This list is updated frequently, and covers events from speaking engagements, conferences we are attending, and Transform Finance trainings and gatherings.
The American Sustainable Business Network 2022 Conference is a convening that exists to inform, connect, and mobilize business leaders and investors to transform the public and private sectors toward a sustainable economy that is stakeholder-driven, regenerative, just, and prosperous.
Transform Finance's Deputy Director, Curt Lyon, will be leading the session "Building the Field of Alternative Enterprise" on Friday, December 2nd at 1:30pm PST.
This workshop will explore the world of Alternative Enterprises, or businesses with significant non-investor governance and/or ownership. Alternative Enterprise models include the many forms of employee ownership (like worker cooperatives, ESOPs, and Employee Ownership Trusts), but also a plethora of other legal tools and structures that replace a profit-maximizing motive with a purpose motive and share decision-making with other stakeholders: steward ownership structures, community ownership exit strategies, multi-stakeholder cooperatives, new distributed models, and more.
In this highly participatory workshop, participants across all stakeholders will 1) get an understanding of the world of Alternative Enterprise; 2) grapple with the financing, startup, technical assistance, and policy needs of this field; 3) imagine how solutions to the current barriers could unlock a new economy.
Learn more and register here.
Featuring a wide range of speakers with diverse expertise in impact investing in philanthropy, the National Conference program will offer thought-provoking, action-oriented content for impact investors.
Join Transform Finance's executive director, Andrea Armeni for his post-conference session: Place-Based Impact Investing, December 7th at 1:30pm EST.
As partners of Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL), we joined them for the launch of their tool for businesses to engage with Doughnut Economics. The Doughnut Design for Business tool we launched is focused on businesses. It is designed to support workshops run by a broad range of people and organizations - anyone able to engage a group of businesses, or an individual business in their deep design.
The tool provides content and materials to run workshops that guide businesses through an ambitious journey of impact, bold ideas and business redesign. The tool comes in two forms: a core version (takes 3-5 hours) and a taster version (takes 1 hour). To develop this tool, DEAL has run 21 different pilot workshops over the past 12 months. This online launch event gave an overview of the tool and heard from change-makers and thought-leaders who have helped to create this tool.
Transform Finance's Andrea Armeni moderated this lively discussion about creative finance and integrated capital strategies, featuring these fund managers:
This Transformative 25 interactive webinar covered: 1) what are effective creative financing strategies, 2) why they use them, 3) what investors need to know about creative financing, and 4) strategies for growing this work. We learned how these funds are leveraging their lived experience, knowledge, community networks and partnerships to make finance available in, for and by communities and businesses of color.
At SOCAP22, the focus was to help move us more urgently toward radical collaboration, recognizing that we need each other to resist and repair global injustices, address the climate crisis, and build better systems for all.
We are at a precipice in impact, and we need to urgently accelerate the boldest, brightest ideas to put capital to work solving the world’s biggest problems. It’s time to demand and create the changes our world requires to allow all people and the planet not just to survive but thrive. SOCAP22 intends to help everyone work together to take the Moments of the last three years and turn them into sustained, resilient, impactful Movements — together.
In this preconference session, Organized by Art.Coop, Grantmakers in the Arts, and Upstart Co-Lab, we learned about how impact investments can be an instrument for economic, racial, and intersectional justice while benefiting creative economies and solidarity economies. The preconference combined presentations, discussions, and Boston Impact Initiative’s Integrated Capital Card Deck, which uses a game to help funders and fund managers learn how to deploy integrated capital to close the racial wealth divide.
At SO:22, we made steward-ownership tangible and shared practical experiences on the big stage, in workshops, panel discussions, and various exchange formats. We explored why steward-ownership is an attractive succession option for your mid-sized company. We learned from and with pioneering entrepreneurs about how startups can ensure their independence and purpose-orientation from the very beginning. Investors gathered how they can invest along the principles of steward-ownership. Companies in steward-ownership found room to exchange ideas about the opportunities and challenges of steward-ownership and take the opportunity to tackle questions together. Company owners learned about different ways to design the right structure for your company, mission, and motivation, and researchers learned more about the current state of research and practice.
We co-sponsored Just Futures and Justice Funders for a 3-part webinar series as we explore the growing field of social justice investing, heard directly from the powerful leaders working to build and leverage financial strategies for community empowerment, and offered an alternative vision for a financial system that seeks to heal and uplift people and the planet.
Session 1: An Introduction to Social Justice Investing | Tuesday, May 10, 1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Session 2: Social Justice Investing in Practice: Examples from the Field | Thursday, May 26, 1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Session 3: Investing for a Just Future | Wednesday, June 22, 1pm ET - 2:30pm ET
Watch the Recordings here
Mission Investors Exchange, Grantmakers in the Arts, and Upstart Co-Lab hosted the Mission Investing Institute: Arts and the Creative Economy, a two-day, virtual impact investing training specifically focused on the arts and the creative economy. The Institute consisted of two, 3-hour sessions on April 7 and 8, 2022, with an optional, introductory impact investment training on April 6th.
Designed for senior foundation staff working in arts and creativity, and finance or investment professionals at endowed cultural institutions, the Institute is intended to help foundations leverage their endowments to amplify their arts programs and activate cultural institutions as values-aligned investors. Transform Finance’s Andrea Armeni spoke on “The Case for Impact Investing in the Creative Economy” on Day 1 of the training.
In September 2020, Citi and the Citi Foundation launched the Action for Racial Equity (ARE) initiative, a $1 billion+ set of commitments to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the U.S. by (1) expanding affordable housing and homeownership among Black Americans; (2) providing greater access to banking and credit in communities of color; (3) increasing investment in Black-owned businesses; (4) advancing anti-racist practices at Citi and the financial services industry. Please see our one-year update brochure and this website for an overview of our work and accomplishments to date.
To help us assess the design and implementation of ARE and understand how to adapt our work for the future, in October 2021, Citi announced its plans to conduct a racial equity audit and assess our efforts to help address the racial wealth gap. The audit began in January and is being conducted by attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP who have civil rights expertise and experience leading racial equity audits across various industries.
To ensure that the audit reflects inputs from our stakeholders, Citi held a convening of civil society organizations in Washington, D.C. on May 3, 2022 at Covington’s offices. The convening provided an opportunity for us to update you on the various initiatives that form ARE, to answer your questions, and to gather feedback on the approach we have taken.
Redefining who controls investment decisions is a core component of shifting power – one that mission-aligned investors and philanthropic actors are poised to support.
Decades of past efforts to achieve economic self-determination have led to new approaches to building power that center organizing and grassroots voices in the initiation, design, and governance of community investment. These approaches seek to counter the top-down decision making models that remain prevalent, tapping into the current reckoning with power and the roles of philanthropy, which has developed in response to current economic and public health crises and racial injustice.
In this session, presenters Andrea Armeni, executive director of Transform Finance, Aditi Vaidya, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Aaron Tanaka, executive director of Center for Economic Democracy showcased community engaged approaches – ranging from direct democratic voting over investments to having community representatives on boards – and their potential to create social change. They highlighted concrete examples of collaborations between communities, philanthropic institutions, and other investors, and touch on research and action that is informing innovative thinking among grassroots leaders, funders, and investors.
This program was designed for philanthropy practitioners who are interested in supporting innovative projects that build community power through the investment process. This includes:
Building on our recent seminal report and an introductory discussion series, this workshop, led by Transform Finance and hosted by the Center for Cultural Innovation, provides a space to learn and share practices between funders who have supported GCEI initiatives and those who are eager to engage with this emerging strategy.
This learning session explores what commitment looks like for community-led investments in equity, sustainability, and climate, paired with accountability within community-anchor relationships to meet those commitments. This session was hosted by ARC and our anchor engagement specialist team at Shift Health, Jen Lewis-Walden and Sonia Sarkar, and includes panelists from national organizations that specialize in community finance and investment. The session also includes a discussion with ARC’s co-founders, Denise Fairchild and Gary Cohen, Transform Finance’s Executive Director, Andrea Armeni, and Bay Area community partners.
Some of the most important strategies for addressing the housing crisis are based on innovations in finance and ownership models—or in innovative combinations of proven models with some added twists. On October 19th, Deep Dive Day #4, we focused on the importance of redressing racial segregation in housing and implementing multi-faceted strategies to reduce the racial disparities in home ownership.
This session featured inspiring examples that demonstrate how multi-faceted strategies can address many aspects of the housing crisis in ways that require fewer taxpayer dollars to achieve greater gains in inclusive wealth-building and social justice. Curt Lyon of Transform Finance led Session 7: A Grassroots Community Engaged Investment Approach to Housing Investment.
During our June milestone workshop, speaker Dr. Davarian Baldwin called on us to reimagine campuses as community spaces to serve all community members, in response to the increasingly parasitic relationship between universities and local communities as a result of unchecked institutional power. To do so, each of us working in higher education will need to look beyond our campus gates to listen, engage, and give power to grassroots and community voices in the decisions that impact their lives. Taking examples from different investment contexts, this panel presents approaches to decision-making that shift power dynamics that work for communities. It covers different relationship models between community leaders and institutions (like investors) and examples where investor activity has been aligned with movement leaders, such as grassroots campaigns to influence investments, shared decision making in place-based investments, and coordination with movements within investor-led actions. You can now watch the conversation, led by Andrea Armeni of Transform Finance, Dana Bezzera of the Heron Foundation, and Ariel Brooks from the Center for Economic Democracy, about how power dynamics in decision making can be shifted whether you are making an investment decision or coming up with a plan to reduce carbon emissions. Click here to view the discussion on youtube!
Andrea Armeni of Transform Finance led an introduction to impact investing and transformative finance on October 6th, 2021 at 6:30 pm EST. Connecting the financial world with the impact world, we explored how investments can be a vehicle for socio-environmental transformation, and how to find your place in the impact ecosystem in Mexico, Latin America and the world.