reflected on the latest achievements of the impact movement, shared insights and lessons learned, and discussed the way forward, focusing on mobilising capital for people and the planet, achieving impact transparency, and building impact economies.

SpainNAB also released a study on the supply of impact capital in Spain in 2022, which shows a 58% growth in assets under management in impact investment, reaching 1.208 billion euros. This study, prepared in collaboration with Esade Center for Social Impact, provides an estimate of the volume of assets under management aimed at impact companies and organisations, differentiating between the supply of impact investment and the supply of impact bank financing.

The Summit was also an opportunity to launch two new reports published by the GSG. The first report, ‘Financing SDGs in emerging markets,’ identifies the potential of Green, Social, Sustainability and Sustainability-Linked (GSSS) bonds to attract investors to invest at scale in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also offers recommendations on how issuers, private sector investors, policymakers, and development finance institutions can support the growth of GSSS bond markets in developing countries.

The second report, ‘SDG-Driven Tech Innovation Ecosystems,’ outlines the key features of state-of-the-art tech-based innovation ecosystems that can help drive the global SDG agenda. The GSG, along with six EU countries and Israel, was able to identify these ecosystems through a two-year Horizon EU project.

Addressing the Summit attendees, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown noted:

“I cannot tell you how important it is that we come together. By leading the way in creating one of the most exciting and innovative movements to build a more sustainable, fairer and more prosperous future – by us doing well and doing good at the same time – you’ll be giving people what eludes most of all today: Hope. We need hope for a better world and you can contribute greatly to it.”

Sir Ronnie Cohen, GSG Board President, also announced that Ibukun Awosika, former Chair of the First Bank of Nigeria, has been elected as Vice Chair of the GSG. She will take over the role from Nick O’Donohoe, who will finish his term on the Board later this year. Awosika joined GSG Chair, Nick Hurd, and GSG Trustee, Shannon Music, on stage to close the Summit, where they set out a clear call to action — to mobilise more capital to where it is most needed.

Click here to download the PDF version of this press release

The GSG and partners collaborate on ground-breaking research project to identify SDG-driven tech innovation ecosystems

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is proud to announce the release of its recent report, ‘SDG-Driven Tech Innovation Ecosystems,’ launched at its 2023 Global Impact Summit.

The result of the GSG’s collaboration with partners in six EU countries (France, Italy, Portugal, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland) and Israel on a two-year Horizon EU project, the report offers an in-depth exploration of how tech-based innovation ecosystems can be better harnessed for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Partners in France, Italy, Portugal, and Israel represent National Advisory Boards (NABs) for Impact Investing, independent national entities set up to advance impact investing in the respective countries. GSG has worked to set up 36 affiliated National Advisory Boards across the world.

Recognising the urgent need with less than seven years left to meet high-priority SDG targets, the consortium has developed a Building Blocks Framework, laying out the key features of best-in-class tech innovation ecosystems that could accelerate the SDGs implementation process.

In one example, The Israel Innovation Institute, a non-profit think tank enables and facilitates the development, testing, and demonstration of scalable, innovative solutions to global challenges—in fields such as healthcare, agriculture, transportation, and climate change.

Other best-in-class examples include Portugal, where the EU-backed Portugal Social Innovation initiative has mobilised €150 million and supports over 693 social innovation enterprises. In Italy,  which ranks highest globally in the number of ESG-aligned financial investments, the government-supported CDP Venture Capital SGR manages 12 investment funds and finances tech innovation linked to the SDGs.

Several more tech-based innovation ecosystems are presented in the report, which offers a rich overview of the opportunities to utilise new tech developments to accelerate progress towards achieving the 17 SDGs of the 2030 agenda.

Discover more in the report here.

A dedicated project webpage on the GSG website features ‘SDG Tech News,’ a selection of blogs on SDG-tech written by GSG highlighting emerging SDG-tech-related technologies, impact measurement and management practices for the SDGs, case studies, and further learnings picked up from the 7-country mapping study. The page also links to the mapping methodology used by consortium partners, making it available to any actor who wishes to carry out the same assessment of their own local ecosystem.

Click here to download the PDF version of this press release

Reporte del estado de inversión de impacto en el perú

Los autores desean agradecer la generosidad y excelente disposición de las personas que contribuyeron a este estudio compartiendo información, sus experiencias y documentos que contribuyeron significativamente a articular los conceptos que hoy se ven plasmados en este documento. En ese sentido, una mención especial para Elsa Cortijo, Gonzalo Villarán, Renzo Reyes, Natasha Barantzeva, Julio Ayca, Javier García Blázquez, Rafael Cueva, Gabriela Silva, Alberto Aquino, Debbie Jaffe, Fernando Salas, Karen Weinberger, Herman Marin, Giuseppe Cassinelli, Santiago Alvarez, María Pía Morante, Tina Ruchti, Marco Piñatelli y Philip Reiser.

Click here to read more

Diseñando un Consejo Nacional Asesor para la Inversión de Impacto en el Perú

Algo fundamental ha cambiado. Como sociedad, hemos entendido colectivamente una dura realidad: nuestros sistemas actuales centrados en las ganancias permiten la continuación generalizada y sistémica de desigualdades. La pandemia aceleró nuestro deseo de un nuevo modus operandi para la sociedad, uno que se centre intencionalmente en las personas y el planeta junto con el crecimiento económico.

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