By Anne Field
Interest in impact investing continues to increase, even as investors report a shortage of promising opportunities.
That’s according to a recent study of 125 investors managing a total of $46 billion in impact investments conducted by The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and J.P. Morgan.
By Melissa Korn
Most business-school students are gunning for jobs in banking, consulting or technology. So what are they doing reading Plato?
The philosophy department is invading the M.B.A. program—at least at a handful of schools where the legacy of the global financial crisis has sparked efforts to train business students to think beyond the bottom line. Courses like “Why Capitalism?” and “Thinking about Thinking,” and readings by Marx and Kant, give students a break from Excel spreadsheets and push them to ponder business in a broader context, schools say.
By Jeff Macke
Despite the creation of two saints and first Pope to retire in 600 years in attendance, there was no question that Pope Francis was the star of the show last Sunday in Vatican City. More than 500,000 gathered near St. Peter’s Square with another 300,000 watching on monitors throughout Rome as the Pope canonized John XXIII as well as John Paul II, then rode through the masses to the Tiber River in his open-top car.
By Devin Thorpe
A team of young social entrepreneurs has created an impact investing fund associated with Columbia University called 118 Capital that will operate as a nonprofit. The founders all have recent degrees from Columbia.
118 Capital will invest in the U.S. and Latin America, focusing on serving underprivileged groups there. The fund will engage students in the process, providing an excellent educational experience for them while providing low cost labor for the fund. The team is fundraising presently on the crowdfunding site Razoo, where the tally shows just over $50,000 donated.
By Phil DeMuth
There was an entertaining article in this Sunday’s New York TimesStyle Section about a gang of rich kids who got to go on a field trip to the White House to “empower” them and let them schmooze about their charitable projects (possibly now to include the DNC?). My favorite line was a description of 26-year-old zillionaire Zac Russell, who wore a “loosely fitting suit without a necktie that contrasted with the stately White House surroundings.” I recall how President Ronald Reagan refused to take off his suit jacket or loosen his tie in the Oval Office even when he was hot because he did not want to insult the dignity of his surroundings with undue casualness. Fortunately, these trustafarians know how to chillax.
One of the interesting and important recent developments in wealth management has been the emergence of a group of clients committed to investing with impact across their entire portfolios, meaning they seek to deliver measurable positive social or environmental benefits with every dollar they put to work.
This includes high net worth individuals, often from the millennial generation, such as Leisel Pritzker Simmons and Ian Simmons, family foundations like the KL Felicitas Foundation, and philanthropic institutions like the F.B. Heron Foundation.
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Today, about one billion people worldwide are malnourished. The same number lack access to clean water, and over 10% of children receive no education. Yet the world will grow by at least two billion people over the next 30 years–the equivalent of more than 80 new Shanghais. Changes of this scale present us with immense new challenges and equally vast opportunities.
Dan Pallotta, creator of the 3-day breast cancer walk, in his now infamous TED talk, says, “Philanthropy is a world that works for everyone, with no one left out.” In order to make this vision a reality we have a long way to go, first of which should be a reduction in the major gaps that still exist in the social impact ecosystem between entrepreneurs and successful innovators who want to give back to the world, and investors who are willing to support their cause. The only way to truly tackle the world’s growing pains is by closing this gap and finding sustainable solutions to enduring social problems.
For socially responsible investors, the four cardinal sin-dustries used to be tobacco, gambling, alcohol, and weaponry. But these days, the only true taboo is invoking the word “screen.”