Beats | September 28, 2015

At the Social Capital Markets conference, a call to unite money and meaning

The team at


This year’s Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP15) consists of three days of powerful dialogue with leading impact investors, entrepreneurs, and practitioners. Held October 6-9 in San Francisco, the days will be chock full of networking and engaging content addressing the intersection of money and meaning.

This year’s themes include panels on the following: Impact Investing, Meaning, Divest/Invest, Financial Inclusion, Neighborhood Economics, 21st Century Talent, Living in the Future, and Sustainable Supply Chain.

A few of the most anticipated SOCAP15 panels are below:

At the Tipping Point: Risks and Opportunities of Impact Investing Going Mainstream

In the past few years, impact has hit the mainstream. Capital is pouring in, products are popping up, and new participants are pushing to play. What does it mean when major institutions join the fray, and what are opportunities (and risks) of increased scale? We’ll explore the big issues affecting the future of impact, the importance of accountability, the tensions within the industry, and the promising possibilities of impact’s rapid evolution.

Speakers: David Chen, Equilibrium Capital; Abigail Noble, The ImPact; Wayne Silby, Calvert Social Investment Fund; Jackie VanderBrug, US Trust; Mark Newberg, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

Impact Investing in 2015: a Panoramic View of the Field

There is new activity every day in this rapidly developing marketplace. What does it all mean? Topics will include: recent acquisitions and internal development efforts by major institutions, the promise and reality of crowdfunding, democratization of impact investing, the rise of seed stage funds, gender lens investing, the state of impact metrics and policy at the federal and state levels. The session will both look back and discern trends going forward.

Speakers: Cathy Clark, Director CASE i3 at Duke University; Fran Seegull, Chief Investment Officer ImpactAssets

Neighborhood Economics: a Whole Portfolio

When we lack access to something that is required for our flourishing, community is broken, relationships are distorted, and problems emerge. The level of genuine impact is a neighborhood, yet economic planning has historically been assumed into city-wide and regional approaches. Increasingly, there are identified pathways to invest in and encourage the development of neighborhood level economics. Come learn with us. As we open up access for the underserved, we build the community we all desire to live in.

Speakers: Ross Baird, Village Capital; Bryce Butler, Access Ventures; Dr. Ann DeRosa PhD, Chilton Capital Management; Kevin Jones, SOCAP

Building Financial Capability

Rapid evolution and choice of consumer financial products increases the need for consumer education. But does consumer education work? According to the latest research, consumers need to build their financial capabilities – which is a mix of knowledge, skills, and access. Building financial capability is critical to financial inclusion, to help consumers make sound financial decisions and avoid harm from misusing financial services.

Speakers: Timothy Flacke, D2D Fund; Daniel Rogers, Moneythink; Ben Mangan, Center for Social Sector Leadership at Berkeley; Shalu Umpathy,

Exploring Segmentation: Breaking Down Impact Investing to Build it Up

As the momentum of impact investing builds, the field attracts new participants that believe in its potential as a powerful tool for good. While these are exciting developments, the lack of proper taxonomy (or classification) poses a significant risk to the movement. In this panel we explore the importance of a more nuanced segmentation, discussing the implications for communicating with investors and clients, for portfolio theory and construction, and for field building.

Speakers: Christina Leijonhufvud, Tideline; Lauren Booker Allen, Omidyar Network; Debra Wetherby, Wetherby Asset Management; Clara Miller, Heron Foundation; Gil Crawford, Microvest

How Environmental Investments are Generating Social Outcomes

With the global population projected to reach nine billion people by 2050, continued human development will become increasingly reliant on intact natural systems. Investors can no longer choose between social OR environmental investing – to be successful, we must consider both. This session will look at how positive social outcomes are being generated from environmental investments and how they are often core to success.

Speakers: Taryn Goodman, NatureVest; Craig Wichner, Farmland LP; Bettina von Hagen, Ecotrust; Debra Schwartz, MacArthur Foundation

The Results are In: Impact Funds are Outperforming

Who ever said that impact investing had to be concessionary? New research from Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) presents compelling evidence that impact funds have not only generated attractive financial returns but have largely outperformed their traditional counterparts for more than a decade. Managing directors from some of the leading impact funds will share their views on investing strategy, sector trends, and how successful performance is unlocking new sources of capital from private investors.

Speakers: Maya Chorengel, Elevar Equity; Dave Kirkpatrick, SJF Ventures; Jessica Matthews, Cambridge Associates; Nancy Pfund, DBL; Wes Selke, Better Ventures

Funding Fair Trade: Gaps and Opportunities in the Supply Chain

Many financial products have emerged over the past decade to address gaps in international agricultural supply chains, yet gaps still exist. As Fair Trade companies grow in the marketplace, their suppliers must develop and grow with them. This growth requires additional capital. This panel – made up of funders, CEOs of Fair Trade companies, and supply chain experts – will explore challenges and opportunities for building and capitalizing on sustainable supply.

Kate Danaher, RSF Social Finance; Les Szabo, Dr. Bronner’s; Scott Leonard, Indigenous Designs; Benjamin Schmerler, Root Capital; Chris Mann, Guayaki Yerba Mate