Holiday List: No. 2: Ten ImpactAlpha podcasts worth another listen in 2023

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Isaac Silk

ImpactAlpha, Dec. 28 – ImpactAlpha produced nearly 50 weekly podcasts and more than a dozen longer-form  interviews with Agents of Impact. VC Includes Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson and Full Cycle’s Stephan Nicoleau were so compelling we had them back for encores. 

In engaging conversations, we’ve ranged from ESG activism to SEC policy making, from community development finance to venture capital and from financing for climate tech to financing for worker ownership. You can find the whole archive on Spotify, Apple and, of course, ImpactAlpha.com

Here are some of our favorites:

Jigar Shah on building a $140 billion ‘bridge to bankability’ for the energy transition

Despite the market downturn, climate tech has remained hot. The Inflation Reduction Act is starting to pump huge amounts of catalytic capital into early stage and next-generation climate tech. The Department of Energy’s Jigar Shah, shares how the Loans Program Office is using IRA funds to build a $140 billion ‘bridge to bankability’ for climate solutions.


Seth Bannon, Fifty Years: Big swings at big challenges

Seth Bannon of Fifty Years VC says a focus on hard-to-solve, long-term challenges like climate, disease and connectivity could help VCs rebound from short-term, get-rich-quick schemes like “crypto, jet packs and delivery apps.”


VC Include’s Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson on three drivers of inclusion alpha

Climate investments must reach every neighborhood and every community. VC Include’s Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson joined us twice this year to share how she and her Include Ventures partner, Taj Eldridge, are bringing emerging BIPOC and women fund managers into climate investing and beyond. 

“When allocators ask, ‘How can we support investments in climate solutions, particularly in communities of color?’ – this is one of the most powerful ways that you can do that,” Robinson says. “And we wanted to show that and not just talk about it.” 


Fairview Capital’s emerging wisdom about emerging and diverse fund managers

In 2019, the Ford Foundation enlisted Larry Morse of Fairview Capital to establish the Fairview Foundations Emerging Managers Fund as a fund-of-funds to channel endowment capital to high-performing managers. Morse was joined by Christine Looney of the Ford Foundation and Najada Kumbuli of Visa Foundation to talk about progress toward equity in asset management, and the obstacles that remain.


New leadership at Kapor Capital doubles down on diversity and impact

Educator Freada Kapor Klein and veteran tech entrepreneur Mitch Kapor have long put diversity and impact at the forefront of Kapor Capital’s mission. They advanced their commitment to diverse leadership this year by stepping back from running the firm. Stepping up are co-managing partners Brian Dixon and Ulili Onovakpuri, both of whom came up through Kapor’s internal talent development programs. All four joined the podcast to speak about Kapor’s unique approach. “We know that our style isn’t for everyone,” Dixon says. “But we think it’s generated top-quartile returns in the past and will continue to do so in the future.”


Donnel Baird Live-ish from Davos: Taking on the world with BlocPower and friends

Donnel Baird of Blocpower (a Kapor Capital portfolio company) shared a spirited update from the World Economic Forum, where he pitched a plan to electrify aging buildings across whole cities. The retrofits employ community residents, including the formerly incarcerated. Baird, who was named to Time’s Next 100 lists, was at Davos to get the global financial elite to listen up. 


Stephan Nicoleau beams in from COP27 in Egypt

FullCycle’s Stephan Nicoleau, an investor in climate critical technologies, is a member of the board of Project Drawdown. He provided timely updates from Davos and then from the global climate summits in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. 


Optimizing the municipal bond market for health equity and racial justice

We introduced a new beat this year: racial equity in the municipal bond market. Munis have been called the original impact investment asset class, a source of capital for water, housing, parks, libraries, transit and other essential infrastructure. But the $4 trillion U.S. municipal bond market has often been a source of racial harms as well. Kimberlee Cornett and Zoila Jennings of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation join to talk about the foundation’s strategy to leverage the power of muni bonds for racial equity.