On Thursday, September 15th, the BPCC organized a working lunch that brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss impact investing. The event was sponsored by 3xP Global, a venture capital company that is in the final stages of launching a dedicated impact investment fund.
The brainstorming session was very successful, judging not only by the large number of participants but also because it lingered way past the scheduled time.
To kick-off the debate, the sponsor framed its view on sustainability and sustainable development, and on impact investment, the latter being seen not as a step beyond sustainability but rather as its next frontier.
Sustainability, it was discussed, is to be seen as a tool for value creation (and retention), should be shared and inclusive of all stakeholders, and should have a long-term horizon.
Such approach is applicable to impact investing. But impact investing, by definition, carries intentionality: the core purpose of the investor is to generate positive and measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
To be able to monitor progress and measure impact, investees should have a clearly defined roadmap that clearly states quantifiable outcomes (what investees want and need) and outputs (what are the actions that need to be taken to achieve such outcome).
As so often is the case when themes with such wide scope are discussed, the conversation was broadened into more subjective, but equally important, variables that need to be in place if we are to be successful and impactful as we aim at increasing the volume of funds invested in impact investment instruments.
Several participants pointed to critical areas of development, most starting with the prefix “re”: the need to re-define metrics, to re-structure business models, and to re-think how we make money, how we invest it, and how we spend it.
Education is considered a critical piece in this complex puzzle, but educational systems seem to be outdated and not adapted to the challenges that we currently face. Hand-in-hand with education, leadership needs to be re-imagined as well. Technology is an important tool we have at our disposal and we should harness and leverage it to help us take this quantum leap that will hopefully take us to the next stage of investing. The media is another important tool, but some wonder if currently it is not being more of a de-service rather than playing a constructive role, particularly with younger segments of the population.
The financial sector is a critical stakeholder in this puzzle. Money has power and it needs to be deployed consciously, transparently, and impact-fully. But is the sector innovating and adapting fast enough? And how can regulators step-in and possibly be more forceful to ensure we collectively put our efforts together to build a more responsible, sustainable, and inclusive world.
Bottom line, it was stated by a number of stakeholders that change does not come naturally, hence it is difficult, but it is critical. Maybe the most important use of the prefix “re” is that we need to re-invent ourselves as a species.
Rita Branco – 3xP Global
Bárbara Leão de Carvalho – 3xP Global
Miguel J Martins – 3xP Global
Miguel Maia – CTT
Maria José Melo – CTT
Ivan Romero – BPI
Chris Barton – BPCC
Renato Braz- Galp
John Gale – Calverlon
Miguel Dellinger – DB Investment
Bo-Inge Stensson – Stensson Performance Group
Pedro Guimarães – Canopy Community
Filipa Lemos Cristina – PowerUP
Cristovão Matos – Nomera Capital
Sharon Truman – Unify Giving
Michiel Schwartz – Carvalho Negro
Matthew Krystman – Blevins Franks
Veronica Bainbridge – Aratus Advisory
Manuel Rosa da Silva – Santigo de Alfama
Rui Pedro Almeida – Moneris
Mahomed Iqbal – Suez Capital