Impact Economy Summit set for Monday in San Francisco

150 150 Ed Coghlan

(Photo Credit: Fumi Yamazaki/Flickr)

The for-benefit sector of the economy will be the topic of a major meeting in San Francisco on Monday, June 22.

The “Growing the Impact Economy Summit” will attract approximately 200 people from across the country to consider the potential benefits and implications of for-benefit models and social impact investment to tackle intractable community problems.

When people think about the economy, they see three main areas: the private sector, the public sector and the non-profit sector.

But there is a fast growing and developing fourth sector that Kish Rajan, the new President of the Southern California Leadership Council describes as one that “harnesses entrepreneurship and innovation to not only make money, but also deliver measurable social and environmental solutions at the same time.”

The meeting will be held at the Presidio in San Francisco. The conveners include some important organizations including host Presidio Institute with The White House Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, California Economic Summit, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Berkeley Haas School of Business, Ashoka, California Forward, and Fourth Sector Networks.

California, as usual, is a leader in the impact economy.

“The California Economic Summit’s Roadmap to Shared Prosperity highlights the critical need for investments in workforce development, infrastructure and sustainable communities,” said Jim Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward. “With California state revenues failing to keep pace with demand, it’s time to consider a broader spectrum of public and private investments. For-benefit organizations can contribute needed resources, leveraging private investment for public good.”

While it will have a definite California feel, the Growing the Impact Economy Summit will have a national perspective.

“By bringing together leadership across sectors and disciplines around a new approach to problem-solving, this gathering promises to advance breakthrough solutions,” said Laura D’Andrea Tyson, director of the Institute for Business & Social Impact at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and former chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers. “I look forward to surfacing opportunities to accelerate the growth of the for-benefit sector across the country, as a pathway to building a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable economy.”

Focused on eight domains of the impact economy – Academic Medical Centers and Health Systems, Health Insurance, Applied Clean Energy, Workforce/Skills Development, Infrastructure, Place-Based Economic Development, Impact Investment, Mapping and Data – the summit will be a participant-driven, outcome-oriented gathering that will serve as a springboard for action and collaboration going forward.

“Many of today’s social, environmental and economic challenges require solutions that transcend the traditional silos of the public, private and social sectors,” David B. Smith, managing director of the Presidio Institute, explained. “This invitation-only summit brings together a select group of leading experts and practitioners to explore and advance fourth sector and cross sector solutions across several high-impact areas.”


Ed Coghlan

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