Agent of Impact: Amanda Gorman, poet

Essential news and insights to keep you ahead of the curve on impact investing and sustainable finance.

January 22, 2021

The Brief

The Week’s Big 5

1. Creativity, culture and capital. As more businesses are seeking impact alongside profit, “so too must our cultural institutions and creative industries now engage in the global effort to achieve just and sustainable impact economies,” writes Sir Ronald Cohen to introduce a collection of dozens of essays from Nesta, Fundación Compromiso and Upstart Co-Lab. ImpactAlpha presented four of the essays this week. 

The Week’s Agent of Impact

Amanda Gorman, poet. Following Lady Gaga and J.Lo at a star-studded inauguration, the 22-year old poet stole the spotlight. Accolades poured in from Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Al Gore, who pointed new fans to Gorman’s call to climate action, "Earthrise." Gorman’s soon-to-be-published books of poetry, including one for children, jumped to the top of bestseller lists. Gorman demonstrated the vital social role of poetry and the arts. Her performance, The New York’s Times’  Dwight Garner said, felt like “the beginning of a remade connection in America between cultural and political life. A sleeping limb was tingling back into action.” The performance was all the more remarkable considering Gorman, like Biden, has worked to overcome a childhood speech impediment. Her inaugural poem, finished in the aftermath of the mob attack on the Capitol, describes “a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.” 

The Week’s Dealflow

Low-carbon transition. Breakthrough Energy Ventures raises an additional $1 billion for cleantech startups… Renewable Resources Group and Capricorn Investment Group float a $250 million SPAC… Nuveen acquires clean energy infrastructure investor Glennmont Partners… Off Grid Electricity Fund invests in Energy Systems Group to bring solar electricity to Haiti.

The Week’s Talent

The Kresge Foundation taps Tosha Tabron, ex- of Invest Detroit, as a social investment officer and promotes Joe Evans to portfolio director and a social investment officer… Sarah Gelfand, ex- of Fidelity Charitable, joins BlueMark as managing director… Sandbox Industries names Kelsey Maguire and Binoy Bhansali as managing directors.

The Week’s Jobs

Omidyar Network is hiring a chief of staff in Washington, D.C… VertueLab seeks a two-year climate impact fund fellow… The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund seeks an analyst in Brooklyn… Convergence is recruiting a regional representative for Latin America… The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities team is looking for a finance director in Arlington, Va.… London Business School’s Startup Hub is hiring a research associate in entrepreneurship… Arctaris Impact Investors is hiring an associate in Boston… The Boston Ujima Project has internships available for investment research and fund management in Boston. 

Editor's Picks

Impact Briefing: Week of January 22

On this week’s podcast, host Brian Walsh breaks down creative-economy opportunities with Upstart Co-Lab’s Laura Callanan. We also listen, again, to some of

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