Thematic Conference Tracks

Click on the icons above to view the agenda sorted by track.

MONDAY, MARCH 4TH (Pre-Conference)


1:00-5:00 PM | The Welcome Intensive: An Introduction to Mission Related Investing (Hosted at The Ford Foundation)
Open to Welcome Intensive Registrants. Please note that this training is not suited for investment professionals.

1:00 PM | Welcome Intensive
Organized with Pathstone Federal Street and Veris Wealth Partners

The Welcome Intensive provides an introduction to the concepts of mission-related investing in an expert-led, small-group setting. This program is intended 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 an afternoon discussion group about fiduciary duty, engaging investment advisors, and other topics critical to new mission-related investors. The Welcome Intensive will conclude with a special dinner hosted by the facilitators and Confluence staff.

Participants in the Welcome Intensive are also encouraged to attend the Learners Institute on Tuesday, March 5th.

 
 

3:30 PM  |  Private Tour of Ford Foundation’s Art Gallery (invite only)

5:00 - 6:30 PM  |  Break


6:00 - 9:00 PM  |  Welcome Intensive Dinner (open to the Welcome Intensive cohort)

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TUESDAY, MARCH 5TH (Pre-Conference)


7:30 - 8:30 AM  |  Breakfast & Registration


9:00 AM-12:00 PM | Practitioners Institute - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Open to Confluence Practitioner Member Delegates Only

8:50 AM | Brief Welcome Remarks, Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy

Keynote | Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder in Residence, PolicyLink

Angela Glover Blackwell, founded PolicyLink in 1999 to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. A lawyer by training, Angela is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), and author of The Curb-Cut Effect, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2017. She is a frequent speaker at major conferences and a commentator for some of the nation’s top news organizations.

9:30 - 9:45 AM | Flashtalk by Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings School Law

9:45 AM - 12:00 PM | Plenary Discussion: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The DEI session offers conference attendees a chance for deep discussion and candid conversations around how markets have traditionally excluded large swaths of society based on race and/or gender. We will frame the concept of equity from the plenary’s outset, and we will hear from experienced practitioners in the field on best practices and lessons learned for creating change around DEI in their organizations.  

9:45 - 10:45 AM | “We Are More Than Numbers”
After highlighting the disparities in the number of women and people of color in the investment industry, the panel participants will dig into how we can better measure what matters, empower these groups, and create a movement for real change in the investment industry.

Speakers:

  • Fatima Angeles. Vice President of Programs, California Wellness Foundation (moderator)

  • Erika Davies, Racial Equity Consultant, Confluence Philanthropy

  • Edward Dugger III, President, Reinventure Capital

  • Sonia Kowal, President, Zevin Asset Management

10:45 - 10:55 AM | Break

10:45 - 11:45 AM | Building Equity Solutions
Despite the challenges, there are steps we can take right now to begin to build a more equitable paradigm. Join us to hear about strategies that are working and lessons learned.

Speakers:

  • Jeff Rosen, CFO, Solidago Foundation and Confluence Board Member (moderator)

  • Luz Vega-Marquis, President and CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation

  • Jocelyn Sargent, Executive Director, Hyams Foundation

Community Speak Out
Session attendees will engage in a broad group discussion around how we can build a more inspiring DEI movement in philanthropy and the financial sectors.

Facilitated by Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy


9:00 AM-12:00 PM | Learners Institute
Open to all Pre-Conference Delegates

9:00 - 9:50 AM | Selecting an Advisor
Organized with the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

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This session will explore strategies that foundations can take to assess, manage, and collaborate with values-aligned investment advisors. We will hear from foundations with distinct missions and investment priorities, to learn from their experiences and answer the question, “how can the practices and culture of an advisor or fund manager embody the values of a foundation?” Panelists will share their distinct processes for evaluating their own needs, identifying service providers, and collaborating with their chosen advisor. Speakers will also provide resources and practical tips for foundations looking to change the way they collaborate with their advisor.

Speakers

  • Rini Banerjee, President, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation (moderator)

  • Susan Babcock, Consultant, Susan Babcock Consulting

  • Philip Carey, Trustee, The Sapelo Foundation


10:00 - 10:50 AM | Concurrent Sessions (Choose One)
Open to all Pre-Conference Delegates

10:00 AM | Ins and Outs of Carve Outs
Organized with Cornerstone Capital Group

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Carve-outs are an increasingly popular way for mission investors to explore new practices. While a gradual, educational, and incremental strategy is often advisable, investors must also consider a methodical approach to ensure that investments provide meaningful outcomes and measurable performance. This session will explore the considerations in choosing a carve-out strategy through the eyes of experience.

Speakers

  • Craig Metrick, Managing Director, Cornerstone Capital Group (moderator)

  • Rebekah Saul Butler, Co-Executive Director, Grove Foundation

  • Giulia Christianson, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute

  • Dan Chu, Executive Director, The Sierra Club Foundation

10:00 AM | Divest or Engage: From Fossil Fuels to Gun Stocks
Organized with Trillium Asset Management

When an industry or specific company does not align with an investor's values, the investor has two options: divest or engage. In this session, we’ll discuss what an investor can achieve through either of these two strategies and why and how some choose to implement both divestment and engagement to drive change.

Speakers:

  • Matt Patsky, CEO, Trillium Asset Management (moderator)

  • David Abbott, Executive Director, The George Gund Foundation

  • Sampriti Ganguli, CEO, Arabella Advisors

  • Linda Stephans, Managing Director, Graystone Consulting, A business of Morgan Stanley 


11:00 - 11:50 AM | Concurrent Sessions (Choose One)
Open to all Pre-Conference Delegates

11:00 AM | DAFs: Maximizing the Impact of Donor Advised Funds
Organized with Tides and Amalgamated Bank

The Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) market is now equivalent in size to the venture capital market. This both offers a great opportunity and raises concerns regarding transparency and impact. This session will cover ways to deepen the environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus within the DAF market, and suggest provocative and practical examples and models of how this field can evolve. As the DAF market swells to represent a significant portion of the philanthropic landscape, we need to work together to identify and strategize around the associated opportunities and risks.

Speakers:

  • Anna Fink, Executive Director, Amalgamated Foundation, SVP Amalgamated Bank (moderator)

  • Amy Bennett, Director, Marketing, Impact Assets

  • Susan Hammel, Founder and CEO, Cogent Consulting

  • Joohee Rand, VP, Community Investment and Strategy, Santa Fe Community Foundation

11:00 AM | Loan Guarantees: Catalytic and Collaborative Uses
Organized with MCE Social Capital

Loan guarantees are an underutilized tool in the investor’s toolkit. Panelists representing both big and small foundations will discuss examples of the catalytic use of loan guarantees to unlock private capital and how they have collaborated with other foundations in a guarantee "pool" to support strong performance outcomes, both domestically and globally.

Speakers:

  • Catherine Covington, Managing Director and Business Development Officer, MCE Social Capital (moderator)

  • Tracy Kartye, Director of Social Investments, Annie E. Casey Foundation

  • Teri Lovelace, President, LOCUS Impact Investing

  • Amy Mullen, Chief Development Officer, Root Capital


12:00 - 4:30 PM | Local Field Trips & Off-Site Sessions (Choose One)

1) Field Trip: Climate Disaster Response, Resilience, and a Just Transition
Organized with NY Community Trust and Surdna Foundation

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most costly and destructive hurricanes in U.S. history, and it exposed New York’s vulnerabilities in a changing climate. This field trip will examine the hurricane’s impact on New York’s civil policy and planning, highlighting disaster resilience initiatives and community-led solutions for a Just Transition. Featuring leadership from UPROSE, a major grassroots force for change in Brooklyn, Red Hook Initiative, a nonprofit supporting community-led resilience leadership, and the Mayor’s office, we will hear a diversity of voices, and perspectives about how New York is tackling the threats posed by climate change.

Speakers:

  • Allison Corwin, Program Officer, Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation

  • Arturo Garcia-Costas, Program Officer, Thriving Communities, The New York Community Trust

  • Shuaib Siddiqui, Director of Impact Investing, Surdna Foundation

  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE

  • Tevina Willis, Red Hook WIFI Communications Associate, Red Hook Initiative

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2) Field Trip: Exploring Green Built Infrastructure by Foot: A Waterfront Walking Tour in DUMBO (DUMBO = “Down Under the Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass”)
Organized with Natural Resources Defense Council and Mercer

Green infrastructure is visible throughout Brooklyn’s built landscape. We’ll start with a brief exploration of One Brooklyn Bridge Hotel itself, which incorporates state-of-the-art energy and environmental design to demonstrate urban sustainability made real. Following, we head out on foot to explore DUMBO's spectacular waterfront, while soaking in some of the sites and tastes of this beautiful neighborhood. Along the way we’ll hear how a once ramshackle shoreline was transformed to become one of the city’s most prized public parks and go-to destinations. Join us as we learn more about green infrastructure within our built environment, why it’s so important, and how investors can support such kinds of projects.

Speakers:

  • Jason Babbie, Senior Director, Healthy People & Thriving Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

  • Amy Chester, Managing Director, Rebuild by Design

  • Sarah Dougherty, Green Finance Manager, Natural Resources Defense Council

  • Jay Koh, Managing Director and Founder, Lightsmith Group

  • Roland Lewis, President and CEO, Waterfront Alliance

  • John Macintosh, Partner, Seachange Capital Partners

  • John Mandyck, CEO, Urban Green Council

  • Max Messervy, Senior Associate, Responsible Investment Consultant, Mercer

  • Russell Unger, Chief Strategy Officer, Urban Green Council

3) Field Trip: Brooklyn Affordable Housing: Leveraging Investor Creativity to Foster Greater Opportunity
Organized with van Ameringen Foundation

Brooklyn – a new global hot-spot – is having to balance rapid growth, affordability and an array of special needs.  While it is arguably government’s responsibility to enable deep subsidy and serve the very low-income population and the homeless, endowments can play a creative and responsible role in leveraging such resources. Some argue that more public dollars would be available to address such issues if there was greater investment flow into NY’s burgeoning mixed-income housing market, placing less reliance on controversial public subsidies for developers. As investors, how do we make the best use of public and private dollars to meet the wide range of need in demanding markets such as New York City? How do we leverage our influence to craft enlightened public policy and structural change? Join non-profit affordable housing developers and investors, along with Jonathan Rose, President of Jonathan Rose Companies, to tour a vibrant new housing development, and explore the dynamic yet embattled Brooklyn housing landscape.

Speakers:

  • Laura Kind McKenna, Trustee and Treasurer of the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, Trustee of the van Ameringen Foundation

  • Mark Reed, Principal & Founder, The Contact Fund

  • Jonathan Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Companies

4) Field Trip: From Farm to Fork in Brooklyn!
Organized with Fair Food Fund, Woodcock Foundation, and Natural Resources Defense Council

Brooklyn is famous for its thriving food culture and innovative start-ups that are transforming the business of food from farm to fork. Join us for a delicious afternoon out and about in New York's most populous borough where we will hear first-hand about the opportunities and challenges food entrepreneurs face, dig into real deals, and explore the kinds of support beyond capital required to take such businesses to the next level. The day will start with a tour of a food incubator featuring lunch with local outfit Empanaderia and conclude with a tour and happy hour at New York Distilling Company, a recipient of impact investment funding via Fair Food Fund. Join us and learn why impact investors are putting food and agriculture businesses in their portfolios.

Field Trip Leaders:

  • Stacey Faella, Executive Director, Woodcock Foundation

  • Oran Hesterman, Founder and CEO, Fair Food Fund

  • Gabriela Gutierez, Empanaderia

  • Alex Linkow, Director, Fair Food Fund

  • Sebastian Jaramillo, Co-Founder, Mi Casa Foods and Empanaderia

  • Tom Potter, Co-Founder and President, New York Distilling Company

  • Michael Winik, Co-Founder and CEO, Our Harvest

5) Field Trip: Brooklyn Art, Culture, and a Community in Change
Organized with Hip Hop Caucus and Brooklyn Community Foundation

Like many of America’s major metropolitan areas, Brooklyn’s vitality and diversity has nurtured and attracted a thriving arts scene -- an eclectic tapestry of cultural expression and neighborhood pride.  Three decades of aggressive development have brought major changes however in the borough’s landscape and demographics. How does art and culture fare in the midst of these pressures? And can local arts initiatives be a force for community stabilization and resident-driven growth? We’ll explore these questions through a short viewing of the some of the borough’s new mega buildings in the midst of burgeoning downtown Brooklyn; then we’ll travel to the largely African-American and Latinx areas of Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York to visit with three community organizations that address art in the context of real-life challenges and the search for not only survival but viable economic opportunity.  

Speakers:

  • Amy Chou, Program Officer, Brooklyn Community Foundation

  • Dr. Divine Pryor, Executive Director, Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

  • Catherine Green, Founder and Executive Director, ARTs East New York

  • Regine Roumain, Founder, Haiti Cultural Exchange

  • Youth Organizing Collective, H.O.L.L.A., Speaker TBA


Main Conference

4:00 | Main Conference Registration Opens

6:00 - 7:00PM | Opening Reception
Registered Delegates & Invited Guests Only

7:00 - 9:30PM | Opening Dinner
Registered Delegates & Invited Guests Only

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6TH 


7:30 AM  |   Breakfast & Registration

8:00 - 9:00 AM  |   Special Breakfast Sessions

Active Owners Breakfast: Get Involved in 2019!

Shareholder engagement is one of the most powerful ways for investors to 'Own' what they own, and push for a change in the way business is conducted. During this learning breakfast meeting we will discuss the need for investor engagement, diving deeply into active ownership strategies (including voting proxies, advocacy, shareholder resolutions, and public statements). We will talk about the ‘hot’ shareholder issues this year: ranging from climate, pay equity, to facial recognition software; and more! In 2019 it is expected that more than 400 environmental and social shareholder resolutions have been filed for spring meeting votes. Join us to learn about the latest active ownership trends, and how your organization can support these movements during the upcoming 2019 proxy season.

Speakers:

  • Andy Behar, CEO, As You Sow (moderator)

  • Tim Dunn, Chief Investment Officer, Terra Alpha Investments LLC

  • Lisa Hayles, Vice President, Institutional Investment Services, Boston Common Asset Management

  • Kelly Ryan, President and CEO, Incourage Community Foundation

Gender Lens Investing
Organized with Nia Community Foundation

Details TBA

Speakers:

  • Kristin Hull, Founder, Nia Community Foundation

  • Michael Lent, Chief Investment Officer, Veris Wealth Partners

  • Additional speakers to be announced


9:10 AM  | Welcome

Stacey Faella, Executive Director, Woodcock Foundation

9:15 - 10:00 AM  | Keynote

Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings School Law

Described as having "something approaching rock star status” in her field by The New York Times Magazine, Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century. Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Williams’ path-breaking work helped create the field of work-family studies and modern workplace flexibility policies. 

Williams is one of the 10 most cited scholars in her field. She has authored 11 books, over 90 academic articles, and her work has been covered in publications from Oprah Magazine to The Atlantic. Her Harvard Business Review article, “What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class” has been read over 3.7 million times and is now the most read article in HBR’s 90-plus year history. 


10:15 - 11:30 AM | Democratizing Finance

To democratize finance, we must go beyond the world of high-end private investing and become inclusive of both retail investors and community-based decision-making practices. The range of available options is both wide and poorly understood. To achieve values-based investing at scale, there needs to be innovation in both the way investment dollars are sourced and how they are deployed for deepest impact. This discussion will engage philanthropic, community, and finance industry leaders to explore an inspiring array of solutions-oriented investment approaches that support the development of just and sustainable economies.

Speakers:

  • Don Chen, President, Surdna Foundation (moderator)

  • Tim Lampkin, CEO, Higher Purpose Co.

  • Rob Thomas, President, Social(k)

  • Megan Thompson, Mission Investments Officer, Mission Investments, Ford Foundation

  • Nick Tilsen, President and CEO, NDN Collective, Oglala Lakota Tribal Member


11:30 AM – 12:00 PM  |   Community Reflections

Join us to learn from and appreciate Confluence Members’ reflections on the field in an open-forum sharing session.


12:00 – 1:30 PM  |  Lunch

12:00 – 1:30 PM  |  “Yes, but can it scale?” The Role of Philanthropy and Investment Towards Building an Impact Economy
Organized with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

From both a micro and a macro lens, this discussion-oriented lunch session will tackle the question: What is needed today to build towards an impact economy? The discussion will be rooted in three years of learnings from the Scaling Solutions toward Shifting Systems project – a collaboration between Skoll, Ford, Porticus, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Come for a lively discussion from two perspectives: that of investment managers who want to help scale social businesses and that of philanthropists who want to build the broader field.

Speakers:

  • Laura Callanan, Founding Co-Partner, Upstart Co-­Lab

  • Kesha Cash, Founder and General Partner, Impact America Fund

  • Heather Grady, Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

  • Eric Stephenson, Board Member, Cordes Foundation

  • Susan Witt, Executive Director, Schumacher Center for a New Economics

12:00 – 1:30 PM  |  Special Luncheon: Investing in Native Communities

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This special luncheon will highlight voices from social entrepreneurs who are developing opportunities to invest in Native Tribal Enterprises and community development projects across a range of return spectrums – from grants to market-rate returns. The luncheon is led by Jim Enote of Zuni Pueblo, a leading voice in philanthropy, and will also feature the voices of investors partnering with Native American communities.

Speakers:

  • Jim Enote, Director, Colorado Plateau Foundation (moderator)

  • Carla Fredericks, Director, American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School

  • Loe Marcoline, Executive Director, Womadix Fund

  • Vanessa Roanhorse, Founder, Roanhorse Consulting

  • Eva Schulte, Vice President for Economic Opportunity, Travois


1:30 – 2:45 PM  |  Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

Beyond Quality Jobs: The Transformative Power of Worker-Ownership
Organized with Libra Foundation, RSF Social Finance, and the Fund for Democratic Communities

In this conversation, we will explore how worker and community ownership are critical components of any impact-investing strategy in order to achieve equity and repair the harm of the extractive economy. From pre-school teachers who own their jobs, to people who have been supporting the economic justice platform of the Movement for Black Lives, to individuals who are moving personal and institutional capital to cooperatives, this panel will provide a diverse array of perspectives. We will have a mix of funders, organizers, lenders, cooperative developers, and worker owners, and each of them will share the concrete ways they are working to finance and build a more democratic, just, and sustainable economy for all.

Join us to learn more about how community-based governance, democratic ownership, and community wealth building are all core strategies in impact investing.

Speakers:

  • Alex Haber, Philanthropic Advisor, RSF Social Finance (moderator)

  • Cathy Albisa, Executive Director, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)

  • Linda Diaz, President, Brooklyn Stone and Tile

  • Brendan Martin, Founder & Director, The Working World

  • Ed Whitfield, Co-Managing Director, Fund for Democratic Communities

Case for Accountability: Considering Potential Harm for Smarter Investing & Stronger Impact
Organized with Woodcock Foundation

Current impact investment due diligence and measurement frameworks tend to focus on how deals can create social and environmental change. Unfortunately, they don’t fully consider all external stakeholders and the potential harm to local communities. We will explore this gap and discuss resources and tools for creating more accountability in our investment practices. By being more thoughtful about the full force of the impact of our investments, we as investors can make more informed decisions about intended and unintended outcomes; avoid and mitigate harm where it can be identified; and hold investees accountable for measuring and reporting on social results. Panelists will share their own personal stories about investment projects gone wrong and tools for improved diligence and monitoring.

Speakers:

  • Stacey Faella, Executive Director, Woodcock Foundation (moderator)

  • Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Founder and Executive Director, Accountability Councel

  • Will Morgan, Head of Impact, Sonen Capital

  • Mali Ole Kaunga, Director, Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation (IMPACT)

  • Gabino Vicente, Community Leader, Mexico

Transitioning to a 100% PRI Strategy
Organized with Tiedemann Advisors

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What actually happens when a foundation accelerates its use of Program Related Investments (PRIs)? Does it help move traditional non-profits to more sustainable business models? We will engage in a conversation around using PRIs as a tool to further a foundation’s mission – complementing the grants, guarantees, and other impact investments they make. The adoption of PRIs in the U.S. remains low on a relative basis, and this session seeks to highlight the added benefits of a wholistic total portfolio approach, drawing from the perspectives of foundation executives. The session will cover the investment and legal considerations around adopting an aligned, integrated, and accelerated PRI strategy. The session will benefit both those foundations seeking to make their first PRI as well as those seeking to bring scale their PRI strategy.

Speakers:

  • Brad Harrison, Director, Tiedemann Advisors (moderator)

  • Catherine Burnett, Chief Impact Officer, Phillips Foundation

  • Bruce Campbell, Chief Happiness Officer, Blue Dot Advocates

  • Elizabeth Phillips, Executive Director, Phillips Foundation

When Worlds Collide
Organized with Cambridge Associates

Impact investing has historically stood apart from “traditional,” financial return-driven investing, but increasingly, an exciting convergence of variables is turning this old distinction on its head. Is impact investing still a discrete discipline or does it overlap with traditional investing in more ways than we acknowledge? If so, what are the implications for investors, managers and entrepreneurs, in terms of their own identities, communication strategies, and opportunities for collaboration? This session will call on three unique stakeholders, all with experience in traditional and impact investing, to discuss the opportunities and potential risks of having these two worlds collide. Panelists will highlight specific examples in which their motivations and investment practices did or did not align with their investing partners – either their external collaborators or internal colleagues - to better understand why breakdown occurs and what is possible when viewpoints effectively converge.

Speakers:

  • Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner, DBL Partners

  • Tom Mitchell, Managing Director, Cambridge Associates

  • Lisa Richter, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Avivar Capital

  • Raoul Slavin Julia, Managing Director, The Aspenall Group for Treehouse Investments

Movement Building Tools and Approaches for Investors
Organized with Tides

In this session, we will have a focused conversation about the full suite of strategies investors can deploy to address the harmful impacts of money in politics. Investors and funders have a range of complementary tools at their disposal, including c3 charitable resources focused on movement building and civic engagement, c4 advocacy and candidate engagement efforts, and investment strategies focused on shareholder action. We will hear directly from movement leaders on the importance of both c3 and c4 capital in building long-term power in the face of a political system awash with corporate dollars. We will hear from a philanthropy leader on how they are prioritizing advocacy and c4 funding. And, finally, we will discuss tangible actions investors can take to align their financial investments with their c3 and c4 grant-making portfolios. We will open up the conversation to engage the audience, learn from each other, and address challenges or fears that people feel when considering advocacy/c4 funding as tool in their toolkit.

Speakers:

  • Peter Martin, Philanthropic Director, Tides (moderator)

  • Lukas Haynes, Executive Director, David Rockefeller Fund

  • Deborah Sagner, Senior Advisor, Movement Voter Project

  • Tim Smith, Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement, Walden Asset Management


3:00 - 4:00 PM | Book Fair and Book Signing

Join us for refreshments, pick up a book, and have it autographed by thought-leading authors from the Confluence community. 

3:00 - 3:30 PM | Hotel Tour: 1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has been designed to highlight the beauty of nature, combining eco-friendly luxury designs and an unrivaled level of service. With its unparalleled location, on the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront, guests will experience unobstructed views of the East River and Manhattan Skyline. Our vision is to create the most sustainable, beautiful and inspiring hotel experience. All of our events are designed to help us carry-out this vision. Features such as our 12 foot floor to ceiling windows in the social space that open into Brooklyn Bridge Park, offering an unobstructed view of the Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge, showcase our open architectural design and provides connection with nature and our environment. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is unique in its 29 suites that can flow into a six-bedroom suite when needed, 24 hour in-room dining, state of the art fitness, a full Spa curated by Lady Bamford, 50 seat screening room, and private meeting areas filled with natural light.

4:00 – 6:00 PM  |  Free Time


6:00 – 10:00 PM  |  Climate Gala

Welcome

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Special Performance by Antonique Smith, Grammy Nominated Singer

6:00 – 7:30 PM  | Evening Plenary: Investing in Climate
Organized with Hip Hop Caucus

Confluence is partnering with Hip Hop Caucus to host a Climate Gala as part of the 9th Annual Practitioners Gathering. The evening event aligns with the one-year anniversary of Hip Hop Caucus’s podcast series “Think 100%: The Coolest Show on Climate Change.” In honor of the anniversary and as a special treat for Confluence delegates, we will be hosting a live taping of the Think 100% anniversary podcast show during the Climate Gala.

This particular show will center around how vulnerable communities will be impacted and transformed by climate change and the role philanthropy and impact investing can play. The hosts and speakers will surface recent real-life examples,  bring to light a conversation deeply rooted in solutions, and challenge how we truly put communities at the heart of those solutions before, during and after climate-related disasters strike. Together, we will explore the role foundations and investors play in supporting movement building and what our community needs to do to address the climate crisis.

Hosts

  • Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization,

Hip Hop Caucus (Host)

  • Antonique Smith, Grammy Nominated Singer, Actress, Activist and People’s Climate Music Ambassador (Host)

  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO, Hip Hop Caucus (Host)

Guests

  • Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund

  • Amy Goodman, Journalist, Democracy Now!

  • Regina Hall, Actress, Climate Activist

7:30 – 8:30 PM  | Strolling Dinner & Evening Entertainment

8:30 – 10:00 PM  | Party

10:00 – 12:00 PM  | After Party (Brooklyn Heights Social Club)

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THURSDAY, MARCH 7TH


7:30 – 8:30 AM  |  Breakfast & Registration 


8:45 – 9:00 AM  |  Morning Introduction by Sharon Alpert, President and CEO, Nathan Cummings Foundation


9:00 – 10:00 AM  |  A Discussion with Anand Giridharadas and Edgar Villanueva

Moderated by Deborah Frieze, Co-founder and Board Chair, Boston Impact Initiative

Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All”

This is an exciting time for social innovation. Billions of dollars are flowing into philanthropy, market-driven solutions and social entrepreneurship are flourishing, and social impact consulting and impact investing have become established professions. Yet, in Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Anand Giridharadas, a former New York Times foreign correspondent and current New York Times bestselling author, explains why we should not be so quick to celebrate our advances. Do the elite hijack social change? Anand shares a deeply compelling self-analysis to challenge an impact industry struggling with contradiction.

Edgar Villanueva, author of “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance”

Edgar Villanueva is a nationally-recognized expert on social justice philanthropy and author of Decolonizing Wealth, which offers hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a board member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth. Additionally, Edgar is an instructor with The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education. There he oversees grant investment and capacity-building supports for education-focused justice campaigns across the United States. 


10:00– 11:15 AM  |  Plenary

Is it Time to Stop Talking About "Impact Investing?”

The term “impact investing” can stand in the way of capital deployment. All too often, as investors trip over themselves to define, articulate, and measure the elusive notion of “impact,” blank checks await a recipient and a signature. Is impact capital “dumb money?” Are impact investors somehow more morally correct than other investors? What if we dispensed once and for all with this perplexing moniker and instead adopted terminology that is more effective at getting money out the door? Through this interactive session, we will first evidence the fact that very few agree on what “impact” means. We will then propose a variety of terms that might break through the linguistic barriers to a lexicon that – finally – liberates capital. Audience polling and spirited debate will be used to stimulate this discussion. If nothing else, we might all agree that we really just want to be better investors.

Speakers:

  • James Bunch, Managing Director, AIMS Imprint, Investment Management Division, Goldman Sachs (moderator)

  • Preeti Bhattacharji, Vice President, Integrated Capitals, The Heron Foundation

  • Robynn Steffen, Director, Impact Investing, Omidyar Network

  • Josh Mailman, President, Joshua Mailman Foundation


11:15 - 11:30 |  Break


11:30 AM – 12:45 PM  |  Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

Tales from the Fire: Engaging Emerging Managers
Organized with Athena Capital

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Innovative investors tend to chart their own course when they expand their team of advisors and managers to execute on a new strategy. Oftentimes, investors interested in cutting-edge investments find that the field isn’t mature yet and lacks investment managers and products with seasoned track records. What have the pioneers done to build their portfolios and the field? What have they learned from their experiences? This discussion will examine best practices in working with emerging managers within the evolving investing landscape.

Speakers:

  • Kate Huntington, Managing Director, Athena Capital Advisors (moderator)

  • Tamara Larsen, Director, Asset Management, Perella Weinberg Partners

  • Shally Shanker, CEO & Founder, Aiim Partners

  • Adam Wolfensohn, Co-Managing Partner, Encourage Capital

Addressing Income Inequality in a Market Rate Impact Portfolio: Can it Be Done?
Organized with Community Capital Management

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Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high. Many of the issues and challenges that greatly concern socially conscious investors stem from the widening gap between rich and poor and its harmful effects on the most vulnerable populations and communities. Values-driven investors have historically pursued investment opportunities that indirectly touch upon income inequality, but are there solutions that address income inequality head-on? Can we tackle income inequality with market-rate investments? This panel will feature a lively discussion among successful practitioners about the feasibility of addressing income inequality through a variety of investment approaches.

Speakers:

  • David Sand, Chief Investment Strategist, Community Capital Management (moderator)

  • Olympia de Castro, Partner, Strategy & Investments, Community Investment Management

  • Andrea Dobson, Chief Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

  • Nick Flores, Director, Impact Investing, The Caprock Group

Collaborations in Climate Investing
Organized with John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Global leaders increasingly recognize that climate change poses a threat to progress, prosperity, and biodiversity. Within this context, and as the U.S. relaxes environmental regulations, should investors lead on the climate front? And how can collaborative efforts advance this leadership? In this session, presenters will share how they have developed, or are developing, large-scale collaborations around resilience, sustainable land use, energy access, and innovative financial structures to demonstrate the urgency and ambition in climate investing. We will explore considerations for implementing a collaborative investment model and show how effective collaboration can scale solutions.

Speakers:

  • John Balbach, Associate Director, Impact Investments, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (moderator)

  • Shilpa Patel, Director, Mission Investing, Climateworks Foundation

  • Susan Phinney-Silver, Director, Mission Investing, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

  • Ramsay Ravenel, Executive Director, The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment

  • Marilyn Waite, Climate and Finance Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Clarity on Commitments: Not all Impact Investment Mandates are Created Equal
Organized with Ceniarth

As a field, we have developed a disturbing tendency to celebrate the announcement of any new impact investing commitment with equal fanfare, whether the move represents a truly pioneering approach or an incremental shift in the way assets are managed. But what do these commitments actually mean in practice? This session will feature a range of practitioners discussing the factors – historical constraints, financial return parameters, progressive leadership – that led them to pursue disparate strategies. The discussion will not be limited to specific asset classes, but will focus on how each investor approaches their strategy. We will discuss to what extent practitioners evaluate each investment for direct mission alignment and how/if investments are aligned with programmatic priorities. And we’ll explore how boards approved different strategic approaches and whether certain obstacles stood in the way of even more progressive options.

Speakers:

  • Vince Knowles, Investment Manager, Ceniarth LLC (moderator)

  • Lisa Hall, Senior Fellow, Beeck Center, Social Impact and Innovation

  • Meredith Heimburger, Board Member & Finance Committee Member, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

  • Napoleon Wallace, Board Member, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation 

The Future of Banking

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Digital innovations like mobile banking and cryptocurrencies are disrupting the banking industry and creating stiff competition among traditional banks and emerging fintech ventures. This disruption has changed not only the way we buy, sell, borrow and invest, but it has altered the very definitions of currency and banks themselves. It has also pushed banks to better differentiate their products and align their investments with their customers’ values. In this small session, we will explore the banking industry’s latest disruptions – technological and otherwise – to better understand how banks will serve and be served by values-aligned investors in the future.

Speakers:

  • Arjan Schütte, Founder and Managing Partner, Core Innovation Capital (moderator)

  • Yana Kakar, Global Managing Partner, Dalberg Advisors

  • Additional speakers to be announced


12:45 - 2:00 PM  |  Lunch

12:45 - 2:00 PM  |  Racial Equity and Investing Luncheon

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How do we “speak truth to power” when we confront the fact that just 1.1% of assets are controlled by women and people of color-led investment firms and that individuals of color hold less than 13% of senior positions at foundation and private investment offices? Is there a widespread understanding of the structural barriers, implicit bias, and microagressions that impede progress? Confluence began this vital yet murky conversation with an energetic group of 20 representatives of asset owners and managers in January at a two-day retreat. This exciting discussion, plus other aspects of Confluence’s Kellogg-funded “Racial Equity in Impact Investing Initiative,” will be presented at this luncheon. We will also invite engagement from all participants.

Speakers:

  • Millard “Mitty” Owens, Advisor Program Director, Confluence Philanthropy (moderator)

  • Dimple Abichandani, Executive Director, General Service Foundation

  • Akasha Absher, Chief Consulting Officer, Syntrinsic Investment Counsel

  • Dan Chu, Executive Director, Sierra Club Foundation, and Confluence Board Member

  • Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy


2:00 - 3:00 PM   |  Membership Meeting (Members Only)

Join Confluence Philanthropy’s Board to hear about the year ahead, ask questions, and share your ideas. We will make special announcements about the successes of our programs over the past year, changes in programming, and ways that you can get involved.


3:00 – 3:15 PM  |  Break

3:15 – 5:00 PM  |  Open Networking

3:15 – 5:00 PM  |  Post Conference Events (Working Groups & Meetings)

Becoming Better Allies: A Workshop About Racial Equity and Inclusion
Organized with Nia Community Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Given the revelations of little more than 1% of the world’s global investments being managed by people of color, many in the Confluence community are seeking concrete steps towards greater “DEI” – diversity, equity and inclusion.  Positioned as a post-conference activity, this session is designed to foster an informal, engaging, and candid conversation among all participants regarding the opportunities and practical challenges faced in shifting longstanding, mainstream behavior to accept the active cultivation of new networks and trusted financial partnerships with firms owned by people of color and/or benefiting communities of color. We will hear insights from foundation leaders and investment managers about the significant efforts they have undertaken, followed by an open exchange on the obstacles people may be experiencing and practical means of overcoming these challenges. The session will include a brief review of some important concepts in the development of historical and structural discrimination and explore a common framework regarding the concepts underlying DEI.  Like the other events regarding DEI at this Gathering, this session will help to strengthen the foundation for Confluence's continuing Racial Equity in Investments Initiative. 

Speakers:

  • Alexandra Aquino-Fike, Vice President of Development, East Bay Community Foundation

  • Amy Chung, Director of Program Related Investments, The California Endowment

  • Rodney Foxworth, Executive Director, Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

  • Ivy Jack, Head of Equity Research, NorthStar Asset Management

  • Dianna Tremblay, Director of Acceleration, ICA Fund Good Jobs

Filling the Gap: Bringing New and Different Investment into Reproductive Health
Organized with Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and Tara Health Foundation

Reproductive health is underinvested in due to political complexities, challenging market conditions, and uncertain returns. The Reproductive Health Investors Alliance will bring new private-sector business models to reproductive health and justice efforts with the backing of committed philanthropies, family offices, venture investors, and private individuals. In this working group session, we will discuss opportunities that can benefit from private investment models, and we will share our learnings from the early days of the Alliance's history.

Speakers:

  • Rini Banerjee, President, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

  • Lisa Hammann, COO, Tara Health Foundation

Traveling the Road of Buen Vivir: Lessons learned since launching a community-led  investment fund
Organized with Thousand Currents

The Buen Vivir Fund was co-designed by Thousand Currents, its grassroots partners in the Global South, and financial investors to support grassroots economic initiatives that build wealth, community power, and buen vivir – “right living,” or life in balance with natural systems and future generations. Buen Vivir Fund started as a learning experiment and launched its first round of investments in 2018 to support nine remarkable projects in different parts of the world. In this session, members of the Buen Vivir Fund will share their learnings, challenges, and successes, in the spirit of truth and transparency, as they developed a model that brought love and money into a healthier relationship with one another. The session will include a visioning exercise, interactive presentation, and small group discussions, on operationalizing an impact investing fund in which capital can flow in service of well-being. Come hear what these visionary leaders have to say about our shared future in investing!

Speakers:

  • Cecilio Solis, CIELO (Indigenous and Local Community Federation of Entrepreneurs of Mexico)

  • Rajiv Khanna, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships, Thousand Currents

  • Nina Robinson, Buen Vivir Finance Fellow

  • Gaithiri Siva, Buen Vivir Finance Fellow 

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Pathways to Community Solar: C2C Working Group Meeting
Organized with Sierra Club Foundation and California Clean Energy Fund

Everyone welcome to the Climate Solutions Collaborative's strategic discussion about community solar. Join us for a ‘minds-on’ workshop about building the community solar industry-ecosystem . We’ll hear from the frontline community leaders, intermediaries, and investors as they share their frustrations, visions for partnership, and success stories. If you are curious about this landscape, building your own strategy, or a solar veteran, join us to learn about who’s doing what where, and how. Open discussion will be the format.”.

Speakers:

  • Aner Ben-Ami, Managing Director, Candide Group (moderator)

  • Lyn Benander, CEO, Co-Op Power

  • Christina Borsum, Chief Financial Officer, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)

  • Wendolyn Hollland, Director, Holland Consulting LLC

  • Ken Locklin, Senior Advisor, Clean Energy Finance, Energy Foundation

  • Rudi Navarra, Director of Investments, The Solutions Project

  • Steph Speirs, Co-Founder and CEO, Solstice