Here at InSight we’re still sorting through all the incredible conversation from the launch of our new project – The Impact Investor. The launch took place in Oxford, UK before the Skoll World Forum, where over 80 impact investors participated in the dialogue that will inform and shape much of our research. We are undertaking this two-year project to build data-driven and practitioner-guided knowledge for the rapidly growing field of impact investing, along with out partners CASE at Duke University and ImpactAssets.
Below we’ve pulled out some of the key threads from the first panel of Limited Partners. Part 2 from the GP panel and discussion coming soon!
The event kicked off with intro remarks from Paula Goldman of Omidyar Network and a project overview provided by our research partners Jed Emerson and Cathy Clark.
A lively panel and group discussion, moderated by InSight’s Ben Thornley, followed the introductions. One of the key themes included the need for more education of investors and advisors and how we communicate that information to make impact investing markets more accessible.
One suggestion for increasing market accessibility and flow of capital was to begin to segment the market. However in creating these distinctions we must be careful to not limit the scale of impact investments by isolating them from other markets.
Also prompted by the question of how to increase the flow of capital and the size of impact markets, was the discussion on the role of government and Development Finance Institutions and how they can catalyse the market.
Woven throughout these conversations was the question of differentiating ‘the means from the end’ – in other words how can we direct appropriate capital according to risk while still maintaining the ultimate goal of creating impact?
Afterwards Laura Callanan did an excellent job of synthesizing the discussion into some key take aways.
Thanks to all who participated and provided such critical feedback to ground our research. Lots to digest and still more to come in part 2!