Events

This list is updated frequently, and covers events from speaking engagements, conferences we are attending, and Transform Finance trainings and gatherings.

Neighborhood Economics

February 26-28, 2024 | San Antonio, TX

Neighborhood Economics' events convene, recruit, and connect people repairing local economies. Whether you're an investor, entrepreneur, community leader, or simply passionate about equitable economic growth, this is your opportunity to be part of vital conversations that shape the future. Don't miss out on the chance to connect, learn, and collaborate with trailblazers across various sectors. Secure your spot now and be a part of crafting a more inclusive, empowered, and prosperous world!
Learn more and register

Upcoming Events

Transform Finance on aligning enterprise ownership with Doughnut Economics - March 6, 2024 at 11am ET

We recently released an important report on enterprise models that best align social impact, governance, and economic value across the enterprise’s stakeholders that make it possible. We refer to these models as Alternative Ownership Enterprises.

In this webinar, we will share these models in detail, provide strategies for entrepreneurs who are curious about first steps towards designing Alternative Ownership Enterprises, and provide insight into the nascent but growing investor ecosystem dedicated to mobilizing capital toward these transformative models.

For anyone using Doughnut Economics into the world of businesses, these insights on transforming ownership and governance are essential. In particular, the role of finance in helping or hindering this transformation is central to any journey of enterprise redesign. This webinar is a can’t miss for anyone hoping to transform businesses so they can help humanity into the Doughnut.
Learn more and register

Past Events

Mid-year Kelso Fellows Workshop at Rutgers University - January 12-14 - 2024

The purpose of the annual Mid-year Kelso Fellows Workshop is to study broad-based forms of capital ownership and capital income such as employee stock ownership, equity compensation, profit sharing, gain sharing, and worker cooperatives in the corporation and approaches to broadened citizen capital ownership and dividend funds in the society in the United States.

The workshop provided an opportunity for scholars to present research in progress, receive mutual mentoring and feedback, work on joint research projects and publications, and meet foundation officials and publishers interested in building asset wealth for citizens.

Transform Finance Executive Director, Curt Lyon, presented on the research needs of the Alternative Ownership Enterprise ecosystem. Read about Curt's takeaways from the workshop here.

Food Funded 2023 - San Francisco, CA - November 13, 2023

Food makers are change makers. Funding them is a meaningful bet on our future. The 2023 summit was all about the impact of food businesses on Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) and Climate Action, recognizing that planet justice and people justice are inherently related.

Transform Finance's Director of our Financing Alternative Enterprises Project, Julie Menter, was in attendance.



Meet the Players: Financing Shared Ownership of Enterprise Mixer - New York, NY - November 2, 2023

The Predistribution Initiative, with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation, hosted a unique evening of curated dialogue with some of the leading practitioners focused on financing worker and community ownership of enterprise in North America. At this convening, participants had an opportunity to join small group discussions focused on financing opportunities and challenges relating to a variety of ownership models (e.g., ESOPs, employee ownership trusts, cooperatives, among other equity compensation and profit sharing plans) and various financial structures (e.g., private equity, private debt, bank lending). Participants could also choose to be part of topical discussions, such as making the investment case for various models of shared ownership, what is needed in terms of technical support, advancing policy and regulatory reform to promote financing of shared ownership, how to scale mission-focused employee ownership funds, educating founders and financial actors about the opportunity for shared ownership, measuring and managing the impact investing integrity of shared ownership models, among others.
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SO:23 – Day of Steward-Ownership - Berlin, Germany - Oct. 27th, 2023

The SO:23 was a Day of Steward-Ownership, a day in Berlin, a day of inspiration and exchange around the topic. At the SO:23, we embarked on a journey and paid tribute to some of the first companies to have implemented steward-ownership like Bosch, Zeiss, Novo Nordisk or John Lewis Partnership, and who have been living the model for decades and longer. The conference presented the different types of implementation of, areas and sectors of relevance for steward-ownership – with contributions from speakers of large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises and startups, as well as from specific areas and sectors in which steward-ownership will play an increasingly important role, especially in the future. Together we created a place where we can learn, discuss and develop from and with each other.

SOCAP 2023 - San Francisco, CA - October 23-25, 2023

SOCAP23 was held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco, Oct. 23 – 25. Unlike any other conference in impact, SOCAP convenes the whole ecosystem of impact to catalyze investable and profitable businesses and industries that can solve the greatest challenges of our time. SOCAP invites changemakers from every sector and across the globe who are ready to dig in to help drive urgent change for people and the planet.

The Theme for SOCAP23 was Facing Urgency: Impact at the Speed of Trust. We must face the challenges of our time with urgent action and solutions. Trust is essential for catalyzing impactful solutions — when people trust each other, they are more likely to collaborate, share information, and take risks. When you build trust, you create a foundation for collaboration and cooperation. This leads to more innovative and effective solutions.

Transform Finance's Deputy Director, Curt Lyon, and Director of our Financing Alternative Enterprises Project, Julie Menter attended SOCAP23 and hosted a gathering to raise awareness for our new report on Alternative Ownership Enterprises.

DazzleCon '23 - Washington, DC - October 20-21, 2023


Transform Finance's Julie Menter joined Zebras Unite for 2 days of inspiring and educational content, and collaborative design sessions to co-create the business ecosystem we all need to thrive. Participants experienced collaborative hands-on sessions, actionable talks, meet interdisciplinary practitioners, and had ample time for intimate discussions, collective problem-solving, and networking.


Wells Fargo Civil Rights Assessment Roundtable - July 13, 2023

Late last year, Wells Fargo agreed to undertake a racial equity assessment and engaged Covington & Burling LLP to conduct it. Wells Fargo is now seeking to engage external stakeholders as part of the assessment, and Transform Finance was invited to a private roundtable of external stakeholders on Thursday, July 13 in Washington, DC.

Our Deputy Director, Curt Lyon, alongside members of Wells Fargo’s team, welcomed the opportunity to share information on select topics included in the scope of Wells Fargo’s racial equity assessment, and to hear input and recommendations on those topics. Learn more about our Racial Justice work here.

TFN’s Inclusive Economies 2023 Meeting: Pathways to Power & Prosperity - June 28-29, 2023

The Funder Networks’s Inclusive Economies 2023 Meeting: Pathways to Power & Prosperity met in Atlanta this June to deepen understanding of systemic challenges to opportunity, examine effective and equitable funding strategies and explore collaborations that drive change.

This gathering brought together funders from across the U.S., as well as Atlanta practitioners, advocates and frontline community leaders, in order to learn how philanthropy can help communities access and leverage federal resources in ways that are equitable and align with community-determined priorities. We explored how best to support community-driven solutions that center the leadership, lived experiences and priorities of those most impacted by disinvestment and other systemic economic inequities, and identify strategies that support BIPOC entrepreneurship and innovation, increase access to capital, and cultivate job-creation and workforce development.

Aspen Institute Employee Ownership Ideas Forum - June 14-15, 2023

Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative (@AspenFutureWork) / Twitter

Deputy Director Curt Lyon represented Transform Finance at the Employee Ownership Ideas Forum, which brought together leading policymakers, practitioners, experts, and the media for a robust discussion on how we can grow employee ownership for the shared benefit of American workers and businesses. This was a free, two-day, in-person and virtual convening, in Washington, DC, and was co-hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program and the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University.

2023 Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing - June 6-7, 2023

The 2023 Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing – in the US and Beyond, co-organized by the Grunin Center and the Impact Investing Legal Working Group, took place on June 6-7, 2023 on-campus at NYU Law School in New York City.

The conference was attended by students, lawyers and other stakeholders from across the globe. This leading conference explored salient legal, ethical, and social themes affecting the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investin program panels, plenary speakers, table talks, workshops, and celebrat the achievements of the 2023 Grunin Prize finalists and winners.

Katapult Future Fest Investor Day 2023 - May 31, 2023 - Oslo, Norway

Katapult Future Fest welcomes a global community of change-makers to explore how impact investing, business leadership, and exponential technologies can be harnessed to create a fairer, healthier, and more sustainable future society for all.

Transform Finance's Executive Director, Andrea Armeni, attended Investor Day and spoke on the session, "How to better align incentives and structures for impact." In this workshop, participants explored how innovative financing can be used to design investment structures, processes and incentives that are deeply impactful and can support alternative enterprise models. The session started with a landscape of innovative finance with examples of funders and founders who have designed new types of capital, legal and investment structures beyond traditional financial approaches, created more inclusive investment processes, used them to share governance and ownership with non-investor stakeholders, and built impact linked incentives within governance, compensation and financing.

Investing in Workers: Challenges and Solutions for Wealth Building for Low- and Moderate-Income Workers - May 23, 2023

On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in partnership with the Ford Foundation, hosted an in-person event exploring how some companies are seeking to increase low- and moderate-income workers’ wealth through investments in ownership and employee benefits.

The event focused on how efforts to improve the wealth of low- and moderate-income workers are financed and what is needed to make such investments more widespread. Transform Finance's Curt Lyon and Andrea Armeni were in attendance on behalf of our Financing Alternative Enterprises project.
View the full schedule here

Just Economy Conference 2023 - March 29-30, 2023

The Just Economy Conference is the national event for community, business, foundation, policy and government leaders who want a nation that not only promises but delivers opportunities for all Americans to build wealth and live well. National and local luminaries, visionaries and change-makers gathered to network, share ideas, learn and ask hard questions to chart out a better future. Along with keynote speakers and conversations on the main stage, the conference included a wide range of conversational sessions and workshops.

Transform Finance's Andrea Armeni was a panelist on the Corporate Investment Roundup: Equity in Small Business Lending Solutions panel on March 29, at 11:15 AM ET. Panelists discussed equitable methods of capital flow to communities for small business growth; assessed how current investment strategies and systems enable resource exclusion; and explored what new, community-centered approaches to investment look like - particularly those that meaningfully address capacity issues of small business providers, give agency and decision-making power to communities of color, close capital gaps, and accelerate growth for micro businesses owned by people of color.

Alternative Ownership Models: Steward, Employee, and Multi-Stakeholder - February 28th, 2023

This online event will be led by Transform Finance, which, in partnership with the Doughnut Economics Action Lab, is systematizing information on steward, employee, and multi-stakeholder ownership models. We seek Toniic's input on the pain points investors face when considering these models. We will also give an overview of what models are out there, what they are good for, and how one can invest in them.
Learn more and about our project here

Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit -Febuary 5 - 7, 2023

Hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) and Second Nature, the 2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit convened higher education presidents, endowment stakeholders, sustainability and DEI professionals, and other stakeholders to network and advance practical strategies to further institutional climate justice commitments. Transform Finance joined a community of 250+ leaders at the premier gathering of higher education leaders, committed to addressing inequality and the climate crisis at the University of Miami in FL.

The workshop provided an opportunity for scholars to present research in progress, receive mutual mentoring and feedback, work on joint research projects and publications, and meet foundation officials and publishers interested in building asset wealth for citizens.

Mid-year Kelso Fellows Workshop at Rutgers University - January 12-15, 2023

The purpose of the annual Mid-year Kelso Fellows Workshop is to study broad-based forms of capital ownership and capital income such as employee stock ownership, equity compensation, profit sharing, gain sharing, and worker cooperatives in the corporation and approaches to broadened citizen capital ownership and dividend funds in the society in the United States.

The workshop provided an opportunity for scholars to present research in progress, receive mutual mentoring and feedback, work on joint research projects and publications, and meet foundation officials and publishers interested in building asset wealth for citizens.

Transform Finance Executive Director, Andrea Armeni, presented at the workshop on our Financing Alternative Enterprise project. Learn more about previous Kelso Fellows Workshop Programs here.

Mission Investors Exchange 2022 National Conference - December 5-7, 2022

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.

Transform Finance's executive director, Andrea Armeni co-hosted post-conference session: Place-Based Impact Investing, on December 7th at 1:30pm EST.Learn more here

ASBN 2022 Conference Session: Building the Field of Alternative Enterprise - December 2, 2022

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, led the session "Building the Field of Alternative Enterprise" on Friday, December 2nd at 1:30pm PST.

This workshop explored 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.
Learn more about our work on Financing Alternative Enterprises

Launching DEAL’s Doughnut Design Tool for Business - November 7, 2022

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.


Creative Finance: Transformative 25 Funds Webinar - October 13, 2022

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.

SOCAP22 - October 17-20, 2022

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.

2022 Grantmakers in the Arts Preconference Session - October 6-12, 2022

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.

Steward-Ownership in a Changing Economy - September 4-5, 2022

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.

Just Futures and Justice Funders Social Justice Investing Webinar Series - May and June 2022

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 Investing Institute: Arts and the Creative Economy - April 7th and 8th, 2022

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.

Stakeholder Engagement Convening for Citi’s Racial Equity Audit – May 3, 2022 – Washington, D.C.

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.

SSIR’s 2022 Frontiers of Social Innovation Discussion: Shifting Power Through Place-Based, Community-Governed Investments - March 23rd, 2022 at 1:55 ET

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.

Building a Grassroots Community Engaged Investment Approach to Grantmaking and Investment, A Three-Part Virtual Workshop with the Center for Cultural Innovation - January 11th, 18th, and 25th, 1:00pm-2:30pm Eastern

This program was designed for philanthropy practitioners who are interested in supporting innovative projects that build community power through the investment process. This includes:

  • Program Officers who want to make grants that support specific projects or infrastructure for the field of GCEI
  • Foundation Investment Staff who are considering making investments with a GCEI lens
  • Other Philanthropic Investment Actors, such as family offices and high-net worth individuals

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.

Anchors in Resilient Communities’ Public Learning Session #2 - Community-led Anchor Strategies - Monday November 15th, 12 - 1:30 PM PST

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.

Housing Summit Solution: A Grassroots Community Engaged Investment Approach to Housing Investment – October 19th, 2021 at 10:30 am ET

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.

Climate Action Pursuit Milestone Panel: Shifting Power Dynamics to Center Grassroots Movements in Decision Making – October 8th, 2021 at 11am EST

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!

Regenera Academy Impact Investing Course – Module 2: Finanzas Transformativas – October 6th, 2021 at 6:30pm EST

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.