This year I was unexpectedly engaged by the Impact Investment Summit to support the conference as the speaker care manager. It was my first time attending the conference, and I learned a lot.
The six months leading up to the summit provided me with a crash-course in impact investing, as part of the work I’ve been doing with The Impact Outfit. Through conversations with the speakers, and the summit team, I developed a good idea about what impact investing means, who the main players are and how it all works.
Being on the ground at the summit was another experience entirely. From inspiring personal stories to incredible innovations, the passion of so many people and organisations working towards positive change in so many sectors was eye opening. I left feeling inspired to work alongside these people, funds and organisations on their journey to change the world.
Three highlights for me were;
- John McKinnon from Infrastructure Access Managers (IAM). He feels so strongly about climate change that heʼs doing it from the inside out. Some people call this shareholder activism. Instead of campaigning for change from the outside, IAM has invested in Newcastle Port, with the long-term ambition of influencing internal operations to go 100% green.
- Durreen Shahnaz from Impact Investment Exchange, is working to bring the ʻOrange Bonds Initiativeʼ to Australia. Orange is the colour of gender equality, (one of the United Nationsʼ 17 Sustainable Development Goals) and the initiative looks to gender lens investing as a strategy to close the gender gap and improve womenʼs equality. Durreen spoke with knowledge, experience and passion about the importance of taking a gendered view and approach to investment.
- Mark Swinnerton, of green tech start-up Green Gravity, has used his extensive mining background to provide a solution for utilising disused mines. Green Gravity generates electricity by leveraging weights and friction from the shafts of mines. Itʼs extraordinary and a reminder that so much of the technology for climate solutions already exists, if only they can access capital to scale and grow.
These are just a few of the many highlights from an action-packed two days. Themes of collaboration, partnerships and deploying capital at scale and pace to achieve positive impact came through again and again. As David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace said; ʻItʼs time to pick a team.ʼ I pick the team that chooses to invest in solutions.
Katie Rabbidge worked with the Impact Summit team as Speaker Care Manager