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Program Highlights

Pre-Forum Events

Investor and financial advisor pre-day session
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

12:00–5:00 p.m.           Impact Investing: 101 — Track for investors and financial advisors

This pre-day session will lay the groundwork for first-time investors and advisors, equipping them to fully engage in the conversations to follow later in the week.

Sessions will cover the ecosystem growth over time (both locally and internationally), the building blocks for impact measurement and management, case studies and learnings from current impact investors and social entrepreneurs, and a snapshot of social finance in action.

Facilitator: SVX

Limited seating. Sign up required here.

12:00–5:00 p.m.           Impact investing — Experienced track for investors and financial advisors

This track covers topics such as state of the field, new product innovation, success stories and capital diverted for impact, remarks on key policies introduced, lessons learned, and other wide-ranging philosophical discussions on the purpose of capital.]

Facilitator: SVX

Limited seating. Sign up required here.

3:30–5:15 p.m.          Students/young professionals session: The future of impact investing and social finance in Canada

Since 2007, the global impact investing market has grown exponentially: in 2018, global impact investing AUM was valued at $502 billion, roughly 340 percent higher than global impact investing AUM in 2016. Canada has also realized significant growth in its own impact investing market, from $8.15 billion in 2015 to $14.75 billion in 2017. These exciting developments have been driven in part by young people, as 86 percent of millennials (who represent $30 trillion of inheritable wealth globally) are interested in investing in companies and/or funds that generate market-rate financial returns and pursue social impact objectives. But what does all of this mean for students and young professionals — our future consumers, investors, money managers, business/SPO leaders, and entrepreneurs? This session will explore:

  • the current state of impact investing and social finance in Canada;
  • the opportunities to catalyze the growth of impact investing and social finance; and
  • how young people can get involved in impact investing and social finance in Canada.

Facilitators: Dr. James Tansey, executive director, Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia; Gonen Hollander, investment manager, Amplify Capital; Erin Kim, director of strategic initiatives and social enterprise, Heart and Stroke Foundation; John Uhren, head of sustainable finance, BMO

5:00–5:45 p.m.           Registration and reception

5:45–6:00 p.m.           Kickoff launch of Origin Capital

Speaker: David O’Leary (managing director, Origin Capital)

6:00–6:30 p.m.         Origin Capital fireside discussion

Speakers: David O’Leary (managing director, Origin Capital); Liesel Pritzker Simmons (co-founder, Blue Haven Initiative); Jed Emerson (founder, Blended Value Group)

Is capitalism broken? Does impact investing solve our problems — or does it perpetuate power imbalances? Does all this conversation delay getting help to people in need? These are some of the huge questions our panellists will tackle in a candid and wide-ranging discussion blending philosophy, economics and good business principles.

6:30–8:00 p.m.          Cocktail reception

Day 1

Thursday, November 7, 2019

7:30–8:30 a.m.           Breakfast and registration

8:30–8:40 a.m.          Opening remarks: Yung Wu (CEO, MaRS)

8:40–9:00 a.m.          Opening keynote: Matthew Bishop (managing director, The Rockefeller Foundation)

9:00–9:40 a.m.          Panel discussion: Future of the impact economy

Speakers: Amanda Lang (host, BNN Bloomberg); TBA

In August, CEOs of the world’s largest companies agreed that shareholder interest is no longer their top priority. If this is the watershed moment to influence change, what does a strong economic system need to look like to generate benefits — outside of profits — to customers, employees and society at large? Panelists will discuss what the role of business, capital, government and civil society have to play in generating positive social and environmental impact moving forward. They will be moderated by award-winning journalist Amanda Lang.

9:40–10:30 a.m.        Panel discussion: ESG vs. sustainable finance vs. impact investing

Speakers: Amrita Bhandhari (chief of business development, Acumen); Eric Wetlaufer (corporate director, TMX Group); Bruno Bertocci, managing director, UBS)

Integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into traditional financial analysis has become mainstream among institutional investors. Adopting ESG can influence investment activity on a large scale; however, the ultimate impact remains difficult to quantify and attribute.

Panelists will discuss the interplay between ESG, sustainable/responsible investing, and impact investing. They’ll consider whether ESG investments are sufficient in moving the needle on massive societal issues, and how financial institutions can respond more effectively.

10:50–11:10 a.m.       Keynote: The new economics of social change

Speaker: Morgan Simon (author, investor and activist)

11:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m.           Panel Discussion: What counts as impact?

Allyson Hewitt (senior fellow, Social Innovation); Ian Simmons (co-founder and principal, Blue Haven Initiative)

“Impact” can mean a lot of things. Some argue that all business creates impact — positive or negative; a lot or a little. This panel of investors and entrepreneurs will offer a critical perspective on the meaning of making a difference.

12:00–12:40 p.m.       Lightning pitches: Novel investment approaches breaking the mould

Speakers: Jeff Cyr (managing partner, Raven Capital); Sally Boulter (senior engagement officer, Impact Assets); Andi Phillips (co-founder and managing partner, Maycomb Capital)

This pitch-style session showcases new financial models focused on bringing together capital and new ideas. The ultimate goal: create outside impact in priority issue areas.

1:50–2:30 p.m.           Mainstage session: Scaling social finance — The role of the public sector

Speaker: Matthew Mendelsohn (deputy secretary to the Cabinet, Government of Canada)

At the last G7 (France) and G20 (Japan) summits, world leaders pledged to grow the impact investing market as a meaningful and efficient way to meet the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal targets and social issues generally. This session will explore the public sector’s role in scaling social impact, what leading countries are doing, and what Canada can learn from it all.

2:30–3:00 p.m.           Lightning pitch session: Tech for good

Speakers: Kathryn Wortsman (fund manager, Amplify Capital); Luke Vigeant (CEO, Inkblot); Remi Desa (CEO, Pantonium)

This pitch-style session will showcase early-stage Canadian ventures and technology with serious potential to create outsized impact for our society. The ventures will explain how profit and purpose are intertwined to deliver both impact outcomes and financial returns.

3:15–4:15 p.m.          Put your money where your house is: Place-based investing in Canada

Speakers: Adam Spence (founder and director, SVX); Eoin Callan (executive director, Upper Canada Equity Fund); Lina Bowden (founder and advisor, VERGE Capital); Brian Smith (founding partner and CEO, Rhiza Capital)

Mainstream impact investing now boasts billions moving in multinational public markets and major global projects. With the rise in impact-focused, place-based funds, there is also an important opportunity for individuals and institutions to invest in local businesses, projects, and organizations. But how do we create and leverage the right infrastructure, engage small and large investors, and build capacity to maximize impact at the right scale? Using stories and case studies, this engaging session will dive deeply into how local communities and partners are starting and scaling place-based funds across Canada.

3:15–4:15 p.m.           Breakout session: Who creates more impact?

Speakers: Toby Heaps (editor, Corporate Knights); Paul Allard (co-founder, Impak Finance); Zachary Dan (co-founder and partner, Act Analytics); Megan Wallingford (manager, advisory services, Sustainalytics); Bonnie Lyn de Bartok (founder and CEO, the S Factor Co.)

Trying to navigate the changing landscape of impact measurement and any semblance of standardization for comparative/competitive analysis can be mind boggling for investors and shareholders. This session will explore three companies’ reviews on impact through the lens of four very distinct suppliers of impact content. The session aims to help dispel the difference in impact scores and ratings, based on the difference in methods, metrics and indicators.

4:15-5:15 p.m.           Breakout session: How to build an impact-focused investment portfolio

Speakers: Kevin Taylor (associate director, SVX); Kathryn Wortsman (fund manager, Amplify Capital); Mike Thiessen (partner and director, sustainable investments, Genus Capital Management)

This session will discuss how to design a strategy that aligns impact and financial goals, and finds opportunities that provide the right risk, return and impact profile. Each investment manager will discuss different investment strategies, from small portfolios to large, across different asset classes.

4:15–5:15 p.m.           Working differently: skills and perspective for purpose and impact

Speakers: Stephanie Robertson (chair, Social Value Canada); Jed Emerson (founder, Blended Value Group); Yulia Reuters (director, sustainability reporter, Manulife); Jacquelyn Stacey (vice president, impact banking, Vancity Community Investment Bank)

We commit to achieving the SDGs, to an uplifted purpose of capital, to achieving more impact though investment. Now, how do we work differently? What skills do we need? How do we develop the awareness to ground our work with purpose?

This conversation will focus on the skills, information and perspectives needed to truly achieve impact and purpose objectives. The goal is to provide insight into how individuals, teams and organizations gain traction in their quest to create maximum value, by considering social, environmental and financial impact.

4:15–5:15 p.m.           Breakout Session: International development — Innovative financing for the SDGs

Speakers: Jocelyn Mackie (co-CEO, Grand Challenges Canada); Sneha Kanneganti (private sector lead, the Global Financing Facility, World Bank); Josh Folkema (director of operations and innovation, Origin Capital); Chris Chubb (managing director, Convergence)

The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)are increasingly recognized as the most important calls to action for humanity in the coming decade. The funding gap to achieve the SDGs is in the trillions of dollars annually, and consensus is building that the private sector and capital markets need to step up to fill this void. This session will discuss the key motivators and requirements for increased private sector involvement in support of the SDGs.

Cocktail reception

Day 2

Friday, November 8, 2019

8:00–8:30 a.m.          Welcoming remarks (speaker TBD)

8:30–9:00 a.m.          Panel discussion: Making headway on climate finance

Speakers: Annette Verschuren (chair and CEO, NRStor); Tom Rand (managing partner, ArcTern Ventures); Jay-Ann Gilfoy (CEO, Vancity Community Investment Bank); Andrew Chisholm (corporate director, RBC)

Policymakers and business leaders are finally recognizing the need to tackle the climate emergency and find solutions at scale. Trillions of dollars will be needed to build climate friendly infrastructure and finance solutions. What role can public and private capital play and how can it be effectively deployed?

9:00–9:40 a.m.           Panel discussion: Building Canada’s pipeline of investment-ready social enterprise

Speakers: Andy Broderick (managing director, New Market Funds); Janet Goulding, (assistant deputy minister, income security and social development, Government of Canada); Sara Lyons (vice president, Community Foundations of Canada); Shannin Metatawabin (CEO, National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association); Paulette Senior (president and CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation)

In Canada’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement (and follow-on budget of spring 2019), the Federal Government announced its plan to create a Social Finance Fund. The first prong of the strategy is a $50-million Investment Readiness Program.

On this panel, hear from the respected leaders carrying out this strategy. They’ll talk about the program’s crucial objectives, and how to measure success.

9:40–10:20 a.m.           Mainstage session: Impact measurement and management — Is standardization needed?

Speakers: Diane Mak (senior director, impact solutions, Y Analytics); Olivia Prentice (COO, Impact Management Project); Kate Ruff (lead, Common Approach to Impact Measurement); Jason Sukhram (manager, capital advisory, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing)

One of the main challenges facing the social finance sector is the lack of a clear, consistent, compelling, and consensus-based impact measurement approach. Yet, it is also widely-recognized that achieving standardization will be a breakthrough catalyst in fostering more funding to the sector. Can we reach consensus on how we measure and manage impact metrics? Where are we today on this journey and what is needed for us to reach this important milestone? Or can the sector adapt and flourish without reaching consensus?

11:00–11:40 a.m.           Mainstage session: Impact investing gone wrong

Speakers: Erik Wallsten (managing partner, Adobe Capital); Janis Dubno (managing director, Sorenson Impact Center); Rodney Ghali (assistant secretary to the Cabinet, Government of Canada)

The impact investing market has grown steadily over the last decade. Success stories are abundant, but so are stories of failure and hidden obstacles. Are there scenarios where integrating impact investing as part of the solution adds more complexity to the problem? This session will highlight practical lessons from impact investing cases in which the result did not match expectations and the negative externalities outweighed the benefits. The conversation will also focus on key issues and considerations impact investment stakeholders need to consider to avoid these challenges.

11:40 a.m.–12:30 p.m.           Lightning pitches: Innovative financing for the SDGs

Speakers: Stéphanie Emond (director, impact, FinDev Canada); Mathu Jeyaloganathan (lead, impact investing and social enterprise, Origin Capital)

This pitch-style session will showcase some impact investing strategies that are making headway on the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. You will hear from investors, entrepreneurs and beneficiaries.

2:00–3:00 p.m.           Breakout session: Building strong impact investing intermediaries

Speakers: Christian Novak (managing partner, Frontier Markets Advisors); Vicki Saunders (founder, SheEO); Anastasia Mourogova-Millin (senior development manager, McConnell Foundation); Louise Schneider-Moretto (director and investment specialist, DWS Group)

The social finance marketplace in Canada requires innovation and acceleration in order to achieve desired scale and sophistication — and be attractive for mainstream capital. Social financial intermediaries play a vital role in that process. They are ideally positioned to be closely connected to their communities, yet possess knowledge and experience in attracting diverse sources of funds. In Canada, social finance intermediaries are still in nascent stages of development and they face unique struggles that impede their growth and success.

This panel explores different views on the pathways financial intermediaries could undertake in order to achieve mature, sustainable and scalable business models. The panel will also dive into the potential distribution of the $750-million Social Finance Fund, and the role of intermediaries in attaining desired leverage from private institutions.

2:00–3:00 p.m.           Breakout session: Impact investing and donor-advised funds

Speakers: Albert Tsang (Toronto Foundation donor); Sally Boulter (senior engagement officer, Impact Assets); Jo-anne Ryan (vice president, philanthropic advisory services, TD Wealth Management)

Most people think of World Vision, Red Cross or the Heart and Stroke Foundation as Canada’s largest charitable fundraisers. With the rise of donor-advised funds (DAFs), financial institutions are rapidly moving up the list across North America. The market for DAFs in the U.S. exceeds $110 billion, and in Canada, it’s north of $4 billion. This panel will explore whether these assets can be leveraged for greater impact and how some are already doing it.

3:00–4:00 p.m.           Breakout session: Rethinking capital for social impact projects

Speakers: Indy Johar (co-founder and executive director, Dark Matter Laboratories); Jayne Engle (director, Cities for People + Future Cities, McConnell Foundation); Bruce Katz (author); Anastasia Mourogova-Millin (senior development manager, McConnell Foundation)

Cities need to address challenges in unique ways as resource constraints plague public efforts. This session will discuss the work of the Civic Capital Lab born out of Future Cities Canada and announce the selected cities it will be working with. Panellists will also look at a series of experiments in Canadian communities and the U.S. that employ alternative financing models that provoke new solutions.

3:00–4:00 p.m.           Breakout session: I am a non-profit, how do I raise capital?

Speakers: Nick Glicher (COO, Thompson Reuters Foundation); David Cork (executive director, Tapestry Community Capital); Derek Ballantyne (managing partner, New Market Funds); Jason Sukhram (manager, capital advisory, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing); Bridget Zhang (manager, SVX)

Cases examined:
Andrew Borrelli (director of development, YMCA Quebec) to present on the YMCA Alternative Suspension program;
Rudy Ruttimann (executive director, SKETCH — Working Arts)

Non-profit and charitable organizations delivering services are becoming more sophisticated in how they attract and use capital. This is a technical session looking at community bonds, social impact bonds, and loan agreements from those who have already done it.

+ more to be announced. Stay connected with our newsletter for speaker announcements and program updates.



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