AVPN — Asia’s #1 social investor network — is counting down the days to its 11th Annual Global Conference to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on April 23-25, 2024. 

The gathering, in partnership with Abu Dhabi, will be guided by the theme “One Asia, One Future,” providing the social investment community with the most extensive opportunity yet, to learn, connect and unite in action for Asia.

The following, from AVPN, provides a look at what to expect at this year’s conference. 

While the world continues to face a multitude of uncertainties, Asia has proven resilient, standing up to the economic challenges brought on by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic slowdown. The region is home to some of the fastest growing economies and a significant contributor to global growth. 

But in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we must reach beyond Asia’s economic growth story and harness its vast collective power. 

We must leverage our extraordinary cultural, socio-economic and historical diversity, the resilience and capacity of our communities, as well as our shared desire to achieve impact and secure the futures of this generation and the next. 

We must create One Asia, One Future. 

Conference 2024 Details

Packed with keynote speakers, breakout sessions, panel discussions, workshops and interactive events, the 2024 AVPN Global Conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE — a country with a long-held tradition of philanthropy — will provide opportunities to explore different routes to action within the frames of collaboration, leadership and innovation. 

Following last year’s record attendance of 1300 delegates from 44 countries, the Conference will bring together investors, philanthropists, corporations, policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and implementing organisations from around the world, working for impact within the Gulf Cooperation Countries and all territories eastward as far as Australia and New Zealand. 

Sessions will be divided into three tracks, each focusing on an investment approach — philanthropy, impact investing or blended finance — and will also deep dive into specific topics as outlined below. 

The agenda will be curated to provide options for delegates who are near the start of their social investing journey alongside sessions for those who are more seasoned. 


Collaboration is at the heart of AVPN’s mission to unlock more capital towards impact. In the last decade we have witnessed the transformative power of bringing unlikely allies together to address seemingly insurmountable challenges in health and nutrition, disaster recovery, gender, education and the climate through knowledge sharing, with aligned or pooled funds, multi-stakeholder partnerships and other approaches. 

Taking action also requires Leadership. We seek to demonstrate leadership from within Asia in all its dimensions, showcasing changemakers who can give voice to homeground leadership models that can be exemplars on a regional and global level alongside those who work for change at scale, bringing to the fore a regional narrative that is inclusive, representative and drives the global conversation. 

The third theme realises that Innovation is critical for addressing complex and interconnected challenges. Technology provides a launchpad for new solutions while enabling adaptation, resource optimisation and scalability. But innovation isn’t confined to technology alone, but also plays a role in designing sustainable and effective approaches for channelling capital towards impact that leverage both private wealth and public resources. 


Strategic Philanthropy 

Asia is experiencing a rapid rise in wealth alongside an intergenerational transfer of wealth that is leading to changing attitudes about philanthropy. Increasingly, wealth holders are breaking with tradition and looking for ways to be strategic and innovative in order to maximise the impact of their capital. 

The Conference will explore new and innovative ways of giving, while shining a much-needed light on long standing traditions that deserve further exploration. Focus areas will include: multi-stakeholder collaboration, pooled funds and trust-based philanthropy. We will also take a special look at the topic of faith and giving. 

Impact Investing 

Appealing to both seasoned practitioners and newcomers to the field, the second edition of Impact Investing Day aims to challenge long-held views that social and environmental issues should be addressed only by philanthropic donations, and that market investments should focus exclusively on achieving financial returns. 

Sessions will focus on fundamentals such as balancing impact and return, impact measurement and management, assessing investment opportunities and challenges. We will also cover advanced practices in impact investing related to the topical areas outlined below. 

Blended Finance & Development Aid 

Blended finance is an emerging approach in Asia and considered to be one of the key mechanisms through which the region will be able to address a critical funding gap in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030. 

At the Conference, we will explore the concepts of blended finance and how it is put into practice, particularly in the area of climate solutions, health resilience and sustainable livelihoods. Sessions will discuss the roles of philanthropy and development aid and best practices for forging public-private partnerships. 

Corporate Social Impact 

The nature of corporate social impact continues to evolve as companies search for effective and sustainable ways of addressing pressing issues that are in alignment with their corporate strategy. The Conference will explore real-world examples that delve into the many approaches that companies are employing to deliver impact while also extending their core business values, including giving models, foundations, impact funds and capacity-building interventions.


The topics are designed to zoom in on the region’s most pressing issues and how they intersect. 

Climate Solutions 

The AVPN conference takes place just four months after the COP28 summit in the UAE, where stakeholders from around the world will gather to finalise the first “stocktake” on progress towards meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement targets. Building on this momentum, the Conference will explore new approaches for financing climate solutions, while spotlighting successes, opportunities and challenges specific to Asia. Sample topic areas include: 

  • Climate and its intersection with health, disaster relief, gender, food security and agriculture 
  • Investing to address food security and promote sustainable agriculture 
  • Public-private partnership, multilateral engagement, blended finance strategies and collaboration across the continuum of capital 
  • Investment opportunities in equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene, energy access, transition financing, decarbonisation, climate-smart technology and nature-based solutions 

Health Resilience 

While the COVID-19 pandemic response revealed gaps and spurred action to bolster health preparedness in many countries, health resilience in Asia continues to require urgent attention. Factors such as extreme weather, the resulting disruption to food supplies, and an ongoing lack of investment in regional health systems require that multiple stakeholders come together to explore sustainable and scalable solutions to build health resilience before another crisis takes hold. Sessions will focus on:

  • Building resilient health workforces and equitable healthcare access 
  • Future-proofing through climate-smart health systems and ensuring vaccine equity 
  • Addressing health challenges faced by last-mile, ageing and overlooked communities such as migrant and foreign domestic workers 

Youth Empowerment 

The majority of the world’s youth lives in Asia and possess immense potential as drivers of economic growth, innovation, and progress towards achieving the SDGs. Empowering youth through education, employment, upskilling and inclusive policy is likely a goal shared by every Asian country, however strategies and priorities may vary greatly based on each country’s unique demographic, economic and social context. The Conference is an opportunity to share and learn about how the diverse needs of young people around the region are being met, and to explore how solutions might be adapted for different contexts. Focus areas may include: 

  • Building the resilience, character and values of young impact leaders 
  • Investing in the health, education and societal needs of Gen Z in areas such as mental wellbeing, future-proofed skilling, bridging generational gaps 
  • Inclusive approaches to strengthening the youth ecosystem through corporate social innovation, philanthropy and impact investing 

Sustainable Livelihoods 

The lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the rising cost of living has continued to push people in Asia into extreme poverty, with estimates of more than 155 million people living on less than $2.15 a day. Discussions at the AVPN conference will focus on scalable and sustainable approaches to alleviating poverty such as: 

  • Investing in education and the development of human capital 
  • Financial inclusion and other technology-based interventions 
  • Evolving the agriculture sector through technology and infrastructure development 

Women’s Economic Empowerment 

Two-thirds of the AVPN community support the uplifting of women and girls in the region, a trend that must be capitalised if we are to make much-needed headway in gender parity.

According to the World Economic Forum’s latest gender gap report, progress in gender parity has been stagnating for over a decade in parts of East Asia and the Pacific, which sits at 68.8%. Southern Asia ranks second lowest among eight geographical regions, followed by the Middle East and North Africa.

Yet, by advancing women’s equality, the economies of Asia Pacific alone could boost their collective GDP by US$4.5 trillion a year by 2025. The Conference will explore ways in which to reverse the stagnation by focusing on: 

  • The principles and strategies of gender lens giving 
  • Understanding the care economy and emerging investment approaches 
  • The economic empowerment of women and girls and how it relates to business, technology, and climate change 

Tech for Impact 

Technology can contribute significantly to achieving all 17 of the SDGs. Digital access to financial service has helped to lift people out of poverty, while data-driven practices in agriculture are contributing to alleviating hunger. Technology will play an essential part in helping to cut global greenhouse gas emissions and provide sophisticated modelling in the prevention of disease outbreaks. 

The advent of generative AI is also providing new opportunities in data gathering, collection and processing – essential aspects of measuring the effectiveness of capital. The Conference will include a “tech for impact” lens with a focus on how tech start-ups are driving the development of innovative and affordable solutions. 

For more on the AVPN Global Conference 2024 see: https://avpn.asia/conference/

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