Active Owners Track


Eco-Technology and Disruption: Considerations for Impact Investors (Wednesday, March 14th, 9:15 - 10:15 AM)

This plenary will highlight the opportunities - and threats - that technology offers as a disruptive force to our collective future. How can mission investors better understand what’s at stake and think more deeply about aligning their values with issues such as synthetic biology, geoengineering, and AI to address climate change? How do mission investors capitalize on these rapid changes, while driving them forward in ethical ways? 


  • Catherine Chen, Managing Director and Financial Advisor, RBC Wealth Management and Confluence Membership Committee Member (moderator)
  • Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft
  • Mark Bünger, VP of Research, Lux Research on Synthetic Biology
  • Alison Carlson, Founder and President, Forsythia Foundation
  • Simon Nicholson, Director, Global Environmental Politics Program, American University

Driving the Future: Shaping Society by Investing in Technology (Wednesday, March 14th, 10:30 - 11:30 AM)

Technology has transformed our daily lives, but can the tech industry help us reimagine our environment and solve some of our biggest social problems? Impact investors are reinventing what it means to invest in technology with a focus on social impact – from autonomous vehicles to the shared economy – with great challenge and success. Join us for a dynamic conversation featuring Lyft and their early investors in mission-driven technology.

  • Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner, DBL Partners (moderator)
  • Mike Masserman, Head of Global Policy & Strategy, Lyft
  • Tabreez Verjee, Co-Founder, Uprising


1) Welcome Intensive (Pre-Conference, Monday, March 12th, 1:00 - 4:00 PM)

The Welcome Intensive is an introduction to the concepts of mission related investing in an expert-led, small group setting. This program is for asset owners new to mission related investing and offers a unique opportunity to dive into the Confluence community with a cohort of new peers and allies.

This half-day training will be led by Patricia Farrar-Rivas, CEO, Veris Wealth Partners and Jeff Scheer, Director, Pathstone Federal Street. The facilitators will lead workshops about fiduciary duty, talking to your investment advisors, and other topics critical for new mission related investors to know. The Welcome Intensive will conclude with a special dinner hosted by the facilitators.


  • Patricia Farrar-Rivas, CEO, Veris Wealth Partners
  • Jeff Scheer, Director, Pathstone Federal Street
  • Tom Sargent, Founding Board Member: New Field Foundation, Tamalpais Trust, Kalliopeia Foundation

2) Climate 101 (Pre-Conference, Tuesday, March 13th, 10:00 - 11:00 AM)

Organized with Mercer and Perella Weinberg Partners

Investing in the rapidly advancing clean energy economy is not always as simple as it sounds. Growing numbers of investors are taking capital out of fossil fuels and carbon intensive assets and are looking for opportunities to invest in climate solutions. Along the way some foundations and family offices have found themselves stuck and unable to move forward. Others have made progress and wish to do more. This session will seek to empower those at the beginning of their climate investing journey to understand climate risk, learn the tools to engage their peers and investment partners, and craft a strategy to break through barriers and accelerate investment.


  • Jameela Pedicini, Executive Director, Asset Management, Perella Weinberg Partners and OCIO to The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (moderator)
  • Alex Bernhardt, US Responsible Investment (RI) Leader, Mercer
  • Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Director, Carbon Tracker Initiative
  • John Goldstein, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

3) Unleash Your Portfolio Through 100% Portfolio Activation (Pre-Conference, Tuesday, March 13th, 11:00 AM - 12:00PM)

Full portfolio activation is a realistic and increasingly popular goal for mission related investors. In this session we will hear from leading industry managers about how they put the full weight of their clients’ assets to work for impact across asset classes. They will share conceptual frameworks, as well as their comparative and contrasting views around approaches. This promises to be a lively, informative, and inspiring session for those eager to hear about how far they can go with impact.

  • Allison Duncan, Founder and CEO, Amplifier Strategies (moderator)
  • Jed Emerson, Chief Impact Strategist, Impact Assets
  • Erika Karp, Founder and CEO, Cornerstone Capital Group

4) Reproductive Rights Luncheon (Wednesday, March 14th, 12:15 - 1:30 PM)

Organized with The Educational Foundation of America

The battle for access to reproductive healthcare at the state and federal level has been raging for decades in the United States. Today, we find ourselves teetering on the edge of a shameful past – at risk of slipping backwards to a time when women and girls were denied access to birth control and abortion. What, if anything, can investors do? The answer is simple: they can unleash the power of shareholder engagement and corporate accountability to ensure that companies provide (or continue to provide) a full range of reproductive healthcare coverage in their insurance plans, and they can galvanize the voice of the marketplace to speak out publicly for rights, equity and healthcare. In this vibrant lunchtime session, we will discuss strategies that have been employed to date, how nonprofits are engaging corporate America in the fight for access to reproductive healthcare, and how investors can roll up their sleeves and get involved in the work.


  • Melissa Beck, Executive Director, The Educational Foundation of America and Confluence Active Owners Steering Committee Member
  • Sarah Milne, Vice President, Advancement, As You Sow
  • Scott Ruskay-Kidd, Senior Staff Attorney, Judicial Strategy, Center for Reproductive Rights

5) Investing in Racial Justice (Thursday, March 15th, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM)

Organized with Zevin Asset Management

Racial injustice is a stark reality for too many Americans and financial access is one of the main drivers of this injustice. Often overlooked and un-discussed, portfolio investments by company and fund affect equity-based outcomes. Join us to learn how your investment decisions affect communities of color, and explore practical examples from foundations and impact investors who are investing with an explicitly racial equity lens.


  • Sonia Kowal, President, Zevin Asset Management (moderator)
  • Andrea Dobson, Chief Operating & Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • Erin Harkless, Senior Investment Director, Cambridge Associates
  • James Rucker, Founder, The Color of Change
  • Thomas Yee, Initiative Officer-LA Thrives, Low-Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

5) Disruption in Corporate Accountability: Moving from Transactional to Relational Strategies for Investor Impact (Thursday, March 15th, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM)

Organized with Boston Common Asset Management

For decades Responsible Investors use shareholder leverage to influence corporate and industry practices in the U.S. and globally, often in collaboration with NGOs and activists. Yet in this new era these strategies are threatened by proposals to reform access to the proxy and by a cascade of government reforms.  What tools are investors using to maintain access and hold corporations accountable for their impacts? What success have foundations and other investors had with these strategies? Hear from experts in the corporate, foundation and activist worlds about what works to drive constructive change in corporations and industries.


  • Lisa Hayles, Vice President, Institutional Investment Services, Boston Common Asset Management (moderator)
  • Ivan Frishberg, Vice President, Sustainability Banking, Amalgamated Bank
  • Jon Jensen, Executive Director, Park Foundation
  • Brianna Murphy, Vice President, Shareholder Advocacy, Trillium Asset Management


1) Active Owners Working Group Breakfast The Digital Revolution & Impact Investing (Wednesday, March 14th, 7:30 - 8:30 AM)

Join us for a critical discussion about how investors can promote greater corporate accountability through shareholder engagement. This special breakfast is organized by the Active Owners Working Group, which promotes strategies for mission related investors and managers to increase transparency and accountability in our economic system.  The session will focus on engagement with corporations in the tech sector, who are shaping our digital future.


  • Allison Barlow, Program Director, Democracy and Media, Wallace Global Fund (moderator)
  • Hannah Erickson, Advisor Program Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Michael Connor, Executive Director, Open MIC

2) Climate Solutions Collaborative Meeting (Post-Conference, Thursday, March 15th, 3:00 - 5:00 PM)

Organized by Confluence Philanthropy, CREO Syndicate and Biodiversity Funders Group

While the economics clearly point to gathering momentum for the clean energy transition, barriers remain achieving the scale and pace needed to solve climate change.  Philanthropic and family office investors must figure out how to overcome institutional hurdles, political barriers and poorly understood risks to achieve maximum environmental and financial impact. Join members of the Climate Solutions Collaborative (C2C) working group to explore next-level strategies for advancing climate solutions through your investment activities.  We will hear insights about the latest policy developments in the climate space and explore ways for investors to engage.  The group will have deep discussion about how to mobilize and scale investments in climate solutions.  Participants are encouraged to share their successes and challenges with the group to facilitate better transparency and collaboration.

  • Aimée Christensen, Manager, Christensen Family Office and Climate Solutions Collaborative Steering Committee Member (moderator)
  • Jason Anderson, Director, International Engagement, Strategic Communications, the Non-CO2 Portfolio, ClimateWorks Foundation
  • Aimee Barnes, Senior Advisor to the Governor, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
  • Paige Brown, Program Director, Climate and Energy Funders Group
  • Matan Friedman, Chief Investment Officer & Co-Founder, Generate Capital
  • David Hochschild, Environmental Commissioner, CA Energy Commission
  • Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Joseph Sciortino, Executive Director, Schmidt Family Foundation