Episode 91: Interview with Dr. Charly Kleissner, co-founder KL Felicitas Foundation

WWu2NgBm_400x400 (1)Dr. Charly Kleissner is a pioneer in the field of impact investment. He believes that the deeper meaning of wealth is to make a positive contribution to humanity and the planet. Dr. Kleissner co-founded KL Felicitas Foundation (www.klfelicitasfoundation.org), and Social-Impact International (www.social-impact.org), which help social entrepreneurs worldwide to accelerate and increase their impact.  Dr. Kleissner co-founded Toniic and the 100% Impact Network, global networks for impact investors. Dr. Kleissner serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Global Hub Company (www.the-hub.net), and as Board Director and Chairman of the Investment Committee of ImpactAssets.

In this extended and wide-ranging interview, Charly paints an exciting picture of the state of impact investment today, talks about the importance of “deep impact investing”-and shares his abiding belief in the potential of changing the financial system to build a better world. Charly talks about his experience at TONIIC and the 100% impact network and highlights the results that have been achieved at the KL Felicitas Foundation (that impact investors can construct a 100% impact portfolio and achieve competitive financial returns in all asset classes while making a big impact). Charly highlights some of the important work the Foundation is doing supporting the impact investment ecosystem. Finally, he discusses how modern portfolio theory should be re-conceptualized to integrate positive impact. (This is an edited version of an interview posted on the Financing Social Entrepreneurs podcast.)

Episode 90: Jonah Sachs, co-founder of Free Range Studios and viral marketing innovator

LbGLtmP9_400x400Jonah Sachs is an internationally recognized storyteller, author, and designer. He is the co-founder and chief storytelling officer of Free Range Studios, an advertising and marketing firm that specializes in nonprofits and socially responsible businesses. Jonah has helped hundreds of social brands and causes break through the media din with campaigns built on sound storytelling strategies. Jonah’s latest book, Unsafe Thinking, explores latest research into creativity and performance to present effective strategies to achieve higher performance and creativity and deliver successful innovation. In this interview, Jonah talks about the key ideas underlying his new book, and the importance of Unsafe Thinking for social entrepreneurs and innovators. He provides fresh and stimulating insights on creativity and the experience of “flow” –identifying when social innovators need to make sure that they are at their most creative –and when they need to focus on grit and determination to get things done. This is a fresh and stimulating look at latest thinking about creativity and effective performance which will be helpful to all social innovators.

Episode 89: Interview with Tim Freundlich, President of ImpactAssets

Tim_Freundlich_website-300x300Tim Freundlich is President of ImpactAssets, a boutique donor advised fund that specialises in socially responsible and impact investment options to mobilise human and financial capital towards a sustainable world. Tim is a long-term innovator in new financial instruments in the social enterprise sectors and was instrumental in establishing the precursor to ImpactAssets, the Calvert Giving Fund. Tim is also co-author of the ImpactAssets Handbook, an introductory text on how to become best positioned to engage in impact investing as an asset owner.

In this interview, Tim gives us an overview of ImpactAssets activities and the role of donor advised funds, philanthropic donations that are responsibly managed to maximise their long-term impact, allowing any individual donor in effect to be like the Gates Foundation. Tim discusses challenges and opportunities for financing small-scale social entrepreneurs and talks about different forms of impact investments, distinguishing between those that are “gap driven” and others that are “opportunity driven.” Tim is optimistic with regard to the millennial generation’s overwhelming support for purpose-driven business models. Given millennials are due to inherit the greatest generational wealth transfer in history this provides substantial opportunities for expanding such financial models. Finally, Tim stresses how impact investments’ rapid growth and proven track-record is changing finance and bringing impact led investing into the mainstream

(An edited version of this interview has previously been posted to the Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs podcast series.)

Episode 88: Interview with Harvey Koh, Managing Director at FSG

Harvey_Koh_480Harvey Koh is Managing Director at the global social change consulting firm FSG. Based in FSG’s Mumbai, India office, Harvey directs research and advocacy in the area of Inclusive Markets, advancing thinking about inclusive business and market-based solutions in development, with a global perspective. His primary focus is working with donors and companies to develop and scale inclusive business models that benefit the poor, across the housing, water and the healthcare sector.

In this interview, Harvey discusses FSG’s recent report Shaping Inclusive Markets: How Funders and Intermediaries can Help Markets Move Towards Greater Economic Inclusion. The report analyses historical cases where inclusive markets lead to expanded opportunities for a broadly shared prosperity and seeks to understand the ways in which they were achieved. Harvey stresses the importance of reimagining markets to produce inclusion. He underlines their importance in creating inclusive societies, as the poor are already participants in markets for basic services. He discusses some of the key findings from the report, particularly the importance of producer ownership in creating equitable livelihoods for poor and marginalised groups. He also addresses the importance of changing ownership structures in corporations, particularly the primacy of maximising shareholder return, in order to help businesses achieve long-term social goals. Finally, he briefly touches on the juncture between inclusive markets and sustainability issues.

Episode 87: Interview with Anh Bui, Vice President Benetech Labs

20170928_110452[4]Benetech Labs is the innovation engine of Benetech, a leading nonprofit that empowers communities through software for social good with a focus on education, human rights, poverty, and the environment. Benetech Labs works with communities and partners to identify needs and prototype software for social solutions and support solutions that deliver the greatest impact in the communities it serves. Benetech Labs uses a model very much like traditional venture capitalists use when evaluating projects with the key difference that Benetech Labs focuses on delivering maximum social good, not profit.

Anh is a seasoned nonprofit leader with expertise building scalable software for social good solutions through ecosystem engagement. At Benetech, Anh is responsible for leading Benetech Labs’ R&D work, engaging with communities, other technologists, and other non-profits around critical social issues to prototype new software solutions. Prior to Benetech, Anh led the development of a digital publishing platform for leading scientific and research publishers.