ImpactAlpha Open: Workers and economic growth + channeling AI for good

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Welcome to 2024, Agents of Impact! And welcome to the latest ImpactAlpha Open, our free weekly newsletter featuring the top news and opportunities in impact investing and sustainable finance. 

👋 Join The Call: Compensating impact fund managers for… impact (Subscriber Exclusive). To explore the hows and whys (and why-nots) of “impact carry” and other incentives, join Aunnie Patton Power of The Impact, Bjoern Struewer of Roots of Impact and other Agents of Impact, Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm London.

In this week’s Open:

  • Workers and economic growth
  • Conservatives and climate action
  • G for governance in 2024
  • Channeling AI for good

Let’s get to it. – Dennis Price


Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Workers and economic growth in ‘Macro Impact.’ What’s good for workers appears to be good for the economy, and even for corporate profits. As the Federal Reserve looks closer to taming inflation without a recession, “the key to the happy outcome is the surprising resilience and strength of the labor market,” ImpactAlpha contributing editor Robert Brown writes in his Macro Impact column. Read the analysis.
  • Conservatives and climate action. The “GOP Outreach Campaign” led by Oxford University’s Bob Eccles suggests such that political conservatives in the US, at least the minority of them who see climate change as an urgent threat, support a carbon tax and technological solutions. Go deeper.
  • G for governance in 2024. This year, consumers, communities, employees and regulators will be asking organizations to assess whether and how they are confronting environmental and social threats, Mondiale Impact’s Laurie Spengler and Rosemary Addis write in a guest post on ImpactAlphaDig in.
  • ICYMI: At stake in 2024. ImpactAlpha’s look-aheads for the new year spotlight opportunities to play climate offense to scale up and phase outexpand ownership to build wealth and bridge dividesapply a climate lens to investing in emerging markets and find alpha in impact in public and private markets.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • Impact Capital Managers will honor DBL Partners’ Nancy Pfund, Caprock’s Mark Berryman and Adrianna Alterman of Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund at its second annual Evening of Impact in New York on Feb. 1.
  • Fernando Fabre, former president of Endeavor Global, becomes CEO of Kauffman Fellows, replacing Jeffrey Harbach
  • WAVE Equity Partners names Kelly Moulton, ex- of North Sea Electronics, as head of capital formation.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

🤖 Channeling AI for good. There may be a sense of inevitability about the path of digital technology, including artificial intelligence. But society “can steer, shape and govern digital technology in service of a democratic society,” writes Omidyar Network’s Mike Kubzansky, who suggests five questions to drive tech advances toward a positive vision of society. (SSIR)

🔎 Corporate AI transparency. Apple and Disney shareholders will vote on an AFL-CIO proposal that asks the companies to report on the impact of their use of AI on workers and society. The SEC rejected bids from the entertainment companies to exclude the AI transparency report. The largest US labor union has similar proposals pending at Comcast, Netflix and Warner Bros. (Reuters)

🌍 Year of debt in Africa. Amid a global drop in venture capital deals in 2023, startup fundraising in Africa fell 39% to $2.9 billion. Debt buoyed the market (up 47%) and fundraising in Eastern Africa topped Western Africa for the first time in three years (Sun King and M-Kopa combined raised nearly half a billon dollars). Northern Africa attracted the second most capital in the region for the first time. (Africa: The Big Deal)

👥 Exiting to the community. For most startups, exits occur through acquisition or public offering. E2C Collective has created a library of case studies on the diverse ways companies are cutting communities in on their exits. Chinese electric car company Nio sets aside stock for car-buyers. Defector Media created a co-op for employees who quit their previous jobs in protest. (Hackernoon)

👷🏽 Employer practices that boost economic mobility. Stable schedules. Training programs for low-wage employees. Pay raises that don’t exclude disadvantaged workers. MIT researchers reviewed 360 academic articles to identify workplace policies with a positive impact on the economic mobility of disadvantaged workers. (MIT Sloan School of Management)

🛢️ Oil company earnings in a regulated world. Exxon told shareholders it will take a $2.5 billion write down on its California energy assets, citing the “state regulatory environment.” Also hit by aggressive regulation of polluting fossil fuels, Chevron expects to write down as much as $4 billion on its Golden State assets. (Bloomberg)


Get in the Game

💼 Step up: Internship Edition

  • Symbiotics is on the hunt for an intern.
  • Abt Associates is recruiting a private capital intern.
  • Align Impact seeks an investment analyst intern.
  • Mana Impact Group has an opening for an impact investment intern in Singapore.
  • Rockefeller Foundation is looking for a finance intern.
  • Temasek is accepting applications from undergraduate or postgraduate students for its 2025 associate internship program.

NEW! Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job postings.

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