The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) Global Impact Summit 2023 wrapped up in Malaga, Spain earlier this month, marking a decade of progress in impact investment. The event hosted presentations from globally respected thought leaders and attracted over 1,000 delegates, including a robust Australian contingent led by Founding Chair Rosemary Addis.
Addis moderated a panel that delved into the future of impact and the social economy. She was joined by other Australian entities, such as Australian Ethical Investment, Paul Ramsay Foundation, Australian Retirement Trust, Macquarie Asset Management, and the Centre for Social Finance Law.
GSG founder Sir Ronald Cohen and Financial Times journalist Martin Wolf discussed the dual challenges of climate change and rising inequality. They stressed the necessity for impact transparency, measurement and accountability, and emphasised the shared responsibility of the public and private sectors to restructure economic systems for more equitable benefits.
That idea was reiterated by Ibukun Awosika — the newly appointed vice-chair of the GSG who is from Nigeria, who urged the largely impact investor, philanthropist, and policy maker audience to keep in mind the effect of their actions on real people, especially in Africa. She warned that until the world’s economic model is transformed, people will continue to flee Africa on small boats.
Allison Herren Lee, a US lawyer who raised the profile of ESG issues while serving on the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said that while she had seen a shift towards investors becoming more accepting of ESG.
“What I have learned from visionaries like Sir Ronnie is that we need to scale up… and add impact. Profit remains a driver, but it’s not the sole one. Impact investors aim to harness the power of business and finance to create a more inclusive and sustainable form of capitalism. This isn’t a trend, it’s a paradigm shift,” she said.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown underscored the crucial role of the impact investing community saying, “by doing well and doing good at the same time, you’ll be giving people what eludes most of us today – hope. We need hope for a better world, and you can contribute greatly to it.”
For more information and updates on global impact investment, visit the GSG website at https://gsgii.org/news/.