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HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: Impact Investing for the Next Generation Program Overview
September 21, 2017 @ 8:00 AM—September 24, 2017 @ 5:00 PM EDT
Impact investing is gaining significant momentum in private wealth management. Generating attractive financial returns alongside positive social and environmental impact is a compelling proposition, especially for the next generation stewards of family assets. Impact investing can also be a powerful tool for bringing families together, engaging disengaged family members, aligning values across a family business, investment and philanthropy, and developing wealth creation skills within the next generation of family members. In practice, however, ‘Next Gens’ and their families encounter numerous obstacles in mobilizing capital into impact investing: lack of clear definitions, perceptions of low financial returns, lack of information about investment opportunities, limited peer-to-peer collaboration, differing generational perspectives on the role of capital, lack of specialist advisors, and entrenched traditional investment approaches. There are few sources of rigorous and independent support that can guide Next Gens and families in navigating these obstacles. This program addresses this need. It includes two workshops at leading universities and a six-month period of individual and group work. The program develops a cohort of emerging leaders in impact investing, providing deep exchange amongst a trusted group of peers, a body of knowledge and real world experience. This includes numerous cases and examples, a due diligence field exercise, leadership tools, conceptual frameworks and practical guidance that provide a solid foundation for a Next Gen to build support for, and implement, impact investing within a family office, foundation and personal portfolio context.
The education module is underpinned by academic research on overcoming obstacles to impact investing by next gen family members. The program is convened by the Initiative for Responsible Investment, a research project at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich. The program is developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, with family office leaders and industry experts.