New Horizons in Social Investment - Global Exchange for Action and Impact




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Oct 25, 2018
by Anna Rawe
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New Horizons in Social Investment - Global Exchange for Action and Impact

A globally diverse group of philanthropists and social investors gather to exchange strategies and develop opportunities for social impact at the intersection of innovation, collaboration, and people Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

When we think of progress, we often jump to visions of futuristic cityscapes with towering high-rises and lush garden vistas. This year’s forum on New Horizons in Social Investment: Global Exchange for Action and Impact, in partnership with Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, looks at how we can make progress toward a more equitable, sustainable and ultimately better world for all.

Salzburg Global Seminar started its series on Philanthropy and Social Investment in 2008, and during the multi-year series’ span, the philanthropic landscape has changed and expanded beyond traditional grantmakers to include social investors and impact investors.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been established for two years, and continue their rousing call to ”leave no one behind.”

While the SDGs have started to become an integral part of the philanthropic framework, the cost of reaching them has a price tag, in particular in developing countries where the UN estimates that there could be an investment gap of $2.5 trillion. This could be an exciting opportunity for philanthropic enterprise, but also raises questions about how to scale up initiatives while fitting with localized contexts.

Other challenges arise within organizations themselves, and one element of this is effective talent management. Involving and collaborating with certain people and talent profiles can be transformative, and similar transformations may be needed in the way we evaluate performance to include leadership potential, as well as to measure the impact of social investment measures taken. This is all while balancing brand and bottom line considerations, particularly for corporate philanthropies and social enterprises, which must also be taken into consideration to utilize philanthropic strategies.

As every sector takes technological leaps forward and social trends fluctuate, can philanthropy keep pace and use these opportunities to increase impact and empower people through new models of social investment? What are the benefits of experiments with new models of social impact bonds, collaborative philanthropy, and impact investment funds, as opposed to more traditional philanthropic avenues? How can we work together and foster partnerships across geographies and sectors to ensure the global nature of the SDGs is achieved in time while working in a range of cultures and contexts?

The four-day program held at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria, takes aim at some of these questions, inviting philanthropists, social investors, and nonprofit executives from all over the world to share their insights. Through plenaries, and small group workshops, the program aims to accelerate the effectiveness of changemakers and highlight innovative approaches, enabling participants to develop innovative practices within their organizations, expand collaborations with others regionally and globally, and shape the way talent is recruited, developed, and expanded in their organization.

Andy Ho, the US development director at Salzburg Global Seminar and person responsible for this multi-year series, said, “Salzburg Global Seminar is pleased to partner with AVPN to facilitate the relationship building, knowledge exchange, and idea generation with a group of forty philanthropists and social investors from Asia and around the world. I look forward to seeing how this group will innovate, collaborate and develop strategic talent management practices to increase their social impact globally as a result of this seminar."

The session New Horizons in Social Investment: Global Exchange for Action and Impact is part of Salzburg Global Seminar's multi-year series Philanthropy and Social Investment. This year’s session is held in partnership with the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, a network committed to building a vibrant and high impact social investment community across Asia. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session, follow #SGSphil on Twitter and Instagram.