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Program Highlights

Pre-Forum Events

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Forum kickoff and launch of Origin Capital

Speaker: David O’Leary (Origin Capital)

Origin Capital fireside discussion

Speakers: David O’Leary; Jed Emerson (Blended Value Group)

Is capitalism broken? Does impact investing solve our problems — or does it perpetuate power imbalances? Does all this conversation delay getting help to people in need? These are some of the huge questions our panellists will tackle in a candid and wide-ranging discussion blending philosophy, economics and good business principles.

Day 1

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Opening remarks

Speaker: Yung Wu (MaRS Discovery District)

The future impact economy

Speakers: Dominic Barton (McKinsey & Company) ; Amanda Lang (BNN Bloomberg); more TBA

In August 2019, nearly 200 CEOs of the world’s largest companies issued a statement arguing that shareholder interest should no longer be a corporation’s top priority. If this is the watershed moment we’ve been waiting for, what does a strong economic system need (aside from profit) to further benefit customers, employees and society at large?

Panellists will discuss what the role of business, capital, government and civil society have to play in generating positive social and environmental impact moving forward, moderated by award-winning journalist, Amanda Lang.

The new economics of social change

Speaker: Morgan Simon (author, investor and activist); more TBA

ESG investing vs. sustainable investing vs. impact investing

Speakers: Andy Chisholm (RBC Board); Eric Wetlaufer (TMX Group); more TBA

Integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into traditional financial analysis has become a common approach among institutional investors. While ESG can influence investment activity on a large scale, the ultimate impact remains difficult to quantify and attribute.

Panelists will discuss whether ESG investment is sufficient enough to move the needle on these massive societal issues. They’ll also consider how financial institutions can respond more effectively.

What counts as impact?

Speakers: TBA

“Impact” can mean a lot of things. Some argue that all business creates impact — positive or negative; a lot or a little. This panel of investors and entrepreneurs will offer a critical perspective on the meaning of making a difference.

New impact investing approaches breaking the mould

Speakers: Jeff Cyr (Raven Capital); Sally Boulter (Impact Assets); Andi Phillips (Maycomb Capital); more TBA

This pitch-style session showcases new financial models focused on bringing together capital and new ideas. The ultimate goal: create outside impact in priority issue areas.

Building Canada’s pipeline of investment-ready social enterprise

Speakers: Andy Broderick (New Market Funds); Ian Bird (Community Foundations of Canada); Paulette Senior (Canadian Women’s Foundation); more TBA

In Canada’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement (and follow-on budget of spring 2019), the Federal Government announced its plan to create a Social Finance Fund. The first prong of the strategy is a $50-million Investment Readiness Program.

On this panel, hear from the respected leaders carrying out this strategy. They’ll talk about the program’s crucial objectives and how to measure success.

Tech for good

Speakers: Kathryn Wortsman (Amplify Capital); more TBA

This pitch-style session will showcase new technology with serious potential to create outsized impact for our society.

Place-based impact investing — The growth of investing locally

Speakers: Adam Spence (SVX); more TBA

More and more investors are placing capital into local social enterprises and non-profits to create jobs and bolster economies. With the Scaling Impact Initiative in Canada, and a growing movement in the U.S. (led by organizations like BALLE, OpenImpact and the MacArthur Foundation), more resources are being shared to help place-based funds rise and thrive.

This session will look at some of the recent place-based successes in North America, offering insights on why these examples appeal to investors.

Who scores better?

Speakers: Paul Allard (Impak Finance); Zachary Dan (Act Analytics); Bonnie Lyn de Bartok (The S Factor Co.); more TBA

Trying to navigate the changing landscape of impact measurement and comparative/competitive analysis can be mind-boggling for investors and shareholders.

This session will review the respective impact assessments of three companies, each through the lens of distinct impact content suppliers. The goal is to help understand the difference in impact scores and ratings, based on different methods, metrics and indicators employed.

Impact investing supporting international development

Speakers: Jocelyn Mackie (Grand Challenges Canada); Sneha Kanneganti (The World Bank); Josh Folkema (Origin Capital); more TBA

I’m a financial advisor — what do I need to know about impact investing?

Speakers: TBA

This session, geared for financial advisors and professionals new to impact investing, will introduce impact concepts and provide access to trends and market information.

I’m a non-profit organization — how can I raise capital?

Speakers: Nick Glicher (Thomsen Reuters Foundation); Derek Ballantyne (New Market Funds); more TBA

Service-based non-profits and charities are becoming more sophisticated in how they attract and use capital.

This will be a technical session conducted by professionals experienced in community bonds, social impact bonds, and loan agreements.

Day 2

Friday, November 8, 2019

Scaling social finance — The role of the public sector

Speakers: Matthew Mendelsohn (Government of Canada); more TBA

At the last G7 (France) and G20 (Japan) summits, world leaders pledged to grow the impact investing market as a meaningful and efficient way to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal targets and social issues generally.

This session will explore the public sector’s role in scaling social impact, what leading countries are doing, and what Canada can learn from it all.

Can we reach consensus on impact measurement standardization?

Speakers: Diane Mak (Y Analytics); more TBA

One of the main challenges facing the social finance sector is the lack of a clear, consistent and consensus-based impact measurement approach. This is a massive problem, as most agree that achieving standardization will be a breakthrough in fostering more funding to the sector.

How can we achieve consensus when measuring and managing impact metrics? How far are we from achieving this milestone? Or can the sector adapt and flourish without reaching consensus? All of these issues and more will be discussed during the panel.

Impact gone wrong

Speakers: TBA

The impact investing market has grown steadily over the last decade, but challenges remain. For example, some argue that integrating impact investing can actually inhibit growth.

This session will explore real examples where expectations and results didn’t meet, as well as the challenges of negative externalities.

Making headway on the SDGs

Speakers: Mathu Jeyaloganathan (Origin Capital); more TBA

This pitch-style session — led by investors, entrepreneurs and beneficiaries — will showcase impact investing strategies that are making headway on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Should donor-advised funds make impact investments?

Speakers: Jo-Anne Ryan (TD Wealth); more TBA

Most people think of World Vision, Red Cross or Heart and Stroke as Canada’s largest charitable fundraisers. However, with the rise of donor-advised funds (DAFs), financial institutions are rapidly gaining on traditional charities. In fact, the market for DAFs now exceeds $4 billion in Canada, and $110 billion in the U.S.

This panel will explore how these assets can be leveraged for greater impact.

Rethinking capital for social impact projects

Speakers: Indy Johar (Dark Matter Labs); Jayne Engle (Cities for People, McConnell Foundation); Bruce Katz (Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University)

Cities must address challenges in unique ways as resource constraints plague public efforts. This session discusses the work of the Civic Capital Lab (born out of Future Cities Canada) and its partner cities. Panellists will also examine various Canadian and U.S. communities that are employing alternative financing models to create new solutions.

Indigenous social finance

Speakers: Jeff Cyr (Raven Capital); more TBA

This session will offer an overview of social finance in Canada from an Indigenous lens. More specifically, the discussion will focus on:

  • the current Indigenous social entrepreneurship/social finance landscape;
  • how social finance has and could continue to support Canada’s Indigenous communities;
  • the challenges and opportunities social finance presents for Indigenous communities; and
  • how audience members can support the Indigenous social finance space.

How to build an impact portfolio

Speakers: TBA

As investors move from dabbling in impact investing to creating a robust portfolio, things become a lot more complicated.

This session hopes to demystify options available to would-be impact investors. With a focus on private market investments, this panel will also look at fund managers who have developed products with a mix of private and public securities. We’ll also look into the appeal of funds and direct investments.

+ more to be announced. Stay connected with our newsletter for speaker announcements and program updates.



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