NEWS & PRESSImpact Frontiers Quarterly Newsletter (Q2 2023)

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March 27, 2024

What’s new?

Insights, Investments, Impact

News From Impact Frontiers

Dear Friends of Impact Frontiers,

We are writing to share Q2 2023 updates on our consensus-building initiatives, cohort programming, and team activity.

New White Paper and Discussion Board on Systems Mapping

In a series of webinars and a discussion document, we have been exploring emerging thinking on how investors can integrate systems mapping techniques into decision-making processes at the investment and portfolio levels. There are very few publicly available case studies and guidance resources on this topic, and this workstream is intended to provide investors with one possible way of getting started with systems mapping. We are eager to hear from practitioners about their experiences with systems mapping, and their reactions, feedback, and comments on this emerging thinking! Check out our systems mapping page and discussion board under New Frontiers to learn more and weigh in.

The ABC of Impact: Weigh In On the Newly Launched Public Consultation

In 2023, Impact Frontiers is reviewing the current usage and potential paths forward for the “ABC” of impact (i.e., Act to avoid harm, Benefit stakeholders, and Contribute to solutions). To date, we have reviewed 30 publicly available examples of investors using the ABC of impact in reports and investor guides. We have also interviewed approximately 10 investors and impact management consultants who are actively using this system.

In this phase of the project, we are inviting feedback on the current usage and proposed next steps described in the discussion document via public consultation from July 31 through September 30, 2023, and will publish the final products as a public resource in late 2023. Responses are welcome via any medium below:

Seeking Investors to Pilot Updated Investor Contribution 2.0 Materials

Over the past year, we have been working with the Predistribution Initiative to build consensus on updated definitions and resources to help investors manage their positive and negative contributions to impact. We have published an initial set of resources on our project website. From March through June, we held nine huddles attended by approximately 150 investors to solicit input from practitioners on these materials. We are in the process of incorporating that feedback into an updated white paper and templates that can aid in the writing of “evidence-based narratives” about investor contribution. We aim to make these updated materials publicly available later this summer, and we are looking for investors to pilot the templates. Please let us know if you are interested: info@impactfrontiers.org

Additionally, we are excited to share two of our recent publications on investor contribution:

Online Curriculum Featured In the News

We’re excited to share that over the next few weeks ImpactAlpha will publish video highlights from the new open-access course “Impact for Decision-Making,” with commentary from the creators. This resource was developed by Impact Frontiers and Impact Capital Managers, with support from the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing.

The first ImpactAlpha piece on this resource (Impact for decision-making, Pt. 1) focuses on how impact-financial integration pulls impact out of its silo so that it can take its place at the decision-making table, alongside financial considerations like risk and return which typically drive decision-making.

Impact Performance Reporting  Public Consultation Draft Coming Soon

We are facilitating a consensus-building effort this year on 1) a quasi-standardized format and contents for impact performance reports and 2) guidance for independent assessment to increase reliability and confidence of the reported information. We are almost at the final stages of comparing the beta impact performance reporting formats and assessment guidance referencing existing reports and voluntary standards.  We plan to publish a public consultation draft this summer.

Partner Consultation Underway for Impact Portfolio Construction 

We are collaborating with leading asset owners and allocators to identify and synthesize emerging methods of incorporating impact into asset class allocation (or if need be, prototype new methods). We have drafted a consensus document of emerging practices on impact portfolio construction, and we are currently in the process of soliciting feedback from partners through discussions, huddles and convenings.  We plan to publish a consultation draft in September.

Cohort Updates: Two Upcoming Opportunities

Strengthening Impact Management with Prof. Cathy Clark  
We are approaching month five in our 12-month Strengthening Impact Management cohort program with Prof. Cathy Clark of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and have begun the recruiting process for the next installment of the program to launch in March 2024.

Asia Cohort 
As a part of our efforts to bring impact-financial integration to new geographic regions, we are excited to offer and begin recruiting for a Strengthening Impact Management cohort program for investors based in Asia.

If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, check out the program page on our website, and send us an email at info@impactfrontiers.org to set up an introductory conversation.

See here for a full list of our current and past cohorts.

Conferences

Global Impact Investing Network Forum, Copenhagen 
Our Executive Director Mike McCreless will moderate a panel on October 5th titled “Designing an Investor Playbook for Impact Management Now”. Expert speakers will set the scene by sharing their impact management approaches, challenges, and lightbulb moments. Then, participants will collaborate on creating a playbook for impact management across the investment cycle, highlighting decisions to make, resources to employ, and opportunities to consider when building and executing an impact management practice in an investment organization.

Mark your calendars for a cross-cohort Impact Frontiers Happy Hour for those of you who will be in Copenhagen, as well as an Impact Frontiers workshop on impact management!

Impact Summit America 
Mike also speak at the Impact Summit America 2023 conference hosted by Phenix Capital Group on October 18 in New York. There’s a fantastic line-up of speakers, focusing on impact investing from the perspective of institutional investors.

GSG Global Impact Summit 
Finally, we’re thrilled to share that Mike will be speaking at the GSG Global Impact Summit 2023 in Malaga, Spain on October 2-3. He will join 1000+ impact leaders, investors, philanthropists, businesses, entrepreneurs, banks, and policymakers at this impact convening.

The Turner MIINT Program

Did you know that Impact Frontiers and the Turner MIINT program operate as the two programs of the Bridges Impact Foundation US? The Turner MIINT program, a collaboration between the Bridges Impact Foundation and the ESG Initiative at the Wharton School, offers business and graduate school students the opportunity to gain hands-on education and experience in impact investing. Students learn how to source and evaluate companies, conduct due diligence, and assess the terms and structures of investments — all through a lens that integrates financial and impact goals. As a culminating experience, teams participate in the Turner MIINT Final Competition, in which they present recommendations to an Investment Committee composed of industry leaders for a potential investment of up to $50,000 in the presented company.

This year, which marked the 12th annual competition, the $50,000 Moelis Prize for best impact investment opportunity was awarded to the team from Saïd School of Business at Oxford University for their presentation on Sunfox Technologies. Sunfox is an India-based medical devices company that leverages technology to generate simple, user-friendly reports that can be used to track cardiac health outcomes in remote areas without the need for a medical specialist. You can read more about the 2023 competition here.

Impact Frontiers looks forward to bringing you more news about the Turner MIINT program in partnership with Turner MIINT Program Director Adwoa Asare. Adwoa oversees day-to-day operations of the global experiential learning program. She joined Bridges Impact Foundation in 2019 and navigated three years of fully virtual programming during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining Bridges, Adwoa worked at Habitat for Humanity for eight years as an Associate Director and community organizer. Her experience includes launching social enterprises, project management, public speaking, and fundraising. Adwoa has an entrepreneurial spirit and spark for inclusive ideas. She earned her MBA from The Heller School at Brandeis University and her BA in Psychology from Wake Forest University.

Team Updates 

Impact Frontiers welcomed two new staff members this quarter!

Tressie Daum, our new Operations Associate, has a background in Project Management with 8 years dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs. She has a B.A from Baylor University and is based in Houston, Texas.

Rathi Ramasamy, our new Manager, supports new industry research and consensus-building projects, currently focusing on impact performance reporting. Before joining Impact Frontiers, Rathi was Associate Vice President of Impact at SDS Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based impact fund manager. She has also done consulting work with Health Management Associates where she focused on addressing social determinants of health including housing and homelessness, early childhood education, and poverty. Rathi holds a Master’s in Public Health from UCLA and a BA from Denison University.

On a more bittersweet note, we are also saying goodbye to one team member. After two years with Impact Frontiers, Research and Content Development Manager Jackson Gates is headed off to graduate school, where he will pursue an MPA-ID from Harvard Kennedy School and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. Jackson will continue to work with the team as a part-time consultant while in graduate school, and is excited to continue working with investors on impact ratings math, systems mapping, and all things impact-financial integration.

In May the whole team got together in Boston for our very first team retreat. Reflecting on the past year helped us strategize for the future and build excitement around all the new cohorts and projects we’re planning. Lots of exciting developments on the horizon!

Pictured left to right: Brian Trelstad, Partner, Bridges Impact Foundation; Rathi Ramasamy, Manager, Impact Frontiers; Adwoa Asare, Program Director, Turner MIINT Program; Mike McCreless, Executive Director, Impact Frontiers; Nao Sudo, Director, Impact Frontiers; Peter Bent, Manager, Impact Frontiers; Jackson Gates, Research and Content Development Manager, Impact Frontiers

Look out for the next installment of our newsletter in Q3 – onwards and upwards to the Efficient Impact Frontier!

Sincerely,
Impact Frontiers Team

 

 

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