How entrepreneurs and executives use traditional financial market tools to serve social needs will be the focus of a free CU-Boulder conference from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Folsom Field Stadium Club.
“The intent of the conference is to challenge students to explore financial instruments that also have positive social and environmental outcomes,” said Mark Meaney, executive director of the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) at the Leeds School of Business, which is hosting the event. “Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and Bain Capital are all examples of firms that have embraced a focus on the triple bottom line as a sustainable investment strategy.”
Social impact investing aligns investment decision-making with personal values and institutional missions. Impact investors seek both financial and social returns, and believe purchasing power is a moral power, or that the way they invest has the ability to change the world for the better, said Meaney.
“Impact investing has evolved from traditional approaches such as socially screened portfolios to embrace innovative financial instruments such as social impact bonds and crowdfunding,” said Dave Payne, a CESR instructor of sustainability and organizer of the conference. “Students should be made aware of the variety of market-based options with a social mission in considering a career path in finance.”
The 6th annual Conscious Capitalism Conference is free for CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff, as well as for professionals in the community. Registration for all attendees is available at leeds.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_55vD0X9HeriguDH.
The conference draws attendees from schools around the region and this year will welcome students and faculty from the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, Regis University and Kansas State University.
At 12:30 p.m. keynote speaker Jamie Van Leeuwen, founder and CEO of the Global Livingston Institute in Denver and senior policy advisor to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, will explore public and private partnerships in social initiatives.
A second keynote speaker, Katrina Steffek, COO of RSF Social Finance based in San Francisco, will discuss innovation in social finance at 1 p.m.
At 1:45 p.m. a panel of practitioners will discuss different vehicles of impact investing, giving casework examples. The panelists, all from Colorado-based organizations, will include Leigh Lepore of Crowdfunding Strategy and Information, David Wolf of BSW Wealth Partners, Stephanie Gripne of the Impact Finance Center, and Nicole Fry of Boom Algae.
For more information about CU-Boulder’s Conscious Capitalism Conference visit http://www.colorado.edu/business/CESR/cesr-events/conscious-capitalism-conference.