BlackRock CEO says within 5 years all investors will use ESG impact measures to determine a company's worth

When BlackRock CEO Larry Fink proclaimed in his annual letter in January that, "To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society," he says he wasn't doing it "to be en vogue," or, as Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. wrote, to "buy indulgences" with the public. "We're trying to improve the performance of our clients," Fink said at The New York Times DealBook Conference in New York on Thursday. He also predicted that in the near future, all investors will be using ESG (environmental, social, governance) metrics to determine the value of a company.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 13: What Does Fly Fishing have to do with Leadership in Impact Philanthropy

This story begins in 2002 in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Clemens and a small group of colleagues saw the need to create a conscious and sustainable world through engaged philanthropy and had the vision to align practice with purpose – at the individual level, in the community, and on a global scale.

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CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Brings National "Check Your Blind Spots" Tour to FS Investments to Educate Employees About Unconscious Biases

CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The organization runs a mobile tour nation-wide called the “Check Your Blind Spots” experience. This mobile tour visited FS Investments in early November, as they join the over 500 organizations working with CEO Action in order to hold conversations and address diversity issues in an interactive way.

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Why Faith-based Organizations are Shifting to Impact Investing

Recent studies have shown that faith-based organizations have been more and more frequently investing in socially and environmentally impactful organizations. Apart from their traditional charitable works in their communities, these organizations are beginning to utilize the power of the funds they have invested in order to create change in the world around them. John O’Shaughnessy, CEO and CFO of Franciscan Sisters of Mary, says “We no longer wanted to invest in things that were adding to the problem,” and have since divested from investments they deemed counterproductive and invested in ones that more closely match their values.

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Delaware Expands Investment Options for Trust Fiduciaries

A new clause has been added to the Delaware statute governing authorized investments for trusts. The language allows for the personal values of the beneficiary to be a guideline for the investments made by the fiduciaries on the beneficiaries’ behalf. This marks another step in the movement for value-based investing as an industry standard. Time will tell what impact the new clause will have on the investsments of these trusts, and if it will effectively encourage the growth of impact investing.

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Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age

During the “Gilded Age”, Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest Americans to have ever lived, shared his thoughts on philantrhopy and how it should be carried out. Today is known as the “Second Gilded Age”, where the super wealthy are able to give large sums to causes of their choosing and recieve large tax breaks in return. With the legal definition of philanthropic organzation being murky at best, how can we be sure that the growing amount of money being funneled into more and more foundations are actually socially beneficial?

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Win $50,000! Introducing the Jeremy Nowak Urban Innovation Award, to bring one urban solution to Philly

Are you ready to solve problems in Philadelphia? We are. That’s why we’re bringing urban thinkers from around the country to Philadelphia for our inaugural Ideas We Should Festival on November 30th—get your tickets here. And that’s why we’re thrilled to announce the Jeremy Nowak Urban Innovation Award, a $50,000 prize to launch one of those ideas in Philly.

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Program Targets One Missing Link For Founders From Diverse Backgrounds: Friends And Family Money

“Many startups fund their earliest days with money from friends and family, as well as angels. But what if your friends and family are not wealthy—and, in fact, are more on the struggling side of the equation?” Village Capital hopes to have an answer to that with their new program, VC Pathways. The new endeavour looks to target organizations founded by African American, Latino, and female entrepreneurs that are not ready yet for their typical three month program, but have a promising prototype or pilot. The goal is to provide avenues to venture capital and industry knowledge to demographics who may not have those opportunities otherwise.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 12: Building Equitable Communities Through Patient Impact Capital and Thoughtful Real Estate Development

54.46% in poverty
27.56% unemployed
209 deaths from overdoses in 2017

These are the sobering statistics of Harrowgate, a Kensington neighborhood north of Lehigh Avenue, that is only 15 minutes north of Center City on the Market-Frankford subway line, and three subway stops away from Fishtown – “the hottest neighborhood” in the United States according to Forbes magazine.

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Philanthropy Transforming Finance Summit Report

45 impact investors, researchers and others recently met to discuss the role of philanthropy and foundations in creating an “impact economy”. According to the report, creating such a business paradigm requires that philanthropies step up their game. The reason: a paucity of early-stage and seed capital, a gap philanthropies could play a major role in filling. That, in turn, could help attract other funding.

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Apply to the Global Startup Accelerator by November 11th

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and the University City Science Center have partnered to launch the Global Startup Accelerator - a six-month program for early-stage tech startups that have an interest in entering international markets. Participants receive: Insight into business and business growth opportunities in the European market; Access to VCs and potential funding sources; Direct connections to mentors, partners and customers; and the opportunity to pitch European partners at the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia on June 3-6, 2019.

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2019 Greater Philadelphia Social Innovations Awards Nominations : Deadline October 5th!

Help shine the spotlight on and give some deserved recognition to social changemakers in your community! The Social Innovations Journal is looking for publicly nominated movers and shakers in the Greater Philadelphia Area that have shown great leadership and creativity in helping to solve the challenges that our community faces on a daily basis. The theme of this year’s awards "Innovating Ideas, Revolutionizing Realities," expresses the idea that the SIJ is looking for some out of the box approaches to these challenges. If you know someone or a group that embodies that vision, please nominate them today. Nominations are due by October 5th so don’t delay!

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 11: Impact Beyond Innovation

What comes after innovation? As CEO of Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners, an organization charged with catalyzing the Philadelphia region's entrepreneurial and innovation economy, I've struggled with this question. It was 2001 when I began to follow the emerging national narrative around impact, marked by Harvard Business Review's January 2001 issue: Ideas with Impact - an issue I still have to this day. In it, an article by Charles Handy entitled "Tocqueville Revisited: The Meaning of American Prosperity." revisits Tocqueville's journey, but focuses on capitalism instead of democracy. Handy writes of the need for "new capitalism" and discusses American Nobel Prize Winner Robert Fogel's optimism that "a new sense of purpose…will be at the heart of the next stage of capitalism." The idea resonated with me then and stayed with me over time.

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Around the Country, Incomes Are Rising. In Philly, They're Falling.

Out of step with the rest of America and its own suburbs, Philadelphia has remained stubbornly mired in poverty while its median household income has plummeted, a stunning development that puzzles experts and belies the city’s self-styled image as a revitalized metropolis on the rise. Two reports from the U.S. Census Bureau released recently show that as poverty has declined and income has increased nationwide, Philadelphia’s poverty rate remained stuck at around 25%.

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Event Recap & Podcast: An Evening with Author Anand Giridharadas and B Lab’s Jay Coen Gilbert

Is it enough for a business to try to do good? Or, should we also be demanding that businesses do no harm? At stake in the answer is the future of the American workforce—and, perhaps, America itself. This is the issue bestselling author Anand Giridharadas and B Lab’s co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert debated on Thursday night, at The Citizen’s sold-out event. If you weren’t there, you can listen to a recording of the discussion.

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Backstage Capital to Launch an Accelerator in Four Cities to Promote Underrepresented Founders

After launching a $36 million fund earlier this year to help support black female founders, Backstage Capital announced it was launching accelerators in four cities including Philadelphia, which served as location inspiration for the effort. "When Philadelphia is thinking about what it means to become a tech city, it’s not about 'how do we retrofit this Silicon Valley model, but more so how do we use technology to do what Philadelphia does best,' said Aniyia Williams of Tinsel and Black & Brown Founders, who was onstage with Hamilton."

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Can Local-first Procurement Help Oust Philadelphia From Its Position As Poorest Major City in the U.S.?

Supporting locally owned and operated businesses does more than just patronize that specific establishment, but can have a much wider effect in local neighborhoods. This is know as the “local multiplying effect” and Anna Shipp of the Philadelphia Business journal posits that this local-first attitude could be the method by which Philadelphia rises the ranks of wealthy major cities.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 10: Fostering Economic Growth and Mobility in Philadelphia

Although community development finance has primarily built its foundation around real estate investing, we have learned that in a city like Philadelphia, neighborhood revitalization does not always empower local residents to move up the economic ladder but can often lead to displacement through gentrification. An impact economy requires both growth AND mobility, and thus, our strategies must include a focus on both improving places AND empowering people. To this goal, an effective impact capital strategy is about more than just building and investing financial and physical capital. We should also consider how we build and invest in human and social capital in our city.

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This Diversity Survey Could Help Transform Philly’s Tech Community

Before a problem can be fixed, it must first be diagnosed. When it comes to grappling with racial and gender diversity in the tech industry, the roadmap to getting Philadelphia’s startups looking more like the city they’re in starts by knowing where the community stands. In a bid to help orient diversity, equity and inclusion discussions in the city, a coalition of stakeholders just launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmark Survey, which seeks to gather data to help inform the path to bridging inequities in Philly’s expanding tech economy.

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