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The Brief

Read by thousands of impact pros daily

May 22, 2024 | ImpactAlpha

Greetings Agents of Impact! On this International Biodiversity Day, dig into the pending shareholder proposals on biodiversity, deforestation and deep sea mining, the

Today’s brief

Featured: Returns on Inclusion

MacArthur Foundation’s John Palfrey is “long and strong” on investments in the inclusive economy (Q&A). The best defense is a good offense, says John Palfrey, president of the $8.2 billion MacArthur Foundation. The agenda to create a more inclusive form of capitalism “is going to be successful and it's going to bring a lot of people along,” Palfrey tells ImpactAlpha in a revealing Q&A. Palfrey’s response to the coordinated attacks on DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and ESG (environmental, social and governance): Continue making impact investments that deliver on the promise of a multiracial democracy in which everyone thrives. Palfrey, who took the helm of MacArthur Foundation in 2019, last year succeeded Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker as chair of the advisory board of the US Impact Investing Alliance. “We are long and strong on impact investing and will continue to be,” Palfrey said. “The net effect of that is going to be a much healthier US and global economy.”

Dealflow: Climate Finance

Enduring Planet secures $4.1 million to make bridge loans to government-backed climate businesses. Enduring Planet is looking to raise up to $40 million to meet the liquidity needs of climate ventures and small and mid-sized businesses awaiting government grants or payments, which can take months. With its new climate fund, the Portland-based investor will provide non-dilutive and non-collateralized working capital to climate founders, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds and marginalized communities. That includes the likes of Black-led Dollaride, which won a $10 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to electrify "dollar vans" in New York’s transit deserts. Enduring Planet’s loans range between $100,000 and $500,000. “With this fund, we’re expanding to lending against any government procurement in climate,” Enduring Planet’s Dimitry Gershenson told ImpactAlpha. “If the government is buying your climate-related product or service, we want to provide you with working capital for that work.”

Impact Voices: Leadership Challenge

​​The world is ready for impact investing solutions. Are impact investors ready to lead? The spring conference season gave impact practitioners a chance to take stock amid a fast-moving swirl of global developments shaping the broader societal challenges they aspire to address. From ImpactPHL in Philadelphia to Mission Investors Exchange in Los Angeles, Common Future's Sandhya Nakhasi was listening for “opportunities to mainstream the investment practices and ideas of our Black and Indigenous leaders that for centuries have been building economies based on the principles of interdependence of people and planet.” In a guest post on ImpactAlpha, Nakhasi writes that she found “opportunity, yet to be harnessed.” (Disclosure: Common Future is an investor in ImpactAlpha). 

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

The Impact Seat Foundation appoints Velveteen Ventures’ Betsy Fore, Jonah Seiger of Broadscale Group, and Women in Cloud’s Chaitra Vedullapalli to its board of directors… Kieron Boyle will step down as the Impact Investing Institute's chief executive in October later this year to become 100x Impact Accelerator’s CEO and director. The Institute’s current executive directors Bella Landymore and Sarah Teacher will replace Boyle as co-CEOs… The International Conservation Fund of Canada appoints Barnabe Geis, previously a senior director at Foresight Canada, as CEO 

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