B Lab’s Innovative Tools to Help Impact Companies Grow Sustainably

B Lab exists to support the cultural change happening around business: How can we create social change with business? And how can we operate sustainably, from sourcing to selling?

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Episode Summary

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In this episode, we talk with B Lab executives Laura and Amanda to find out:

  • What is the mission and vision of B Lab?
  • Can you give us a quick background of B Lab and why you got involved?
  • How does the ecosystem work?
  • What stage of business would you recommend to take the assessment?
  • Why should people measure their impact? What are the benefits?
  • Can you share more about B Analytics?
  • What kind of companies are signing up to use this tool?
  • Can you share with us how you integrated the Global Goals with B Lab?
  • How can we get involved?

Tune in to discover how you can use the Impact Assessment as a guide for your own business growth, and how you can use the B Lab Analytics to inform your investments.

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What is the mission and vision of B Lab?

“B Lab is a nonprofit. We’ve been around for about 12 years, and our mission from the beginning has been to serve people using business as a force for good.

What we see our organization contributing is infrastructure primarily to make the cultural shifts that are happening in the nature of business become long-term changes. Also, we are recognizing companies that exemplify what this redefined for social environmental good looks like, which are called certified B corporations.”

Can you give us a quick background of B Lab and why you got involved?

“It must have been 13 years ago! It started with three friends from college who had all gone into the private sector. One of them was more on the investment side of things in private equity and the other two as entrepreneurs. They were growing a company in the apparel industry and sensing that there was something deeply flawed in business.”

“As they tried to run their business with a social conciousness, environmental purpose, and logic, they found barriers. They identified two main flaws in the system. One was legal – a legal definition of maximizing return for shareholders in the short term. The second was a general question: what is a good decision from the social and environmental perspective as you’re running a business? That was the beginning of it all.”

Laura: “I’m Colombian, so I started out as the executive director of the Labs to partner in Colombia. That was about five years ago. As of two years ago, I’ve been based in New York with Amanda working primarily on newer initiatives. We’re trying to sta ahead of the game and moving the market forward. What about you, Amanda?”

Amanda: “I’ve been with B Lab for about four years now. I came to this work after having spent some time in the federal government, really thinking and working on policy and federal initiatives that we’re about promoting economic development.”

“I think one of the things that was lacking for me was the pace in which the government was able to move around supporting sustainable business.”

“But the pace in the private sector was responding much more quickly. So, there I was after about three and a half years in Washington, deciding to leave because I really wanted to be on the cutting edge. I have seen B labs push the conversation forward and provide real solutions for businesses, for investors and stakeholders (not just shareholders), and redefining what the success of a business can look like. I’ve also seen B Lab being progressive about how we spread that change and make it actionable for all businesses.”

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How does the ecosystem work?

Amanda: “When we think about the role that the Lab plays in this work, we see ourselves as one actor in this broader ecosystem of people using business as a force for good. We can take no credit for being the only actors in and thinking about the role of business and how it is changing and how it’s evolving.”

How it Works:

  1. Identify Leaders “Where we see our work really playing out, as Laura said, within the identification of business leaders that have put in best practices around their social environmental management. 
  2. Systematize Best Practices and Get Certified Companies have to go through a process to become a certified B Corp to systemetize those best practices. The first step is actually taking an assessment that assesses those policies and practices in place in that business. For example:
    1. Are you producing a certified organic product?
    2. Are you involved in fair trade
    3. How are you treating your workers?
    4. What’s your governance structure?
    5. How are you engaged with their community?
  3. Change the Legal Structure to a Public Benefit Corporation: Then we create a legal structure that allows companies to account for those shareholders, or excuse me, their stakeholders, not just their shareholders. And as they’re growing their business, as they’re making real business decisions in thinking about how they as a business can grow in the long term.”

Check out this video to see what it means to be a Certified B Corporation

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Can you share the origin of how you developed the assessment?

“The impact assessment has always been the cornerstone of our work around impact measurement, and a first point of entry for a lot of our companies. The first version of it was on an excel sheet. It was like an MVP, but it was about discovering those aspects of the business that we can measure and specifically asking, “how do we identify metrics that are objective and observable that a company can see where they are as an organization?”

At bImpactAssessment.net you can take the assessment. It’s a cloud-based, totally free tool that a company can register for, and as the buusiness goes through that assessment, we ask questions organized around specific stakeholder groups for a company.”

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What stage of business would you recommend to take the assessment?

We got asked that question a lot about five years ago, so we started this new category of B groups, which is called pending B Corp. The pending B Corp group gives entrepreneurs clarity from the beginning: they take it as a learning experience and it’s only a year after they’ve been in business that they actually have to go through the verification process that the B Corp does go through. So they do have a year from the moment that they decide, ‘okay, I want to be a pending B Corp. I want in a year’s time to really understand what the B Impact Assessment calls for. I want to achieve that minimum threshold within a year.’ Then, they have that time to build the elements that they may be missing.

So, my general answer about the business stage is… as early as possible! There’s no cost involved, it’s a login. And no one needs to know what your score is.” 

“We are hoping that companies use the impact assessment as a tool for their development and growth. That way, they can build a sustainable company from the beginning.”

How many companies have taken the assessment?

Great question. So we have 55,000 companies globally that have registered and started the B impact assessment.

I think that’s because there’s a broader consciousness happening in the business community. We’re now at over 2,700 certified B Corps globally, and there’s been companies that are leading the way for others: “Hey, if that company can do it, I can do it.” Or, “I really believe in that company. I want to be just like them in the business I’m building.” So we’re seeing that community as a whole movement, which is exciting.

Why should people measure their impact?

First and foremost it’s important to have visibility onto those aspects of your business that are not just about financial performance.

Laura: I think there’s an interesting opportunity here for companies to distinguish themselves in a marketplace to say, “This is how I’m doing compared to other companies.” That’s really important to us. I think people are demanding it. Customers are demanding it, investors are demanding it, employees are demanding it. And being able to respond to that demand is a critical and central part of a business being successful is being responsive.”

Are there any benefits to doing this?

Amanda: “I think employee engagement is one of the first things that we hear from companies; that either they’ve gone through it and now they’re seeing it as a mechanism through which to engage their employees. Some of it are doing the assessment as a response to their employees, to Laura’s point, as their workforce may be demanding it and wondering, “Are we amongst the leaders that are doing this?”

The political part of it in tracking your progress over time is important in the same way that you would track your balance sheet over time and your profit and loss statement. And, the certification process built in that consistent review.

For me, Patagonia is a great example of this. They have been a leader in sustainability long before B-Corp. Since getting certified, they’ve used the assessment and certification to improve their company and practices.”

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Can you share more about B Analytics?

“The data in it is by individual companies going in and filling out the B Impact Assessment. Then, B Analytics is a business intelligence tool that lets stakeholders actually engage with that data and understand it in a more in-depth way.”

“I think one of the things that we’ve seen is that there are a host of other stakeholders that want to be engaged in helping that business grow. Often it’s investors. Often it is supply chain managers. Understanding and having visibility into these nonfinancial performance metrics of a company can add value. We’ve had about 150 subscribers since we launched the platform, and it is about helping companies understand where they are today, then use that data to make better decisions and improve their impact over time.”

What kind of companies sign up to use this tool?

It’s a variety. I’d say investors are about half of our community and some of them are venture capitalists, some of them are sort of traditional private equity firms and some of them are debt funds actually that have engaged and invested in providing debt instruments to growing companies.

We also have non-investors who are using the platform. We have supply chain managers who have said “it’s really important to understand our impact, but we want visibility into our supply chain as well because we know that a lot of the value that we’re providing more broadly in the ecosystem is actually coming through our supply chain.” So they may be engaging with the companies that they source from in order to measure and manage their impact.

We also have business networks and local economic development organizations that are using the analytics tool to support sustainable business development in their communities.

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Can you share with us how you integrated the Global Goals with B Lab?

“It fits perfectly into this conversation because we’ll be beta testing in November and then launching in January, 2020. It will essentially be a module of the B Impact Assessment and a module of the analytics that bring the Sustainable Development Goals.

We really listened to many of the companies that use the B Impact Assessment, then so many of the partners that use the analytics and they’ve been saying to us for years that the SDG framework is incredibly helpful.

Anyone who knows the Sustainable Development Goals understands just how tangible they make humanity-wide challenges, but they were developed for countries and by countries.

What can we do to get involved?

I would encourage folks to be the change, which is what our newsletter and our content shows you how to do. Our content highlights the good work of the community and the companies that we have the privilege of working with and serving, and also the broader community of change agents that are driving a different system of capitalism.

So if you need some inspiration, if you’re looking for a mid-day, pick me up, check out Be the Change. It gives you an opportunity to sign up for our newsletter. That would be the best place to get updates on this new integration and the SDG work that we’re doing and to stay up to date on all things B Corp.

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Social Capital Markets Conference: Top Takeaways

Social Capital Markets Conference: Top Takeaways

Katy at SOCAP 2019 in San Fransisco

In this mini-episode, our Global Goals Project host Katy Ward shares her top takeaways from the Social Capital Markets Conference this past October.

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You’ll hear:

  • What were some of the hottest topics of conversation at the conference?

  • What was top-of-mind for impact investors at the conference?

  • Why was the storytelling track popular… and important?

  • What is the experience of attending SOCAP like?

  • Who should go next year?

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Below is the post-event press release with details to watch the digital experience recap for free and check out some of the awesome event highlights.

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Global Changemakers Gather at Social Capital Markets’ Influential Impact Investing Conference, SOCAP19

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SOCAP19’s Digital Experience will provide video recaps and an ongoing community for social impact leaders to collaborate and address the world’s toughest challenges.

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San Francisco, CA (October 25, 2019) – At the 12th annual SOCAP19 conference, more than 3,000 impact investors, social entrepreneurs and cross-sector professionals committed to increasing the flow of capital toward social good gathered for four days of convening, conversing, and collaboration, at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco.

The influential gathering that took place October 22-25, 2019 from  Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) — dedicated to accelerating a new global market at the intersection of money and meaning — featured 12 themes, over 150 sessions and more than 500 speakers. In addition, 130+ recipients of SOCAP’s Social Entrepreneur Scholarship attended SOCAP19.

“Since we began our conference more than a decade ago, what once felt like a secret — this vibrant place in between the nonprofit world and the finance world —is now woven throughout the global economy,” said Lindsay Smalling, Chief Executive Officer of SOCAP. “Despite the $500+ billion size of the impact investing market and the millions of lives that have been improved by social entrepreneurship, the potential of global markets to accelerate impact is largely unknown to most people. Beyond our flagship conference, SOCAP is driving growth of the global impact community by sharing these inspiring stories through year-round SOCAP 365 events in cities across America; through our podcast, Money + Meaning; and through offering the ‘SOCAP19 Digital Experience.’ In 2020 and beyond, we will increase our focus on accessible storytelling across live events and digital content to engage cross-sector changemakers across the globe to solve the world’s toughest problems.”

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The 12 themes explored at SOCAP19 included Catalytic Capital, Future of Work, Impact Investing, Impact Tech, Indigenous Communities, LatAm, Meaning, Opportunity Zones, Power of Story, Racial Equity, Refugees and Sustainable Agriculture. For additional details on the themes, visit https://socialcapitalmarkets.net/socap19/themes/

Highlights of the SOCAP19 plenary sessions livestreamed and to be part of the post “Digital Experience” footage included:

  • Tuesday, October 22, Nick Glicher, COO of Thomson Reuters Foundation, revealed results of its second global survey of the “Best Countries for Social Entrepreneurs”; The Rockefeller Foundation announced a new initiative on the future of food; Rodrigo Villar, Founding Partner of New Ventures, and Raúl Pomares, Founder of Sonen Capital, discussed emerging impact investing landscape in Latin America.
  • Wednesday, October 23, Morgan Simon of Candide Group discussed building a movement with recently retired NFL player and impact investor Derrick Morgan of KNGDM Impact Fund; Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator of USAID, and David Bohigian, CEO of OPIC on government agency-led efforts to catalyze economic development in emerging markets.
  • Thursday, October 24, Jennifer Eberhardt of Stanford SPARQ, Ashby Monk of Stanford Global Projects Center and Daryn Dodson of Illumen Capital, discuss research on unconscious racial bias of investors; Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard of Democracy Collaborative on their proposal for a new democratic economy to address deep, systemic economic inequality; and inspiration from Lynne Twist, Founder of The Soul of Money Institute, an early pioneer of thinking differently about money.

Kate Byrne, President of Intentional Media, the purpose-driven media platform whose brands include SOCAP, Conscious Company Media and Total Impact, closed the last day of plenary sessions speaking about the future of the impact space.  Said Byrne: “Intentional Media’s purpose is the amplify the great work being done in the impact space, and help people understand how to participate and with whom. When SOCAP started 12 years ago it was a pioneer, now there are so many more organizations in the space. We take our years of experience and street cred and put it to work for the community. Programs such as our inaugural, When Women Lead: A World-Changing Women Workshop, expand the conversation and empower those hoping to play a bigger role in the years to come; while our Total Impact platform has helped further mainstream impact investing. SOCAP serves as the gathering space for all to learn, share best practices and connect. As a result, the Intentional platform serves the entire impact landscape.”

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SOCAP19 was made possible with the support of the following partners in change: Bush Foundation (Success Partner); Prudential, The Rockefeller Foundation, Korean International Cooperation Agency (Investment Partners); MacArthur Foundation (Presentation Partner); Autodesk Foundation, Bain Capital Double Impact,  e180, JB Media Group, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Tides, Walton Family Foundation (Innovation Partner); Big Path Capital, Capital Impact, Celo, Domini, ImpactAssets, Kate Spade, Korn Ferry, Korean Delegation, Powering Agriculture, REDF, SoPro CFO, Working Capital (Pitch Partner); Aeris, Avivar Capital, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, Cooley, DAI, Oweesta, Fondo de Fondos, Schwab Charitable, Rockies Impact Fund, Seeding Sovereignty, Sonen Capital, Stasher (Idea Partner); Alliance Partners, Asian NGO, Conscious Company Media, Corporate Knights, Devex, Dumbo Feather, Impact Alpha, Karma, Next Billion, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Plug, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Wharton Social Impact Initiative (Media Partner).

The “SOCAP19 Digital Experience,” which anyone from around the world can still join for free, will give passholders curated recaps of livestreams all the plenary sessions and main stage breakout sessions. The pass includes exclusive interviews and coverage of the conference from SOCAP19 media partners including NextBillion, Devex and ImpactAlpha; a digital SOCAP19 program book; a list of all companies and organizations at SOCAP19; and links to the full SOCAP19 video and online content library. To sign up visit: https://socialcapitalmarkets.net/socap19/digital-experience/


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About SOCAP (Social Capital Markets):

SOCAP is the largest and most diverse impact investing community in the world. We convene a global ecosystem and marketplace – social entrepreneurs, investors, foundation and nonprofit leaders, government and policy leaders, creators, corporations, academics and beyond – through live and digital content experiences that educate, spur conversation, and inspire investment in positive impact. Our programming includes the annual SOCAP conference, SOCAP 365 regional events, SPECTRUM conference, and Money + Meaning podcasts. For more information, go to SocialCapitalMarkets.net; follow on LinkedInFacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube; as well as #SOCAP19 and #SOCAPStories for this year’s conference. SOCAP19 is an Intentional Media company, the purpose-driven media platform whose brands include SOCAP, Conscious Company Media and Total Impact.

About Intentional Media:

Intentional Media is a purpose-driven media and events platform, catalyzing our transition to an economy that ensures that social, environmental and economic systems thrive together. Home to properties including SOCAPConscious Company Media and Total Impact – through the power of storytelling and networks, we connect, educate, and inspire people, transforming moments to movements, thoughts to action. For more information, go to https://intentional.co/; follow on https://intentional.co/social/

Catalyzing Collaboration Across the Planet with Conveners.org

Catalyzing Collaboration Across the Planet with Conveners.org

The Conveners team believes it is critically important that people come together to address the greatest challenges facing the planet. Conveners host events, connect businesses to accelerators and gather technology tools to help impact companies navigate the changing economy.

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Episode Summary

We talk to Executive Director Avary Kent about their organization for catalyzing collaboration. In this episode, we talk about:

  • What is Conveners.org and what are you set out to solve?
  • Why are these different components important to an ecosystem?
  • What are some of your favorite accelerators?
  • How do you address Global Goal #17?
  • Can you share the business model?
  • How do you see the future of partnerships playing into getting these goals done?
  • What’s next for Conveners.org?

See their top recommended accelerators, hear about their platform for finding accelerators, and experience a mindset-shift around collaboration for impact businesses.

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What is Conveners.org and what are you set out to solve?

Well, I would say we’re the meta-meta. We are a global association of impact-focused conferences, accelerators, and mappers. So, anybody who is trying to build a more robust ecosystem, we love to build peer networks to serve them.

There are 3 major segments:

  1. Conveners Events
  2. Accelerators and Incubators
  3. Mappers

Why are these different components important to an ecosystem?

Group 1: Conveners Events

So when we see the conveners, these are the folks who aren’t doing conferences, they’re doing gatherings, they’re doing dinners, they’re doing meetings. But at the end of the day, they believe it is critically important that people come together, oftentimes in person to be able to address the greatest challenges facing the planet. And so, we think this is absolutely critical because every challenge we see from hunger to education, to poverty, to climate change, these are all really complex issues, which means that there’s a lot of pieces that are moving. You don’t know what they all are. And honestly you can only predict cause and effect in hindsight.

And so no one person, organization or even country is just going to fix these things overnight. It requires all of us to come together and to work together and to collaborate.

And so conveners believe that bringing people together is a critical ingredient to achieving their mission.

Group 2: Accelerators and Incubators

These are organizations that are enhancing the ability of enterprises and entrepreneurs to build organizations that are both doing well and doing good at the same time. Especially with social entrepreneurs, there’s a lot of help you need from your business model to your product market fit, how you’re going to run, how to grow your team and build your organization, and how to scale.

The incubators and accelerators have different curricula and most importantly relationships that they bring to the table with mentors and potential teammates and investors. We bring program managers together to learn from each other, share best practices, and hopefully identify ways that they can enhance one another’s programming and skills.

Group 3: Mappers

The third group are mappers, some of whom are incubators and accelerators themselves. Some are research institutions, some are conveners, but these are our people in organizations that are building tools and resources that help people navigate the impact ecosystem. It can be really hard to find your way around!

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Can you share with us the background of how you got started?

I was working at SoCap at the time and co-founding what became Impact Alpha and impact space, the media site and was just really shocked by the number of accelerator program folks who didn’t already know each other. 

I had been really inspired by Ian Fisk, the Executive Director of the Mentor Capital Network and the work he’d done on ecosystem building. I took the banner from him to help bring together program managers from incubators and accelerators around the world to help create a common application and create a cross promotion directory.

So when Topher (CEO of Opportunity Collaboration) and I teamed up after an Agora meeting, he was showing his new conversations with conveners. I was exploring my years of conversations with accelerators and we realize that we were serving different audiences who are doing the same thing, which was building peer circles and pure connection for communities that are oftentimes really isolated. At the time I was exploring what to do next and had left my last startup, but Topher really didn’t want to leave Opportunity Collaboration. So conveners.org was born a few months later.

We focused on what happens when you listen to the communities that need help and design your programming to be really responsive to that.

The Accelerator Selection Tool

An Accelerator Directory was one of the collective impact projects that came out of conversations with Ian Fisk of Mentor Capital Network and Andy Lieberman from Miller Center for social entrepreneurship. Uh, and I worked together to start to map out like what are the fields, what does the information that people actually need to make these kinds of decisions? And at the time enable impact, uh, actually was building an accelerator directory.

However, the problem was that the data was out of date all the time, and the platform would be expensive to run and offer it we kept it up to date. So The Accelerator Selection Tool works a little differently in two main ways:

  1. They don’t list individual programs, but list groups that have websites. That way, the company’s website will be adding updated information on its own.
  2. They offer an embed code for websites to offer for free, to outsource distribution.

What are some of your favorite accelerators?

I would say Miller Center for social entrepreneurship, as they have incredible longevity. They’ve been going for over 15 years. In terms of working in emerging markets, they’re amazing and they have a great mix of both virtual and in-person programming, especially around investment readiness.

Mentor Capital Network is also exceptional. Anyone who applies is going to get an incredible amount of feedback from hundreds of mentors from all over the world, if not thousands.

I would say Uncharted is also incredible. You may have known them as the unreasonable institute in Boulder back in the day, but they had a rebrand last year and they are really at representing the next iteration of impact accelerators. So they’re really focused on solving a specific problem.

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Other accelerators Avary recommends:

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What do you think the role of an impact ecosystem plays into a city?

I actually love the metaphor of ‘the roadies who make that awesome concert a reality.’

It’s the folks behind the scenes who are connecting the dots who are helping you see and meet the people that you might not otherwise have access to, and to gain the answers to your questions. I mean, Google is awesome. Obviously, they’re gonna rule the world one day, but at the end of the day that’s not necessarily how you’re going to find, not just the answer to your question, but the person behind it who you can really build a relationship with.

I think especially when you look at how silo-ed government is from everything else, how siloed corporations are from everything else, how siloed corporations are internally, how hard it is for universities to connect across things. These that were coordinators are the glue that’s holding things together, and they are the catalysts. From a true chemistry sense of the word, they are speeding up the reactions that are creating an impact because they’re connecting pieces more quickly.

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How do you see Global Goal #17 going?

“So, partnerships for the goals (SDG #17) is obviously what we think we embody the most. There’s a lot of money and time and energy and focus going into ending hunger or improving education or fixing climate change and partnerships, many argue, is the most important ingredient.

You’re not going to achieve any of the other SDGs without it. And yet, there are very few funders and very few folks who are actually really prioritizing #17. It is overhead: it is salaries, it is people’s time. That is at the heart of the program that’s being delivered and it’s really hard to measure. You cannot attribute your impact nearly as easily as when you say, “Oh look, we, you know, sold x number of copies of this app serving x number of customers or we’ve delivered, why gallons of clean water to z communities.”

But there are metrics for it. They exist. They’re just much harder and take a lot more time to measure. We’ve been really focused on SDG 17 through our initiative convening 17 and this is bringing all of the parts of our work into one coherent strategy.”

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Can you share the business model?

“We’re a 501C3 nonprofit, but it’s the first nonprofit I’ve run. Everything else has been for profit. So, no surprise, about 75% of our income is actually earned at revenue level.

We do a mix of a lot of training, a lot of capacity development, working with foundations to help improve the capability of their team to facilitate a very participant-focused design with many of these folks and over time we also designed and ran full events for them that use this methodology.”

How do you see the future of partnerships playing into getting these goals done?

“I think we need to get ego out of the way.

There is a lot when you look at collaboration, there are a lot of challenges that honestly emerge because people need the credit and they think they can do it better than anyone else. And I think to some extent that’s true. Kickstarter is always going to go faster and be able to do more because they don’t partner. They just know what they do, they do it well and that’s the thing that they’re going to do.

But when you are trying to tackle a complex challenge, you can’t go it alone because too often the intervention that you’re trying to have is going to have unintended consequences and you can’t predict what those are going to be in advance. Then, the only way to address them is through relationship.”

 

What’s next for Conveners.org?

Avary talks about partnerships and building their accelerator pipeline moving forward.

“I think doubling down on how to build collaboration between conveners and how to really catalyze action. On the collaboration side we are working on a number of core partnerships for 2019 and 2020 that will enable us to take on more SDGs like SDG 2, hunger, and SDG 5, gender equality, and start really building the playbook so more folks can leverage conversations or cost conflicts to achieve really specific and measurable outcomes.

We’re also really excited to be doing more to integrate the accelerator community into that process because they are such a valuable pipeline partner in this.

MIT solve has been doing incredible work for the last few years in identifying core challenges and connecting to a global network to find solvers from around the world, and we’re excited to be talking to them about ways we can connect into the accelerator network that we’ve built.”

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SOCAP19 Feature: Global Changemaker Sessions Free Livestream

SOCAP19 Feature: Global Changemaker Sessions Free Livestream

OCTOBER 2019 PRESS RELEASE

SOCAP19 Livestreams Global Changemaker Sessions

Addressing Solutions to World’s Toughest Problems

 

~ Digital Pass Experience offers live community connections and insight into what is working in social impact today during Social Capital Markets influential annual conference ~

San Francisco, CA – Social Capital Markets (SOCAP), dedicated to accelerating a new global market at the intersection of money and meaning, will livestream all mainstage content from the 12th annual SOCAP19, October 22-25, 2019 at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco. The influential four-day conference convenes more than 3,000 impact investors, social entrepreneurs and innovative cross-sector practitioners committed to increasing the flow of capital toward social good.

FEATURE IMAGE: Lindsay Smalling, CEO of Social Capital Markets, last year addressing audience at SOCAP’s annual impact investing conference at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

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“Anyone from around the world can join the SOCAP19 Digital Experience and watch livestreamed sessions of leading perspectives from across the global impact ecosystem,”

said Lindsay Smalling, Chief Executive Officer of SOCAP. “Our mission is to unlock the potential of markets to accelerate impact. By offering free digital access we expand this community to those who are unable to make it to Fort Mason this year. It will take all of us exploring ideas and solutions, to solve the world’s toughest problems and participation shouldn’t be limited to only attendees.”

Signing up for the SOCAP19 Digital Experience will grant full access to online coverage of the conference including:

  • All SOCAP19 livestreams – including all plenary sessions and main stage breakout sessions happening on the Cowell Theater stage at Fort Mason
  • Exclusive interviews and coverage of the conference from our impact media partners including NextBillion, Devex and ImpactAlpha
  • Curated recaps of conference sessions and major takeaways
  • A digital SOCAP19 program book
  • A list of all companies and organizations represented at SOCAP19
  • Post-event, pass holders will receive an email with links to the full SOCAP19 video and online content library

To join in the SOCAP19 Digital Experience and sign up for a free digital pass, go to https://socialcapitalmarkets.net/socap19/digital-experience/. In addition, anyone can join in the online conversations during the conference on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn by using the hashtag #SOCAP19.

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Here are more details of the livestreamed sessions during SOCAP19 plenary sessions from 4:00-6:00pm Pacific:

On Tuesday, October 22

  • “A Global Movement that Matters to Millions,” explores solutions to solve the world’s toughest problems from feeding 10 billion people by 2050 to pursuing equity and justice for all. Highlights include:

💥 Nick Glicher, COO of Thomson Reuters Foundation, reveals surprising results of second global survey of the “Best Countries for Social Entrepreneurs.”

💥 Roy Steiner and Sara Farley of The Rockefeller Foundation announce a new initiative on the future of food and host a panel with leading innovators in food systems and sustainable agriculture: Anna Lappé, Co-Director of Real Food Media, and Debra Eschmeyer, Senior Fellow and Head of Innovation at the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at the Arizona State University.

💥 Native Land Acknowledgement by Kanyon Sayers-Roods, CEO of Kanyon Konsulting

Fireside Chats:

🔥  Jennifer Schorsch, President of Water.org, and Tom Ferguson, Vice President of Programming of Imagine H2O share their work on accelerating solutions in water and sanitation.

🔥  Rodrigo Villar, Founding Partner of New Ventures, and Raúl Pomares, Founder of Sonen Capital, discuss opportunities and challenges of the emerging impact investing landscape in Latin America.

🔥  Marcos Gonzalez, Founder of Vamos Ventures and Rod Robinson, Founder and CEO of ConnXus highlight the business case for leading with a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Lens, moderated by Andrew Brower, Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Wednesday, October 23: 

  • New Approaches to Expand the Impact Economy,” brings a range of experts explaining new approaches to strengthen and expand the impact economy. Highlights include:

📈 Neville Crawley, CEO of Kiva, is interviewed by Helen Avery, Sustainable Finance Editor for Euromoney, on the expanded mission of Kiva and the Refugee Investment Fund.

📈 Mega-panel on the maturing landscape of Impact Measurement and Management with Ben Thornley of Tideline; Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen of UNDP; Diane Carol Damskey of IFC; Leticia Emme of IRIS; Sasha Dichter of 60 Decibels; Maria Mähl of Arabesque S-Ray; Cathy Clark of Duke University; Adam Heltzer of Partners Group; Lauren Booker of Jordan Park; Kate Cochran of Upaya Social Ventures and Andrew Lee of UBS.

Fireside chats:

🔥  Morgan Simon of Candide Group discusses building a movement with recently retired NFL player and impact investor Derrick Morgan of KNGDM Impact Fund.

🔥  Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator of USAID, and David Bohigian, CEO of OPIC in conversation on government agency-led efforts to catalyze economic development in emerging markets.

🔥  Tim Freundlich, CEO of ImpactAssets, discusses donor advised funds and the role of policy and regulation for guiding impact in financial services with Kat Taylor, CEO of Beneficial State Bank, and Christie George, Director of New Media Ventures.

 

Thursday, October 24:

  • The Numbers Matter,” offers leading researchers showing how data reveals hidden patterns and truths; evidence supporting what is working and the essential guideposts for directing the passion and persistence of this field. Highlights include:

📊Research on unconscious racial bias of investors led by Jennifer Eberhardt of Stanford SPARQ, Ashby Monk of Stanford Global Projects Center and Daryn Dodson of Illumen Capital, discussion moderated by Miljana Vujosevic of Prudential.

Fireside chat: 

🔥  Rip Rapson, president of The Kresge Foundation, and Susan Taylor Batten, president and CEO of ABFE, talk about Kresge’s “25% by ’25” commitment to diverse managers.

Interviews and talks:

📣 Marjorie Kelly, Executive Vice President & Senior Fellow, and Ted Howard, President and Co-Founder of Democracy Collaborative, interviewed by Oscar Perry Abello, Senior Economics Correspondent at Next City, on their proposal for a new democratic economy to address deep, systemic economic inequality.

📣 Lynne Twist, Founder of The Soul of Money Institute and early pioneer of thinking differently about money, takes the SOCAP stage for the first time.

📣 Brent Kessel, CEO of Abacus Wealth Partners on eight financial archetypes that shape our relationship with money.

📣 Neil Buddy Shah, CEO and Founding Partner of IDinsight, on the appropriate role of rigorous impact measurement in the context of impact investing.

📣 Closing: Kate Byrne, President of Intentional Media, the purpose-driven media platform whose brands include SOCAP, Conscious Company Media and Total Impact, speaks to the future of the impact space and announces upcoming initiatives.

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Overview of Social Capital Market’s SOCAP19

 

SOCAP19’s 12th annual conference of influential changemakers, which features over 500 speakers contributing to more than 150 sessions, is organized into 12 themes: Catalytic Capital, Future of Work, Impact Investing, Impact Tech, Indigenous Communities, LatAm, Meaning, Opportunity Zones, Power of Story, Racial Equity, Refugees and Sustainable Agriculture.

For details on the themes, visit https://socialcapitalmarkets.net/socap19/themes/; for information on the first 50 speakers announced, go to https://socialcapitalmarkets.net/socap19/speakers/. Full schedule is available at https://socap19.pathable.com/meetings

Conscious Company Media is also partnering with SOCAP to produce When Women Lead: A World-Changing Women Workshop, an exclusive gathering of female investors and entrepreneurs, as a separate pre-event at Fort Mason on October 22.

SOCAP19 is made possible with the support of the following partners in change: Bush Foundation (Success Partner); Prudential, The Rockefeller Foundation, Korean International Cooperation Agency (Investment Partners); MacArthur Foundation (Presentation Partner); Autodesk Foundation, Bain Capital Double Impact,  e180, JB Media Group, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Tides, Walton Family Foundation (Innovation Partner); Big Path Capital, Capital Impact, Celo, Domini, ImpactAssets, Kate Spade, Korn Ferry, Korean Delegation, Powering Agriculture, REDF, SoPro CFO, Working Capital (Pitch Partner); Aeris, Avivar Capital, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, Cooley, DAI, Oweesta, Fondo de Fondos, Schwab Charitable, Rockies Impact Fund, Seeding Sovereignty, Sonen Capital, Stasher (Idea Partner); Alliance Partners, Asian NGO, Conscious Company Media, Corporate Knights, Devex, Dumbo Feather, Impact Alpha, Karma, Next Billion, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Plug, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Wharton Social Impact Initiative (Media Partner)*.

Tickets to SOCAP19 are $1,595 and to When Women Lead $199 (if purchased with the conference); $249 (workshop only). For more information and to register, please go to https://socialcapitalmarkets.net/register/

*List of sponsors as of press time

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About SOCAP (Social Capital Markets):

SOCAP is the largest and most diverse impact investing community in the world. We convene a global ecosystem and marketplace – social entrepreneurs, investors, foundation and nonprofit leaders, government and policy leaders, creators, corporations, academics and beyond – through live and digital content experiences that educate, spur conversation, and inspire investment in positive impact. Our programming includes the annual SOCAP conference, SOCAP 365 regional events, SPECTRUM conference, and Money + Meaning podcasts. For more information, go to SocialCapitalMarkets.net; follow on LinkedInFacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube; as well as #SOCAP19 for this year’s conference. SOCAP19 is an Intentional Media company, the purpose-driven media platform whose brands include SOCAP, Conscious Company Media and Total Impact.

About Intentional Media:

Intentional Media is a purpose-driven media and events platform, catalyzing our transition to an economy that ensures that social, environmental and economic systems thrive together. Home to properties including SOCAP, Conscious Company Media and Total Impact – through the power of storytelling and networks, we connect, educate, and inspire people, transforming moments to movements, thoughts to action. For more information, go to https://intentional.co/; follow on https://intentional.co/social/

About the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

We are the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information services company. Established in 1982, the Foundation has 100 staff members in 17 locations around the world, and works to advance media freedom, raise awareness of human rights issues, and develop initiatives to support more inclusive economies. We believe in the power of information and collaboration to shape a more fair and equal world.  Through global news coverage, media development, free legal assistance and our convening authority, we seek to inform, connect and empower people around the world. Our mission is to inspire collective leadership by building global awareness of the challenges facing humanity, and empowering others to shape free, fair and open societies.

Photos of SOCAP18 are by sreel photography, courtesy of Social Capital Markets (SOCAP)

Top Five Lessons Learned From Our Singularity University Series

Top Five Lessons Learned From Our Singularity University Series

In the SU series, we heard from some of the top minds at SU on how to leverage exponential technology and incorporate it into your own business. We saw some of the implications that exponential technology will have on our futures, and we saw the impact this technology will have in solving the Global Goals. Listen in to hear more about Chandler’s 5 biggest takeaways from the SU series.

In this podcast, our goal is to uncover some of the most innovative companies leveraging leading-edge technology, like Singularity University. Companies like SU are taking on the global goals with social-impact driven business models.

We want this podcast to be a resource for you to learn about the innovative tech of our time and integrate it into your business model.

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Top 5 SU Series Lessons

  • Take Away 1: Start by Building a Regular Company… Then Go Exponential

When you’re building out an exponential technology business, one of the best ways to start is just to focus on building a regular company and focusing on solving a problem that you think that you’re uniquely good at that you will be able to specialize in in the marketplace and watch how that company develops organically.

  • Take Away 2: Bring in an Outside Specialist to Integrate Exponential Tech

One of the best ways to bring technology into your business is to hire someone that specializes in the technology that you want to leverage. Then, they can help you gauge the timing and success rate when you’re building an ‘exponential’ solution… since solutions like these often seem slow to start, and then make great leaps in traction. Only a specialist would be able to gauge whether your pace is a problem or if you’re just days away from the next quantum leap.

  • Take Away 3: Learn About Exponential Tech Across Industries

Once you get into the technology game, it’s advantageous to actually study all the different kinds of exponential technologies so you can stay on top of the marketplace. The nature of exponential technology is that industries across the world will be disrupted more and more quickly, and you’ll need to keep your eyes on the horizon to keep up and innovate.

  • Take Away 4: The Data Will Tell You Where to Start Innovating

You don’t have to be a technologist to get into the business of exponential technology. The best way to start is just to become more data-centric. When you start to see patterns in buying habits, online habits, and gaps in the market, you can begin to innovate solutions.

  • Take Away 5: Seeing The Innovations in Tech and Business Through Singularity

Chandler says, “Maybe I’m a little bit biased on this, but I really enjoyed getting the inside scoop of the latest and greatest of what singularity is up to in the world and their game plan over the next 10 years.” Singularity has been collecting the most innovate companies and technologists all over the world, so following their work will keep you up to date on upcoming opportunities and trends.

We will be taking a short break and when we come back we will start a series Impact Venture Capital, Private Equity Firms and how to measure impact with your portfolio companies at scale. Stay tuned!

Listen in to hear more about my 5 biggest takeaways from the SU series.

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