Attending the GIIN Impact Forum 2023

This year's GIIN Impact Forum was hosted at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, offering a picturesque setting for a conference that brought together 1,500 participants from all five continents. The diverse group of attendees included representatives from a wide array of impact investment firms, other institutions providing capital, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and policymakers—representing the entire spectrum of stakeholders interested in the impact investment space. The conference buzzed with fantastic energy as individuals networked, shared ideas, and showcased their successes in the field.MicrosoftTeams-image (27)

My primary takeaway from the forum was the realisation that our world currently faces a "poly-crisis." The escalating effects of climate change, coupled with war, fragility, and a complex global political economy, have placed us in uncharted waters. However, this poly-crisis also presents a unique opportunity for impact investment to play a pivotal role in addressing these challenges.

While there was a general acknowledgement of the pressing need to combat climate change, speakers were quick to highlight the significant progress made in recent years, laying the foundation for long-term strategies. Now, it's time to explore new avenues and establish targets that incentivise the right choices for emission reduction.

Many speakers underscored the vast untapped or under-tapped opportunities for impact investment. Areas where investors can simultaneously achieve financial returns and create positive social impact continue to expand. For example, there is substantial potential to further develop agriculture and green energy in Africa. Additionally, the influence of technology is and will remain substantial, driving solutions that were once deemed impossible. Access to financial inclusion in emerging markets remains limited, but impact investment can target specific areas to promote inclusivity.

This year, there was a noticeable surge in interest in the Blue Economy, reflecting the growing needs and opportunities within ocean industries for impact investment.MicrosoftTeams-image (26)

The conference also witnessed extensive discussions about how impact investors measure and manage their impact and ensure the establishment of meaningful targets. Robust impact assessment tools and transparent reporting are essential for attracting more capital into this space.

Speakers didn't shy away from issuing stark warnings and emphasising the serious consequences of inaction. However, there was an overall sense of positivity about the increasing role of impact investment in addressing some of the world's most pressing issues.

The GIIN Impact Forum provided an excellent opportunity for us to connect with both current and prospective clients. We eagerly anticipate deepening our involvement in this space as the impact investment sector continues to grow and mature in the coming years.


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