Impact Investing Trends in 2019 Include Greater Focus On Gender

Forbes
By Devin Thorpe
May 3, 2019

Impact invest­ing is not just grow­ing, it is evolv­ing. At the same time, the def­i­n­i­tion of the prac­tice is being shaped and mold­ed by new prod­ucts and prac­tices, cre­at­ing ten­sion among some play­ers about what it is and what it should be.

A farm today relies on a whole array of datasets, each more com­plex than the last: GPS data, satel­lite imagery, drone imagery, weath­er and cli­mate data, not to men­tion the data being pro­duced by a grow­ing vari­ety of ag-spe­cif­ic smart sen­sors that mon­i­tor every­thing from soil health to the rate of crop devel­op­ment. And that’s just the data on the exter­nal vari­ables. As the tech­nol­o­gy pow­er­ing plant genomics has become cheap­er and more pow­er­ful, farm­ers have access to a grow­ing body of data on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the seeds they plant.

For this arti­cle, I reached out to about 50 thought lead­ers and prac­ti­tion­ers in the space, ask­ing for insights about new, less-well-doc­u­ment­ed trends in impact invest­ing. After receiv­ing dozens of sug­ges­tions, I asked the same group to eval­u­ate whether those obser­va­tions (with­out attri­bu­tion to their respec­tive authors) were a) in fact new trends, b) indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ences that shouldn’t yet be con­sid­ered trends or c) estab­lished, well-doc­u­ment­ed trends.

What fol­lows are eleven dis­tinct trends observed and con­firmed by the pan­el to be new 2019 trends in impact invest­ing. While I could have com­bined some of these over­lap­ping or relat­ed ideas, I con­clud­ed that each item brings its own nuance and should be kept on the list.

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Impact Invest­ing is increas­ing­ly get­ting drawn into the dis­cus­sions about how to fix cap­i­tal­ism.

Nan­cy Pfund, man­ag­ing part­ner at DBL Part­ners, an ear­ly investor in Tes­la, adds, “It is seen by many as a way to make cap­i­tal­ism work bet­ter by dri­ving invest­ments to areas where social poli­cies have not shown enough progress.”

To read the full arti­cle, vis­it Forbes


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