The Editors' Post: Big changes necessary as impact investing tops $1tn, leaders tell GIIN Forum

Laura Joffre reports from the GIIN Investor Summit in the Hague, where impact investors cheer the growth of the market – with a few caveats – and where busy dealmaking seems bizarrely undisturbed by the prospect of an imminent recession.

On Wednesday morning, Amit Bouri, CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network, stood in front of a packed audience at the World Forum in the Hague, one of two major 'impact cities' in The Netherlands. It was the first time the GIIN held its Investor Forum in person since Covid-19 struck, and Bouri had a very special announcement to make: global impact investments have now topped the US$1tn “psychological milestone”, according to the GIIN’s latest estimate – and there’s more to it than the headline figure, as you can read in our story

The announcement kicked off a packed two-day conference with no less than 1,500 delegates – double as many as last time – and a lot of dealmaking, inspiring speeches, energising debates, and, as far as I’m concerned, a lot of running around to bring you the best of the summit.

The growth of the market is encouraging, although it was accompanied by a few caveats – Bouri warned against complacency but also cynicism that could breed from greenwashing or misaligned expectations.

But one thing was remarkably absent from conversations, a high-profile delegate pointed out to me. Even though various challenges were acknowledged, there was little emphasis on the brutal economic recession the world is about to fall into. “Shouldn’t people be planning?” the delegate asked. 

The upcoming recession is likely to disrupt impact investing from a purely financial perspective of course, but the human need for social entrepreneurship and the finance behind it is going to rise exponentially: how will impact investing meet it? Is there an element of “wait and see”? Are people emboldened by the fact that Covid-19 didn’t tame the growing enthusiasm for impact investing? There’s much to keep an eye on in the coming months.

There’s more…

Also this week on Pioneers Postread the first in our series of Asian impact leaders profiles featuring the Asian Development Bank’s Stella Tansengco-Schapero; and in the UK, Kevin Armstrong of UnLtd gives us the lowdown on party conference season


Applications for the WISE100 awards for the UK’s most outstanding women in social enterprise are still open! You have until 31 October to submit nominations, and we are pleased to announce this week that The Women’s Organisation is supporting  the Star of the Future award, and Flourish Together is supporting our Social Business Leader of the Year award.


This week's top stories:

Global impact investing market exceeds $1tn – GIIN report

The Asian Impact Leaders profiles: Stella Tansengco-Schapero

Managing an oxymoron: navigating the thin line between connection and independence at Trafigura Foundation


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