There’s still a lot of energy going into Day 2 of the Impact Summit 2022. Here’s a selection of highlights…

Last night’s Soiree, hosted by the Albert family, kept feet moving into the evening, but that only boosted the appetite for more provocations and invocations to get impact active.

Joel Soloman and The Clean Money Revolution

Sally McCutchan introduced Joel Solomon. Beaming in from California, he delivered his trademark laconic insights about the need for action, and for it to come from the heart.

“We need to look more deeply into the financial system in which we swim.” He said.

“I’m committed to the impact investment industry, because I want to align my money with those values. It’s an important trend, and an active mode going on across the world.”

He’s a long-term thinker, who recognises the energy of youth as a force to drive change, but also a group that will not look upon us kindly if we don’t look after this planet.

“Young people want to work and invest more consciously. We want this world to go on for a hundred generations. We don’t want to be the one’s responsible for stuffing it up.”

“These future people are watching us.”

Progress on Impact in APAC, with Sally McCutchen

Sally McCutchan was joined on stage by some of Australia’s leading minds in impact investing, and how to cement its place as a catalyst for positive change.

Kylie Charlton – Australian Impact Investments

Sasha Corville – Bank Australia

Michael Traill – Executive Director, For Purpose Investment Partners

Kylie Charlton opened with a staggering stat that in the first half of 2022, they saw more funds mobilised to impact than in the entire prior year.  

“We’re likely to see $100 million mobilised by our clients in 2022.” Kylie says.

“Wealth managers are seeing demand from their clients. And if they can’t offer it, they risk losing them.”

Sasha has recently taken on the role of Head of Impact at Bank Australia, and she’s arrived amid a surge in new customers, all demanding an impact approach.

“We focus our impact approach on what our clients are asking us for. And they’re our owners too. We’re growing, and that’s because there’s just so much demand.” Sasha says.

Michael Traill is a name we all know if the world of impact, and he still has his finger on the pulse about where there’s growth, and what areas are evolving.

The high net worth and family office group is growing very fast. We’re seeing conversations about allocations of 5, 10 20% allocated to impact. But the problem is, there’s not enough product. Which is a good problem to have.” Michael said.

The appetite of institutional investors to be more ambitious, and to invest in early stage funds was raised, and Michael explained that they shirk the risk at their peril, as they’ll miss out.

“The Australian VC investors like Square Peg and Blackbird Ventures didn’t find it easy to get going, and credit to them Host Plus did get in early, but for those that didn’t take the leap, and support them when they’re starting out, well they lose the opportunity to invest in later deals that everybody is scrambling for. And that’s a lesson we can learn from the Silicon Valley example.” Michael says.

Sally added, “In the US we actually see a trend of large investors actually allocating a certain portion to first-time managers, as well as those led by women and more diverse groups.”

“But you can’t build a market just on private equity impact products. We need to invest for impact across asset classes.” Kylie Charlton says.And advisors need to think about diversity of product, considering that across a strategic asset allocation is really important.”

“If you’re not looking 10 or 15 years into the future, you’ve got your head in the sand. Or somewhere else.” Michael says.

The question of the day came from Georgie Camp, from Huber Social. She asked:

“Can we shift away from investors (the people with power) deciding what impact is important, and instead, asking the beneficiaries on the ground, what they need?”

Heads nodded at the provocation, and Michael replied:

“There’s a natural tension between economic returns and social measurement, and we can’t ignore that.”

“It’s got to be client centric, what does good look like. If you’re in social housing, what’s the experience of the people you’re working with.”

Kylie added “You can invest for impact, across your strategic asset allocation. It’s about total portfolio activation. And we can do it now.”

Wisdom, Courage, Action: Impact Ideas Worth Spreading

A rapid fire series of impact ideas from across the globe, anchored regionally – to ignite courageous innovation and action

Krisztina Tora offered a pertinent provocation about the challenge of scale in renewable energy and rebooting our economy.

“Time is running out, we need to close the gap between action and rhetoric.”

“Too few companies are reporting on their real-world outcomes. The existence of sustainability and gender reports does not necessarily mean high standards in those realms.”

Tom Dawkins – Startsomegood

“How much good, is good enough? Tom pushed us to engage now. Now is the time to start! Well, yesterday was the ideal time, but now is the best we can do.”

“Treating impact as a category, but instead, it should be a lens, through which we view all investments.”

“We can be a conscious consumer just some of the time. We need to be conscious all the time.”

“We need to push beyond David Gonski’s urging to put 5% into impact investing. That’s not going to cut it if we’re going to achieve the SDGs. “

“If you want to make systemic change, market rate returns are likely not going to be on offer. We need step into the darker, unknown space where systemic change comes from.”

“As a company you don’t want to innovate, or aspire to innovate, you have to, when the market forces you to innovate.”

“It’s the same in impact, we need to innovate, due to the scale of the challenges we face.”

“This is the innovator’s paradox. We don’t learn if we only invest when we are sure it’ll be a winner. We need to be bold.”

“Maybe it’s time to change your view of investability, and meet us where we are. Come down from the mountain, and meet us at camp 1, and we’ll climb to the summit together.”

David Ritter

David eschewed the stage and chose to be at one with the crowd, he prowelled. He walked among us, with mic in hand. Ad-lib, no need for notes, it was a passionately please to use the power we have as investors, to invest in advocacy!

“Capital is magic, you are conjurers. You build things and you break them down and you create things.

You all have a lot of power.

You are wielders of capital, at a time when it is has never been more important.”

“We must invest in advocacy. There are shovel ready products, now. Yes, they can be intangible, but we’ve seen the impact that can be achieved.”

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