A second look at the Ford Foundation’s big shift toward impact investing (podcast)

Ford Foundation president Darren Walker broke through a barrier of sorts recently with the announcement the foundation would commit $1 billion from its roughly $12 billion endowment to so-called mission-related investments (see, “Ford Foundation to tap endowment for $1 billion to fight injustice and inequality“). That it would make news that a foundation, especially one

Small farmers are the future of global food security

Smallholder farmers have become the most important piece of the global agricultural system. Small farmers feed close to 80 percent of the total population in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and support the livelihoods of nearly 2 billion people worldwide. This community of farmers sit at a critical nexus between survival and global opportunity. With 500 million farm

How do we reach sustainable energy for all? Take the Brief Quiz #11

This week humans prepared to celebrate earth day and tech companies embraced virtual reality. You can’t make this up. Test your Impact IQ. Take the Brief Quiz #11. Get ImpactAlpha’s daily newsletter, The Brief. 1. The Scottish Government launched a three year social enterprise action plan. What’s one of the goals? a. Maintain the strongest possible

Earth Day: Nine Ideas to Bridge the Gap in Conservation Finance

Consider this: The $400 billion in private capital that is needed annually for large-scale conservation, according to Credit Suisse and McKinsey & Co., is eight times even the more generous current estimates of total conservation financing. Conservation practitioners and investment experts gathered last month at the New York City office of Credit Suisse to explore

Action trumps politics on climate

One of the delicious tidbits to emerge from the infighting in the Trump administration is the codename Steve Bannon’s nationalists use to refer to the leader of the globalist wing, National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn: CTC, for “Carbon Tax Cohn.” The factions are expected to go at it today, in a White House meeting

The Path Forward for Impact Investing in the Trump Presidency

How will impact investing fare in the Trump administration? I’m not the first, and undoubtedly won’t be the last, to write about this. Erika Karp at Cornerstone Capital wrote a letter to her investors after the 2016 election and Stephanie Cohn Rupp and Ron Albahary penned a thoughtful and tactical piece last December on the

Why the Ford Foundation’s $1 billion announcement is a bigger deal than you think

I once talked to a successful businesswoman and philanthropist — let’s call her Jane — who had set up her own foundation to give money to educational causes. I was trying to convince Jane to invest in an education technology startup that had been improving student outcomes in low-income schools, and rapidly growing. Jane looked perplexed. She said, “Ross,