Impact Investing Panelist Q+As
The relationship between the private capital markets and the well-being of society and the planet has become a hot topic. In 2015, in New York and Paris, the world’s governments signed up to ambitious goals to curb climate change and generate the sort of economic growth that benefits everyone, not just a wealthy minority – goals that it is estimated will require over $2.5 trillion a year of additional private investment. At the same time, partly in response to criticisms that irresponsible short-termism in the capital markets caused the 2008 financial crash and the Great Recession that followed, some leading capital-market institutions have pledged to take a more long-term, sustainable and socially responsible approach to investing.
This new mood is best illustrated by the emergence of a new approach to putting capital to work called “impact investing.” Having started out as a niche activity, largely practised by wealthy and philanthropically-inclined individuals, impact investment is now championed by a growing number of leading institutions in the capital markets. As a recent G8 taskforce on impact investing predicted, perhaps the 20 th Century approach to investing, based on risk and return, will be replaced by a 21 st Century model built on risk, return and impact. Yet such a shift is by no means inevitable. Critics question whether the recent commitment of mainstream finance to impact investing is more than skin deep.
We will convene, under the chairmanship of Economist editors, leading financiers, institutional investors, policymakers, academics, impact investors and philanthropies to analyse the main opportunities and obstacles to the mainstreaming of impact investment and to identify what needs to be done to make it happen. It will be an important conversation: how trillions of dollars will be invested is at stake.
We encourage you to check out the following exclusive Q&As with some of the speakers from the event: