WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14TH
7:30 – 8:30 AM | Breakfast & Registration
7:45 – 8:15 AM | Morning Meditation with Konda Mason
7:30 – 8:30 AM | Active Owners Working Group Breakfast : The Digital Revolution & Impact Investing
What role can impact investors play in shaping the sustainable digital world of the future? Join the Active Owners Working Group for a breakfast session with speaker Michael Connor, Executive Director of Open MIC, a non-profit that works with shareholders to foster greater corporate accountability at media and technology companies. We all know that digital technologies are at the heart of everyday life. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly users. Google performs more than 1.2 trillion searches a year. Digital devices are increasingly being integrated into the “Internet of Things” – cars, medical devices, home security. All this is reflected in the valuations of the leading tech companies, which are among the highest in the world. Yet this progress comes at a price. Social media platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter have become refuges for fake news, hate speech and online sexual harassment. More and more, privacy and cybersecurity are critical concerns. Meanwhile, people of color and women continue to be wildly underrepresented in the tech sector workforce.
What negative externalities are created when new technologies are introduced without regard for potential long-term consequences? What are the financial and reputational risks for companies? And how can investors develop analytical frameworks to help shape the sustainable digital world of the future? Impact investors have an important role to play in helping to answer these questions.
- Allison Barlow, Program Director, Democracy and Media, Wallace Global Fund (moderator)
- Hannah Erickson, Advisor Program Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
- Michael Connor, Executive Director, Open MIC
8:30 – 8:45 AM | Welcome
- Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) and Confluence Board of Directors
8:45 – 9:15 AM | Keynote
- President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Kevin de León
9:15 - 10:15 AM | Eco-Technology and Disruption: Considerations for Impact Investors
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
10:15 - 10:30 AM | Break
10:30 - 11:30 AM | Driving the Future: Shaping Society by Investing in Technology
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
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.
- Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy
- David Estrada, Partnership Strategy Director, Confluence Philanthropy
12:15 – 1:30 PM | Lunch
Foundation Investments in Native America Luncheon
Join us for a conversation about philanthropic investments in Native American communities. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities to increasing access to capital for community development and social enterprise. Participants will also learn about current initiatives, including the Rainmakers Investment Collaborative and Wallace Global Fund’s investment in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
- Dave Castillo, CEO, Native Capital Access (moderator)
- Brandy Davis, Investor Program Director, Confluence Philanthropy
- Daryn Dodson, Managing Partner, Illumen Capital
- Stanley Keasling, CEO, Rural Community Assistance Corporation
- Joohee Rand, VP, Community Investment and Strategy, Santa Fe Community Foundation and Confluence Rainmakers Steering Committee Member
Reproductive Rights Luncheon
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
1:30 – 2:45 PM | Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)
Integrated Capital and Gender Lens Investing
Organized with Nia Community Foundation, RSF Social Finance, and Threshold Group
Can impact investing and gender-lens philanthropy improve the health, education, economic empowerment, safety and rights of women and girls? Women are at the center of important movements and trends shaping the future of capital markets. Yet, these trends may not be realized without an intentional and coordinated approach to increasing women’s participation and leadership in impact investing. From training young women investors and donors, to a focus on diversity and inclusion, we will shed light on impact beyond products or services to impacting larger systems and communities. The audience will get a real sense of how to incorporate a systems-thinking lens to help create a more inclusive economy through investments that have multiplier effects.
- Deb Nelson, Vice President of Client and Community Engagement, RSF Social Finance (moderator)
- Kristin Hull, Founder, Nia Community Foundation
- Ruth Shaber, M.D., Founder & President, Tara Health Foundation
- Tracy Gray, Founder and Managing Partner, The 22 Fund
Evaluating Social Impact
Organized with Linked Foundation and Sonen Capital
Funders, investors and asset managers are increasingly interested in, and obligated to, demonstrate the complete impact of their investments, including social and environmental performance alongside traditional financial reporting. While demonstrating financial returns is relatively straightforward, quantifying social returns is often not so clear. In this session we will take a practical look at specific, actual strategies that participating funders and asset managers are using, from frameworks based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and IRIS outputs; to organization-specific strategies that combine outputs with outcomes to measure social impact; to science-based climate change benchmarks to evaluate portfolio climate performance. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these frameworks and the information we are able to communicate to our stakeholders as a result.
- Anna De La Cruz, Senior Advisor, Linked Foundation (moderator)
- Will Morgan, Head of Impact, Sonen Capital
- Katherine St. Onge, Investor Relations Senior Officer, Calvert Impact Capital
- Amrita VK Vatsal, Managing Director, Business Development, Ecotrust Forest Management
Waste is the Next Gold Rush: Impact Investing & The Circular Economy
Organized with Hull Family Foundation and Closed Loop Partners
This session will explore the role of investors in growing the circular economy, across industries, sectors, and waste streams. What is a circular economy? Looking beyond the current "take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model, the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimizing negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital. Case studies include timely & relevant examples from companies & visionaries leading the space in sustainable apparel; compostable packaging + mycelium technology; tire waste, upcycling, & ethical footwear; investing in municipalities' recycling capacity to minimize both material and capital losses.
- Eric Stephenson, Portfolio Director, Cordes Foundation (moderator)
- Courtney Hull, Trustee, Hull Family Foundation
- Stacy Flynn, CEO, Evrnu
- Douwe Jan Joustra, Head Circular Transformation, C&A Foundation
- Ellen Martin, VP of Impact and Reporting, Closed Loop Partners
Investing in Disaster Recovery
Organized with Cambridge Associates and Community Capital Management
Recent fires in California, nearly 9,000 in 2017 alone, destroyed 1.2 million acres of land. The following rains in Southern California caused mudslides that have claimed at least 21 lives. In other parts of the world, hurricanes and drought have exposed how fragile our infrastructure is to withstanding catastrophic weather events that are becoming all too common in a changing climate. In the context of growing need and frequency, it is important for impact investors to understand how they can deploy capital for immediate impact. Join us to explore actionable ways that you can mobilize your institution to invest in a more resilient system.
- Margot Brandenburg, Founder, My Strong Home (moderator)
- Elizabeth Brown, President and CEO, Community Foundation Sonoma County
- Zach Knight, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Forest Conservation
- David Sand, Chief Investment Strategist, Community Capital Management
Maintaining Inclusive Growth in Urban Economic Development
Organized with Pegasus Capital Advisors
This session will explore best practices in urban design and development to ensure inclusive economic growth. In particular, it will focus on revitalization of existing distressed urban areas, while avoiding the negative impacts of typical gentrification. We will explore key elements of inclusive economic growth including: best practices in community engagement; creating opportunities for the underserved; creating and maintaining wealth within the community; sustainable building and infrastructure design; and affordable housing. Case studies will be presented that demonstrate both lessons learned and success stories. Metrics and approaches to monitor and evaluate investments in inclusive economic growth will also be discussed.
- Delilah Rothenberg, Operating Advisor, ESG & Impact, Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. (moderator)
- Stephanie Gidigbi, SPARCC Policy, Capacity, and Systems Change Direct & Senior Advisor, Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- Naomi Williams, Director of Impact, Renaissance Downtowns
- Francesca Vietor, Senior Advisor, Donor and Development Services, The San Francisco Foundation
Tales from the Fire: Food Systems
Organized with Woodcock Foundation
There is growing interest among impact investors in promoting sustainable food systems. What are the opportunities and challenges for investors in this space? This year’s Tales from the Fire session features experienced leaders and investors in sustainable food systems who will share lessons learned and discuss opportunities to create measurable social and environmental impact. Panelists will explore the multiple layers of capital that can work together to advance our food system as well as the barriers that prevent more investors from entering the space, despite growing interest. Using a case study approach, panelists will address the particular challenges for small-to-medium sized foundations seeking to invest in food systems. As the public demand for sustainably produced products grows, panelists will discuss how impact investors can play a role in the reform of our food system.
- Bridget Dobrowski, Program & Operations Director, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders (moderator)
- Stacey Faella, Executive Director, The Woodcock Foundation
- Oran B. Hesterman, Ph.D, President & Chief Executive Officer, Fair Food Network
- Jeff Rosen, CFO, Solidago Foundation, and Confluence Vice Chair, Board of Directors
- Beatrice Stern, President, Ralph E Ogden Foundation
2:45 – 5:15 PM | Free Time (optional events below)
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.
- Morgan Simon, Author, Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change
- Joel Solomon, Author, The Clean Money Revolution: Reinventing Power, Purpose, and Capitalism
3:00 - 5:00 PM | Afternoon Fiesta
Latin America: The Untapped Opportunity for Impact Investing
Sponsored by Sonen Capital and Fondo de Fondos
With a young population, growing middle class and robust forecasted capital markets growth, Latin America is a compelling investment opportunity. To ensure continued economic development, social progress, and environmental sustainability, this opportunity is highly aligned with impact investors, who may be active in emerging markets, but less so in the Latin America. Join for a discussion with regional stakeholders to explore the opportunities and obstacles for attracting capital, explore key sectors and potential impact outcomes.
We will then get the “Fiesta” started with hosted drinks to continue individual conversations prior to heading to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the evening program.
- Raúl Pomares, Founder & Managing Director, Sonen Capital (moderator)
- Julián Farah, Corporate Treasury Asset Management, Grupo Bimbo
- Carlos Michel, Principal & Vice President, Fondo de Fondos
- Lorenzo J. de Rosenzweig Pasquel, Executive Director, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, A.C
3:00 - 4:30 PM | Bird Spotting Tour
Join Bruce Mast of the Audubon Society for an easy 2-mile exploration of adjacent Caesar Chavez Park for bird spotting and tremendous views of the Bay including both the Golden Gate and newly restored Bay Bridge. Bring your cameras as you won’t want to hesitate to snap a few shots!
4:00 PM | Early Bus Departure for YBCA
4:30 - 6:00 PM | Arts & Culture: A Path to Shared Prosperity
A special session at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Attendees must register in advance. Space is limited to 25 and you must RSVP during registration. Contact email@example.com if you have questions.
Join us for a small gathering of investors and philanthropists at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) to explore how investing in artist entrepreneurs and their enterprises is a critical element of long term social, environmental and economic justice. Recognizing that culture precedes change, and that a new system of investment must also consider the development of assets of all kinds within communities, we will explore and surface some of the promising and disruptive investment concepts in play today. The session will include a tour of YBCA’s campus in the heart of San Francisco’s cultural district, and feature CultureBank, a big idea that incubated at YBCA and built with a series of collaborations.
- Deborah Cullinan, CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
- Penelope Douglas, Founding Partner, CultureBank
5:15 PM | Board Buses to Depart for YBCA
6:00 – 7:30 PM |
- Berit Ashla, Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
- W. Kamau Bell, Comedian, Host: United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell
Plenary: Art, Culture, and Impact
Art and culture are central catalysts for change, able to build community and a sense of place across political and social divides. Art and culture also disrupt social norms, provoking needed public discourse and shining a light on some of our darkest spaces. Where are impact investors in this transformative dynamic, and how can we show up in ways that are truly supportive? This plenary brings together a panel of provocateurs to engage with us around these questions in entertaining and compelling ways.
- Jeff Chang, Executive Director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts (moderator)
- W. Kamau Bell, Comedian, Host: United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell
- Deborah Cullinan, CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
- Steve Oliver, President, Oliver & Company
- Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President and CEO, Hip Hop Caucus
9:30 – 10:00 PM | Board Buses and Return to Berkeley