Right now I’m hopeful: more people are getting vaccinated every day, gender and racial equity remains top of mind for all even though a year has passed since the murder of George Floyd, and more money is moving into making a positive social and environmental impact. After getting my start in impact investing in the 1990s with Prudential Financial headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, I’m particularly excited to see other corporations join the party. Many investors are requesting “education to action” engagements, which is also a change from just a few years ago. And social entrepreneurs like Kate Mortenson of iPondr, the gener8tor team, and Dr. Paul Johnson of Brown Venture Group, the heart of why we do the work we do, well, they continue to inspire me with their tenacity and brilliance.
Top of my mind these days is investing in line with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion values. Many institutions promised bold moves after George Floyd was murdered. Who is following through and doing this well? Racial justice requires new pathways for capital flows. I’m excited to be part of the McKnight Foundation’s Groundbreak Coalition, aiming to deploy $2b in flexible capital over 10 years to disrupt the status quo. In Minnesota we are a generous state, a charitable state, a hard-working state: we need to try new approaches to create that famous quality of life for all. We are leading a session on Place Based Impact Investing at the Mission Investors Exchange conference in Baltimore. Reach out if you’ll be there so I can include you in the informal MN meet-ups.
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