Thematic Conference Tracks



7:30 - 8:45 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.


  • 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

Join us for a timely discussion of women’s leadership and empowerment more broadly. Hear the strategic reasons why adopting a gender lens can have ripple effects within your organization, your portfolio and throughout our economy.


  • Kristin Hull, Founder, Nia Community Foundation (moderator)

  • Tracy Gray, Trustee, CSUDH Foundation

  • Michael Lent, Chief Investment Officer, Veris Wealth Partners

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. 

10:00 - 10:15 AM | Break

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. 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.


  • 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 – 1:15 PM  |  Lunch with Ad Hoc Sessions

12:00 – 1:15 PM  |  Special Lunch Sessions

“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 towards Shifting Systems project – a collaboration between Skoll, Ford, Porticus, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Come for a lively discussion from two perspectives: the role of investment managers to help scale social businesses and the role of philanthropy towards building the broader field.


  • Heather Grady, Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (moderator)

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

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

  • Eric Stephenson, Board Member, Cordes Foundation

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

Investing in Native Communities Luncheon

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.


  • 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 the spirit of truth and transparency, this panel will delve into how our practice can range from incremental change to strategies that result in true transformation. We will explore how supporting worker-ownership is one critical way investors can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. This discussion will feature a mix of wealth inheritors, lenders, cooperative developers, and worker-owners. Each of the speakers, in their distinct roles, will share how self-reflection and personal development has impacted their path and practice in the field.


  • 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.


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

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

  • 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

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.


  • 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.


  • Tom Mitchell, Managing Director, Cambridge Associates (moderator)

  • Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner, DBL Partners

  • 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 a tool in their toolkit.


  • 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

2:45 - 3:00 PM | Break

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 | Green 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

6:00 – 7:30 PM  | Evening Plenary: Building a True Climate Movement
Organized with Hip Hop Caucus

Confluence partners with The Hip Hop Caucus to host a unique discussion about movement building in the context of climate change followed by a networking gala filled with surprises. 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.

This particular show centers 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.


  • 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)


  • Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund

  • Amy Goodman, Journalist, Democracy Now!

  • Regina Hall, Actress, Climate Activist

Evening Entertainment

Performance by Antonique Smith, Grammy-Nominated Singer, Actress, Activist and People’s Climate Music Ambassador

7:30 – 10:00 PM  | Strolling Dinner & Networking

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