Sustainable Investing/ESG

Are ESG Investments Outperforming During the Pandemic?
Mark Zurack, Senior Lecturer of Discipline in Business; Harun Dogo, executive director of global sustainable finance at Morgan Stanley; John Goldstein, head of the sustainable finance group at Goldman Sachs; and Mary Jane McQuillen ’07, managing director, portfolio manager, and head of ESG investment at ClearBridge Investments, discuss ESG assessment criteria, economic impacts from the current pandemic, and suggestions for how business leaders might better mitigate future risk during a pandemic. Watch →
Sustainability in the Fashion Industry
Rachel Cernansky, ’08JRN, sustainability editor at Vogue Business and freelance journalist, moderates a discussion with Ashia Sheikh Dearwester, chief strategy and partnerships Officer at Nest; Mallory McConnell, senior director of supplier sustainability and partnerships at PVH Corp; Anushka Salinas ’10, president and chief operating officer at Rent The Runway; and Jessica Schreiber, ’11GSAS, founder and CEO at FABSCRAP, about multi-layered approaches to mitigating the impacts of fast fashion on sustainable garment and footwear supply chains. Watch →
Why Stakeholder Capitalism Is a Good Bet in Times of Crisis
Georgia Levenson Keohane, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, moderates a discussion with Liz Luckett, ’90CC, managing partner of the Social Entrepreneurs Fund; Nick Maynard, senior vice president for Commonwealth; and Martin Whittaker, CEO of Just Capital, about how to use the principles of socially responsible business, ESG, and impact investing to mitigate risk and create sustainable financial value during a crisis. Watch →
ESG: How Effective Is It in Changing Corporate Practices?
Michael Rauenhorst ’95, managing partner at SIMA Funds, moderates a discussion with Jamie Martin, executive director at Morgan Stanley; Mary Jane McQuillen, ’07, managing director, portfolio manager, and head of ESG investment at ClearBridge Investments; Jamieson Odell, portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs; and Elizabeth Seeger, director of sustainable investing at KKR, about mainstream investors using material environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors to make portfolio decisions that influence long-term business, environment, and community impact. Watch →
Capital for Clean Energy
Professor Geoffrey Heal moderates a discussion between Thomas Byrne, co-founder of CleanCapital; Jiong Ma, senior partner at Braemar Energy Ventures; and Martin Torres, managing director at BlackRock, about how investors are allocating significant funds to clean energy, the projects they are investing in, how profitable these projects are, and how quickly these projects are replacing coal and natural gas investments. Watch →
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Returns With ESG Investing
Tami Kesselman, chief impact strategist and alchemist at Aligned Investing Global, moderates a discussion featuring Ghislain Gouraige, Jr., managing director investments at UBS; Abigail Pohlman, vice president of the investment management division at Goldman Sachs; and Anna Raginskaya, private wealth advisor for the Blue Rider Group at Morgan Stanley, about the trillion-dollar wealth transfer to Millennials and their interest in impact investing. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Keynote Address With Lucas White
Lucas White, portfolio manager at GMO, discusses climate change and investing. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Adam Sobel and Stephen Weinstein
Adam Sobel, a professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Stephen Weinstein, senior vice president, chief compliance officer, group general counsel, and corporate secretary at RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., discuss extreme climate events and reinsurance. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Lightning Talk With Richard Seager
Richard Seager, professor at the Palisades Geophysical Institute at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discusses climate, agriculture, and water. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Lightning Talk With Wolfram Schlenker
Wolfram Schlenker, associate professor at SIPA, discusses climate, agriculture, and water. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Damon Phillips and Bruce Usher
Professors Damon Phillips and Bruce Usher offer remarks and next steps for improving interactions between business and society. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Peter Huybers and Christopher Mayer
Peter Huybers, co-director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment and professor of Earth, Planetary, and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, discusses sea level and coastal property with Professor Christopher Mayer. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Keynote Address With Geoffrey Heal
Professor Geoffrey Heal discusses the electric utility sector disruption. Watch →
The Near-term Impacts of Climate Change on Investors: Introductions With Peter deMenocal
Peter deMenocal, director of the Center for Climate and Life, Dean of Science, and the Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, emphasizes how the 2017 Social Enterprise Leadership Forum broke new ground by bringing together climate scientists and the business community. Watch →
Sustaining the Emojicon [Corporate Social Responsibility]
Ron Gonen ’04, co-founder and CEO of the Close-Loop Fund, moderates a panel featuring Sabine Chalmers, chief legal and corporate affairs officer at Anheuser-Busch InBev; Michael Fenlon, principal of Global & US Talent at PwC; Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chairman of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; and Michelle Nasir ’98, partner at Heidrick & Struggles Leadership Consulting Practice, on attracting and retaining millennial talent. Watch →
Closing Keynote With Al Gore [Sustainability]
Professor Bruce Usher and former United States Vice President Al Gore discuss how capitalism has shaped existing climate policy and the importance of public-private partnerships for developing lasting sustainability programs. Watch →
How Are ESG Strategies Driving a Sustainable Future?
Eve Ellis, financial advisor and portfolio manager of Morgan Stanley; Sarah Gillman ’93, chief financial officer of administration and finance at the NRDC; Nathan Hurst, global director at the Hewlett-Packard Company; Erika Karp ’91, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Inc.; and Mark D. Sloss, senior portfolio manager and head of Premier Portfolio Services at UBS Investment Management discuss how prepared Millennial leaders and sustainability decision-makers are to address the ESG issues organizations see on the horizon. Watch →
Where Is the Market for Sustainable Investors?
Professor Bruce Usher moderates a discussion between Melissa Cheong ’09, director of private credit and direct investing at Imprint Capital Advisors; Audrey Choi, CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley; and Manuel Lewin, head of responsible investment at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd., about the ideal sustainable finance marketplace, including green bonds, clean energy ETFs, public equity, sustainable investment funds, and private equity. Watch →
Overcoming Barriers to Corporate Change
Erika Karp ’91, CEO at Cornerstone Capital Inc., moderates a series of interviews with Mitchell Gold, co-founder and chairman of Mitchell Gold; Brian Orlando ’99, senior marketing director at Unilever; and Jeff Seabright, vice president of Environment & Water Resources at The Coca-Cola Company, about convincing influential stakeholders, employees, customers, and investors to rally behind significant shifts in sustainability practices, including supply chains, watershed replacement, and investing. Watch →
Keynote: Deborah Dugan, CEO, (RED).org [Philanthropic Campaigns]
Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRWire, speaks with Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED).org, about how social media has changed the way that corporations and millennials engage in philanthropy, what it's like to work for Bono, and the ways (RED) marries a global aid foundation with corporations to create a successful community of giving. Watch →
Driving Adoption of Green Energy
Professor Bruce Usher moderates a brainstorming session with Jacques-Philippe Piverger, CEO of MPOWERD, and John Salzinger, senior director of business development and co-founder of MPOWERD — the company behind Luci, an affordable, inflatable, and waterproof solar lamp that functions in any environment on Earth to produce brilliant light with zero emissions. Watch →
Corporate Social Innovators
The 2012 Social Enterprise Conference co-chairs Regina Lee ’13 and Albert Lim ’13 introduce Joe Silbilia, CEO of; Jennifer Crozier, vice president of global citizenship initiatives at IBM; Richard Hall, director of global strategic alliances for Intel; and Caroline Roan, vice president of corporate responsibility and reputation at Pfizer, to share closing remarks about social innovation, corporate social responsibility strategy, and impact measurement. Watch →
Moving the Needle for Large-Scale Implementation of Renewable Energy
Professor Bruce Usher moderates a panel about renewable energy featuring Steve Corneli, senior vice president of sustainability, policy and strategy at NRG Energy; Izzet Bensusan ’08, president and CEO of Karbone; and Clint Plummer, vice president of development for Deepwater Wind on renewable energy. Watch →
CSR's Shift From a Go-It-Alone to an Ecosystem Approach
Professor Geoffrey Heal moderates a discussion between Chris Librie, director of Hewlett-Packard Sustainability and Social Innovation; Payal Dalal, head of public affairs for the Americas at Standard Chartered Bank; and Andrea Flynn, vice president of the MAC Aids Fund, about public-private partnerships and collaborative corporate social responsibility. Watch →
Implementing a Sustainable Supply Chain That Builds Communities
Professor Garrett Van Ryzin moderates a panel with Kythzia Barrera, the director of Innovando Tradicion; Anita Househam, the policy and legal adviser of the UN Global Compact on Supply Chain Sustainability; Scott A. Vitters, general manager of PlantBottle packaging at Coca-Cola; and Deji Akinyanju, the CEO of Food Concepts, about public incentives for businesses to adopt sustainable supply chains and related business opportunities. Watch →
Corporate Social Innovation: Moving Beyond Responsibility
Professor Geoffrey Heal moderates a session with Namrita Kapur, director of strategy for the Corporate Partnerships Program at the Environmental Defense Fund; Curtis Ravenel ’;01, global head of Bloomberg's Sustainability Group; Martin Reeves, senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group Strategy Institute; and Bruce Schlein, director of corporate sustainability at Citi, examining how companies can redefine their missions, recruit top talent, and compete effectively by moving beyond compliance toward innovation. Watch →
The Perils and Rewards of Emerging Markets
Professor Bruce Greenwald interviews Bill Browder — well known for his investor activism in favor of governance reforms in Russia — about his clash with Russia's business elite in the post-Soviet economy and the future of emerging markets. Watch →
Supply Chain Management Within the Developing World
Professor Rick Larson leads a discussion on current and emerging trends in fair trade practices, featuring panelists Summer Rayne Oakes, cofounder and CEO of Source4Style; Jim Thaller, managing director of the Talier Trading Group; and Michael Faherty, vice president of brand development at Unilever. Watch →
From Socially Responsible Investing to Sustainability
Mary Jane McQuillen ’07 of ClearBridge Advisors leads a discussion about the motivating factors behind socially responsible investing, featuring Professor Vinay Nair, founder of Ada Investments; Peter Knight, president of Generation Investment Management; Valerie Cook Smith, vice president of corporate sustainability at Citigroup; and Bryan Corbett, principal in global government and regulatory affairs at the Carlyle Group. Watch →
Community Forum: Environmental Policy
Professor Chris Mayer moderates a discussion with Professors Geoffrey Heal, Elke Weber, and Bruce Usher; and Kevin Parker, head of asset management at Deutsche Bank, about trends and investment opportunities related to climate change and renewable energy. Watch →
The Role of Markets in Addressing Social Problems

Impact (Return First)

Institutional Investors Embracing Impact Investing
Megan Starr, global head of Impact for the Carlyle Group, moderates a panel featuring John Goldstein, head of the Sustainable Finance Group at Goldman Sachs; Vikram Raju, head of impact investing at Morgan Stanley; and Iain Ware, managing director of Bain Capital Double Impact, on institutional impact investing through the sustainability lens. Watch →
Capital for Justice: Using Impact Investing for Racial Equity
Jenny Tolan ’14, co-founder at Level, moderates a discussion with Melissa Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures and co-founder of Ureeka, and Kesha Cash ’10, founder and general partner of Impact America Fund, about accelerating economic opportunity and mobility for Black and marginalized communities through impact investing — a pressing need, given just three percent of all venture funding goes to Black and Latinx founders, even as venture capital investments have quadrupled and the growth of diverse businesses has skyrocketed. Watch →
Impact Investing: Leveraging Capital Markets for Social Change
Professor Bruce Usher asks Amy Domini, founder and chair of the pioneering Domini Impact Investments, why she believes you do financially well by doing good. Watch →
History and Future of Impact Investing
Professor Bruce Usher discusses the history and future of impact investing with Asad Mahmood, CEO and managing partner of Social Investment Manager & Advisors (SIMA). Watch →
Case Studies of Institutional Investors Engaged in Impact Investing I
Dana Bezerra, president of the F.B. Heron Foundation, and Christopher Rowe, vice president of investments at the Church Pension Fund, discuss the motivation, achievements, portfolio composition, performance, and lessons learned at the 2019 Impact Investing Forum. Watch →
Case Studies of Institutional Investors Engaged in Impact Investing II
Michael Grossman, managing director of New Island Capital, and Louise Schneider-Moretto, director at DWS (formerly Deutsche Asset Management), discuss the motivation, achievements, portfolio composition, performance, and lessons learned at the 2019 Impact Investing Forum. Watch →
Impact Investing: What Is Practical and Doable Now
Asad Mahmood, CEO and managing partner at Social Investment Manager & Advisors (SIMA), moderates an audience discussion on what is practical and doable now in impact investing. Watch →
The Future Vision of Impact Investing
Bob Annibale, global director of community development and inclusive finance at Citi, and Deepak Kamra, general partner at Canaan Partners, discuss the future of impact investing. Watch →
Microfinance and Fintech in Impact Investing
Sono Khangharani, CEO of Thardeep Microfinance Foundation, and Camilla Nestor ’03, CEO of MIX, present on the microfinance and fintech sectors. Watch →
Affordable Housing and Community Development in Impact Investing
Brian Murray, CEO of Shift Capital, and Merilyn Rovira, senior vice president of Community Development Trust, present on affordable housing and community development. Watch →
Education in Impact Investing
Arrun Kapoor, managing director at SJF Ventures, presents on education in impact investing. Watch →
Offgrid Energy in Impact Investing
Ned Tozun, CEO and founder of d.light, presents on off-grid energy in impact investing. Watch →
Private Equity’s Role in Building Mission Driven Businesses
Impact investing is, simply, better – for society and at scaling up. Professor Bruce Usher unpacks this assertion with Deval Patrick, managing director of Bain Capital Double Impact. Watch →
Does Impact Investing Still Matter in the Age of Trump and Brexit?
Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, discusses the relevance and effectiveness of impact investing in today's political climate, reflecting on three questions: How much do politics influence impact investing and how much social change can it achieve? Are there swings in social impact? Do these swings shadow or contrast political agendas? Watch →
Opportunity Zones: Patient Capital Makes Communities Grow and Prosper [Community Development]
Professor Lynne Sagalyn moderates a panel featuring Shafron (Shay) Hawkins ’02, legislative assistant for the Office of Senator Tim Scott, and Ron Moelis, CEO and founding partner of L+M Development Partners, on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act incentives to mobilize capital for rural and low-income communities through opportunity zones across the United States. Watch →
Microlumbia Impact Investing Speaker Series: Nadeem Hussain and Shahryar Reza
Nadeem Hussain, founder of Telenor Microfinance Bank and Planet N Group, and Shahryar Reza, CEO of Albion AI and president of Planet N Group, discuss the technological revolution taking place across emerging markets and its transformational impact on development and society. Watch →
Career Talk on Impact Investing, Featuring Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO at Nonprofit Finance Fund
Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, explains the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of impact investing, including what it takes to land the impact investing job that is right for you. Watch →
Kesha Cash '10, Founder of Impact America Fund [Innovation]
The 2015 #StartupColumbia​ Festival — a semester-long event with the $250K Columbia Venture Competition (CVC) in January, the CVC finalist workshops in March, live pitches to determine the CVC winners in April, and a nine-hour conference in April — features Kesha Cash ’10, founder and general partner at Impact America Fund, who launched Jalia Ventures, a minority-focused impact investing initiative that deployed $5M between 2010 and 2013 to support a portfolio of 10 mission-driven US-based companies owned by entrepreneurs of color. Watch →
Innovative Revenue Models for Social Impact
Social entrepreneur teams — led by Lizzie Bildner ’15, founder and former president of Sharitive, Inc; Kate Canfield, client engagement manager at Inspiring Capital; Kesha Cash ’10, director of investments at Impact America; Jimmy Chen, co-founder and CEO of Propel; Swami Ganesan, co-founder of PaisaBack; Brian Jones, founder of Kin: High-Impact Travel; Prashant Mehta, co-founder of Conscious Step; Christopher Reim, managing director of CDVCA; and Yael Silverstein ’13, chief strategy and operations officer of Inspiring Capital — participate in an intensive workshop using the Business Model Canvas to break down critical revenue challenges in real-time. Watch →
Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scale [Inclusive Finance]
Ashish Karamchandani, executive director at Monitor Inclusive Markets and Monitor Deloitte; Harvey Koh, director of monitor inclusive markets at Monitor Deloitte; Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation; Amit Bouri, managing director of GIIN; Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund; and Gita Johar, Senior Vice Dean and Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business at the Columbia Business School, discuss the report (Monitor Inclusive Markets), explore barriers inclusive businesses face, and how we can accelerate and scale impact. Watch →
Development: For Communities, By Stakeholders
Leanne Lachman, president of Lachman Associates and executive-in-residence at the Columbia Business School, moderates a discussion with Kathryn Matheny, chief of staff and deputy commissioner for strategy and operations at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Daniel Nissenbaum ’88, director of CRA programs for the Urban Investment Group (UIG) at Goldman Sachs; Robert P. Sanna, executive vice president and director of construction and design development at Forest City Ratner; and Adam Weinstein, president and CEO, of the Phipps Houses Group and chair of the Phipps Community Development Corporation, about the Atlantic Yards modular housing program (adAPT NYCCompetition), Phipps Houses' Hunter's Point South, and the future of affordable housing for low- and middle-income residents in New York City. Watch →
What Is the Future of Social Impact Capitalism?
Georgia Levenson Keohane, fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and adjunct associate professor at Columbia Business School, moderates a panel discussion about the intersection of profit and purpose featuring pioneers in social impact capitalism, including Sir Ronald Cohen, chair of the Portland Trust, Big Society Capital, and founder and former chair of Bridges Ventures; Tracy Palandjian, CEO and co-founder, Social Finance US; Audrey Choi, managing director and head of global sustainable finance at Morgan Stanley; and Alicia Glen, managing director at Goldman Sachs. Watch →
Keynote: Fernando Fabre and Chris Hayes [Entrepreneurship]
Professors Ray Fisman and Bruce Usher introduce Fernando Fabre, the president of Endeavor Global, and Chris Hayes, host of Up With Chris Hayes on MSNBC, to discuss Endeavor Global, strategies and challenges associated with social enterprise investing, and building strong entrepreneurial networks. Watch →
Lessons From the Trenches: Investing in the "Missing Middle" in Emerging Markets
Joyce Chang, managing director and head of emerging markets and global credit research at JPMorgan, moderates a panel about the “missing middle” gap in financing for early stage enterprises in emerging markets, featuring Amie Patel, investment officer at Soros Economic Development Fund; Will Haughey, co-founder of Tegu and Agora Entrepreneur; Gustavo Eiben, head of North America investor relations at Aureos Capital; and, Ben Powell ’05, founder and CEO at Agora Partnerships. Watch →
Microfinance Innovation: Development of Frontier Products for Financial Inclusion
Camilla Nestor ’02, vice president of Microfinance Programs at the Grameen Foundation, moderates a panel with five industry-leading experts pioneering microfinance products, including Inez Murray, executive vice president of programs at Women's World Banking; Greg Casagrande, founder and president of South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Microfinance Network; Rajendra Poudyal, administrative manager at PlaNet Finance Nepal; Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO of the Pakistan Microfinance Network; and Alexandra Fiorillo, vice president at Ideas42. Watch →
Klion Forum With Sir Ronald Cohen: Why Do We Need Social Capital Markets?
Professor Bruce Kogut speaks directly with Sir Ronald Cohen, chairman of the Portland Trust and Bridges Ventures, "the father of British venture capital,” and “the father of social investment” about the need for social capital markets. Watch →
Sustainable Communities: New Approaches to Integrated Solutions
Keith Timk ’02, CEO of Build with Purpose, moderates a discussion with Andrea Davila ’11, special strategic project manager at the New York City Housing Authority; Richard Froehlich, executive vice president for capital markets and general counsel of the NYC Housing Development Corporation; Daniel Nissenbaum ’88, COO of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs; and David Walsh, senior vice president of community development at JPMorgan Chase Bank, about the roles of private, public, and nonprofit sectors in affordable housing, job creation, energy efficiency, and small business services, compared to the policies and technologies that are transforming the landscape of local economic development. Watch →
Values-based Investing: Building Financial and Social Capital
Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and adjunct associate professor at Columbia Business School, moderates a discussion with Steve Beck, co-founder and CEO of Spring Hill Equity Partner; Rick Defieux ’84, cofounder of SJF Ventures; and Ben Powell ’05, founder and managing partner of Agora Partnerships, about the role and potential of financial performance in impact investing. Watch →
Climate Change Investing
Professor Bruce Usher speaks with experts Yannick Glemarec, environmental finance director at the UNDP;  ’, consultant at BCG; Gia Schneider, chairman and CEO of Natel Energy, Inc.; and Martin Whittaker, director of Springcreek Global Investments, about entrepreneurial strategies to combat climate change. Watch →
Extending Horizons of Microfinance Investments
Steve Wardle of the Grameen Foundation moderates a panel discussion with Bob Annibale of Citi Microfinance, Asad Mahmood of Deutsche Bank, and Sebastian von Stauffenberg of MicroRaton, on the projected investment environment in the microfinance industry, new investors expected to come into the market, and whether they will be driven primarily by financial return, social return, or both. Watch →
Empowering Cubans Through Private Enterprise Development
Matthew Aho of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas and T. Sean McKean of the Cuba Study Group, discuss ways to empower entrepreneurs inside Cuba through private enterprise development. Watch →
Striking the Right Balance Between Shareholder and Stakeholder Value
Professor Suresh Sundaresan moderates a panel discussion with Carlos Danel of Compartamos Banco, Rosario Perez of ProMujer, Greg Casagrande of South Pacific Business Development, and Jacob Haar of Minlam Asset Management, on the challenges that microfinance institutions often face when converting from NGOs to NBFIs and the problems that arise when these institutions reach a scale that requires large amounts of capital. Watch →
Keynote: Robert Annibale [Financing and Scaling Social Innovation]
Professor Ray Fisman introduces Robert Annibale, global director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development and an expert on financing and scaling social innovation. He is credited with redefining how banks approach corporate social responsibility. Watch →
Leveraging Distribution Networks to Grow BOP Markets
Professor Suresh Sundaresan leads a discussion with Omer Imtiazuddin of the Acumen Fund, Caroline Misan of VisionSpring, and Sophie Romana ’08 of PlaNet Finance US, about whether microfinance institutions can effectively broaden offerings beyond credit, savings, and insurance to distribute other consumer products in high demand such as mobile phones, consumer packaged goods, and health care. Watch →
Social Enterprise and Real Estate: The Role of the Private Sector in Community Development
Professor Lynne Sagalyn leads a discussion with Arlo Chase, senior vice president for policy initiatives at NYS Homes and Community Renewal; Daniel Nissenbaum ’88, COO of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs; and Paul Freitag, managing director of development at Jonathan Rose Companies, on the role of the private sector in community development. Watch →
Private Equity in Emerging Markets: Looking Beyond the Internal Rate of Return
Professor Paul Tierney, a co-founding member at Development Capital, general partner at Aperture Venture Partners, leads a discussion on the role of private equity in the development of emerging markets with Paul Weissman, founder and principal at Centenium Advisors, and Cesare Calari, managing director at Wolfensohn & Company. Watch →
Building Profitable Solutions to Poverty
Nancy Barry, president and CEO of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, Carlos Enrique Cavelier, president of Alquería S.A., Steve Kloeblen, VP of mergers and acquisitions at IBM; and Tao Yong, CEO of SDR, discuss how inclusive business strategies boost earnings for both businesses and poor households. Watch →
Opportunities for the Majority [International Development]
Impact Investing: A Potential Source for Financing Social Enterprises
Surveying Partnerships Between Companies and Microfinance Institutions
MBA students survey partnerships between multinational corporations and microfinance institutions to help consult the Calcutta, India-based Sarala Women Welfare Society, a Microlumbia client. Watch →
Nancy Barry on Microfinance: Hypercommercialization Is a Danger
Nancy Barry, former president of Women's World Banking and founder of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, warns of the danger of hypercommercialization in microfinance and emphasizes the importance of nested capital markets that are engaged in savings. Watch →

Impact (Impact First)

Book Talk, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World [Impact Investing]
Shaiza Rizavi ’96, managing member and portfolio manager at Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC, speaks with author Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, about her new book, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World, spotlighting change-makers around the world who are ascending the corporate ladder, solving inequity across key systems in the United States, and bringing solar light to rural villages. Watch →
The .06%: Founding and Fundraising as Women of Color
Less than .06 percent of the $424.7 billion in venture funding since 2009 went to Black women (source: ProjectDiane 2018). Aaron T. Walker, founder and CEO of Camelback Ventures, moderates a discussion with Kiara Butler, CEO and founder of Diversity Talks; Amanda DoAmaral, founder and CEO of Fiveable; Shani Dowell, founder and CEO of Possip; and Beverly Leon, ’20BUS ’14CC, founder and CEO of Local Civics, about the challenges BIWOC founders face and how this has changed due to the pandemic and recent social unrest. Watch →
Funding Understanding and Development of Therapeutics for Women’s Health
Stan Kachnowski, chair of HITLAB, moderates a discussion with Stacy Blain PhD, ’95GSAS, associate professor in the Departments of Cell Biology and Pediatrics at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and founder and CSO of CONCARLO Holdings, LLC; Rachel Butler, president, the Cavendish Impact Foundation; and Carolee Lee, founder and CEO, Access Circles and WHAM, to address three questions highlighting the gap in research and entrepreneurship focused on women's health: How does traditional funding of medical research incorporate or exclude issues of women’s health? What are some new approaches that can help support the development of new treatments and diagnostics in women’s health? What are the ways in which early-stage investors are allocating their capital in order to address the needs of women within the health care industry? Watch →
Social Impact-Driven Foundations Align Investments With Mission
Lily Trager, executive director and director of investing with impact at Morgan Stanley, moderates a discussion featuring Bob Bancroft, vice president of finance at Nathan Cummings Foundation; Preeti Bhattacharji ’14BUS ’09CC, vice president of integrated capitals at Heron Foundation; and Shuaib A. Siddiqui, director of impact investing at Surdna Foundation, about how foundations will reposition their portfolios, endowments, and resources to achieve social impact. Watch →
Transformations for Businesses: Driving Inclusion in the Tech and Startup Space
Jimena Almendares, former chief product officer at OKCupid; Jimmy Chen, CEO of Propel; Chris Davis, chief financial officer at Managed by Q; Jenny Fielding, managing director at Techstars; and Christopher Grewe, founder and CEO of American Prison Data Systems, PBC join Ron Gonen ’04, CEO of Closed Loop Fund and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, to discuss how their companies are disrupting Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley archetypes by prioritizing inclusivity. Watch →
The Intersection of Philanthropy and Impact Investing
Professor Bruce Usher moderates a discussion with Preeti Bhattacharji ’14, director of strategic initiatives at the Heron Foundation; Bonny Moellenbrock, executive director at Investors' Circle; and Julius Mokrauer, managing director of Serious Change LP and board member at the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, about the intersection of philanthropy and impact investing. Watch →
Lessons on Social Investing With Acumen Global Fellows
Professor Bruce Usher; Shaiza Rizavi ’96, partner at Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co. and board member at Acumen; Saad Latif at Husk Power Systems; Joanne Schneider at Esoko; Steph Speirs at d.light; Yuliya Tarasava at Juhudi Kilimo; and Acumen Fellows about building viable social businesses to serve those living in poverty. Watch →
Sustainable Cities of the Future
Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities; Jay B. Orfield ’08, environmental innovation fellow at the NRDC; Jeffrey Perlman, president and founder of Bright Power; and Neil Suslak ’86, managing partner at Braemar Energy Ventures, address two questions: How are social entrepreneurs, policy makers and business leaders tackling transport, housing, energy, health and other environmental challenges? What innovative ideas in sustainable urban development are mayors and city governments around the world pursuing? Watch →
Impact Investing in Action — Where Would You Put Your Money?
In this Acumen case study, Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Jessica Martin, innovation associate and board member at Acumen, walk through a case study featuring a small farmer from Kenya, who wants to raise capital to purchase hybrid genetically modified seeds and increase sales by 4X the current output. Watch →
Food Systems — Shake the Hand That Feeds You
Jacqueline Holmes of Kopali Organics; Christopher Lorn, co-founder of Table for Two USA; and Stephen Ritz, founder of Green Bronx Machine, share their groundbreaking stories and offer sustainable business solutions to the global food crisis, defined by three shocking statistics: out of seven billion people around the world, one billion suffer from malnutrition; another one billion suffer from over-nutrition; and, farmers harvest enough to feed the planet — but 25 percent of our global food supply is lost to spoilage. Watch →
Demystifying the B Corporation
Adjunct professor Georgie Levenson Keohane moderates a detailed discussion with Sophie Fairs, a manager at B Lab; Jesse Schultz, social innovation coordinator at Warby Parker; Lily Scott, a senior research analyst at Veris Wealth Partners; and Katie Hunt-Morr, senior manager of values and impact at Etsy, about the steps a company must take to receive the B-Corp certification, how to engage different stakeholders in the process, the potential for industry policy change, and what it means to manage the "triple bottom line." Watch →
Financial Innovations in Community Reinvestment
Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, moderates a panel discussion about using for-profit investment to improve communities in the United States featuring Scott Budde, project director at the Sustainable Agriculture Credit Union Research Project and founder of Better Harvest Federal Credit Union; Cathy Dolan, chief operating officer of the Opportunity Finance Network; Jeannine Jacokes, senior policy advisor at the Community Development Bankers Association; and Daniel Nissenbaum ’88, chief operating officer of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs. Watch →
Innovations In Emerging Markets Consumer Finance
Nachiket Mor, chairman of CARE India and a board member of the IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health, and Bindu Ananth, a trustee at IFMR and founder of the Centre for Micro Finance at IFMR, discuss a radically innovative wealth management banking model to serve rural, low-income customers. Watch →
Adopting a Client-Centric Strategy to the Base of the Pyramid [Microfinance]
Moderator Bryan Wagner, executive director of global sustainable finance at Morgan Stanley, leads a panel discussion with Robert Annibale, global director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development; Scott MacMillan, communications manager at BRAC; Cathleen Tobin, manager at Women's World Banking; and Katherine Rosenberg, vice president of strategic partnerships at Grameen America, about product innovation in the microfinance sector, the ability for technology to aid in delivering financial products, and debating what it means for a business to be truly "client centric." Watch →
Adapting Scalable Clean Technologies for Bottom of the Pyramid Markets
Travis Bradford, adjunct professor at SIPA, moderates a panel featuring Michael Tsan, partner at Dalberg Consulting; Yasmina Zaidman, director of communications and strategic partnerships at Acumen Fund; and Chris Aidun, CEO of E + Co., about using clean technologies in the developing world and how to scale clean technologies for mass markets. Watch →
Research Meets Reality in Microfinance
Professor Ray Fisman introduces Diana Taylor ’80, chairman of ACCION and managing director of Wolfensohn Fund Management, to discuss ACCION's 50 years in the microfinance industry and how we can continue providing financial services to those living in poverty. Watch →
Redefining Microfinance: Driving Innovation in a Maturing Market
Carlos Ayalde ’12, co-president of the Microlumbia Fund, introduces Katie Leonberger ’08, manager at Bloomberg Philanthropies and co-founder and chairman of the board of Microlumbia Fund, to welcome keynote speaker Alex Counts, president and CEO of the Grameen Foundation, at the 5th Annual Microlumbia Conference "Redefining Microfinance: Driving Innovation in a Maturing Market," with panels focused on social performance management, data-driven decision-making, leveraging technology, flexible credit and savings, and market segmentation/customized approaches. Watch →
Microfinance Innovation: Technology Platforms Enabling MFIs to Broaden Impact
Professor Suresh Sundaresan moderates a panel on microfinance technology featuring leading innovators Simona Haiduc, vice president of international business development at Opportunity International; Alberto Jimenez, director of global mobile solutions at Citigroup; Laura Shen, global product manager of mobile solutions and global transaction services at Citi; Kyle Meade, global head of implementations at the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab; and Gabriel Francis, a Kiva Fellow. Watch →
Connecting the Dots Through Social Impact Measurement
Adjunct professor Antony Bugg-Levine, managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation, interviews experts Sarah Gelfand, director at the Global Impact Investing Network; Patricia Devaney, director of impact assessment at Root Capital; and Diego Gonzalez Carvajal, founder and president of Interrupcion, on the value of social impact measurement. Watch →
A Cross-Sector Success Story: The Neighborhood Energy Loan Program
Marilia Bezerra, director at the Clinton Global Initiative, leads a discussion with Sam Marks, vice president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation; Sadie McKeown, senior vice president and director at the Community Preservation Corporation; and Michael Sturmer, principal at Lemle & Wolff, about joint initiatives bringing energy efficient retrofits of residential properties to scale in New York City. Watch →
Acumen Fund and International Social Enterprises
Pangea Advisors: Building a Housing Market in Liberia
In this project organized by Pangea Advisors, students travel to Colombia to provide pro bono consulting services to Broad Cove Partners — an emerging market private equity manager working to expand home ownership in Liberia, where two-thirds of those living in poverty are currently without access to home finance services. Watch →

Venture Philanthropy

News + Money
Josh Benson, partner at Old Town Media, moderates a panel on sustainable funding models for news organizations (i.e., reader revenue/subscriptions, venture-backed, philanthropic giving, etc.), featuring Kaizar Campwala, vice president of news at Disney; Nick Chen, co-founder and CEO of Pico; Sherrell Dorsey, ’18JRN, founder and CEO of the Plug; Elizabeth Green, CEO and co-founder of Chalkbeat; and Sibel Lowin, global partnerships solutions lead at Google, to address two questions: In a future more heavily reliant on reader revenue and philanthropic giving, how can we be sure news organizations do not just tell the stories that readers or donors want to hear? How do we make sure that news is still available to those who cannot pay for it? Watch →
Reviving Beirut: How Social Enterprise Is Shaping the Aftermath of the August 2020 Explosion
Tony Tamer, founder and co-CEO of H.I.G. Capital, introduces Zahi Ghorayeb ’21, MENA co-president, and Lara Najjar ’21, MENA club member, to facilitate a discussion with Kim Issa ’14, director of advancement at International College; Zeina Mhanna, director at the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE); Michelle Mouracade, country director at Alfanar - Arab Venture Philanthropy Organization; Mona Shantouf, board member and secretary at Nusaned; and Johnny Yaacoub ’16, engagement manager at Strategy& (part of the PwC network), about disaster relief following the deadly blast at the Port of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon on August 4, 2020, the crippling effect of COVID-19 on the country's economy, and how the social enterprise sector can aid the long-term relief effort. Watch →
Social Venture Pitch Competition [Entrepreneurship]
Watch Casey Santiago, ’07BUS ’07SIPA, managing director of consumer health care at Founders Factory, and Sydney Thomas, senior associate at Precursor Ventures, judge VC-style pitches to three prominent early-stage impact investors from six social entrepreneurs. Watch →
Responding to Homelessness in the Wake of COVID-19
Claire Kao, ’20BUS ’14SEAS; Rachel Diller ’99, managing partner at UrbanView Capital and former adjunct professor at Columbia Business School; and Christine C. Quinn, president and chief executive officer of Win, consider the ways government and businesses can equitably distribute city resources to bolster stable homes and communities post-pandemic. Watch →
Social Venture Pitch Competition [Entrepreneurship]
Judges Elizabeth Suda, founder of Article 22; Manal Kahi, ’;15SIPA, co-founder and CEO of Eat Offbeat; and Keith Katz ’03, co-founder of Execution Labs Inc., consider rapid-fire pitches from early-stage environmental or social ventures. Watch →
UBI as Cash Grants: Do They Work?
Amy Houston, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, moderates an in-depth discussion with Amy Castro Baker, assistant professor at the University Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, and Michael Faye, co-founder and president of GiveDirectly, about the history of Universal Basic Income (UBI), its potential to alleviate poverty and increase wellbeing, and its impact on work participation. Watch →
Pfizer Foundation: Use Your Capital to Ensure Access to Quality Health Care
Diana Hernández, assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, moderates a discussion on health care with Caroline Roan, ’00SIPA, vice president of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Pfizer, Inc. and president of the Pfizer Foundation, about the function of CSR, stakeholder engagement, reporting, and how to design investment strategies to tackle social and community challenges. Watch →
Social Venture Pitch Competition [Entrepreneurship]
Adjunct professor Ron Gonen ’04, founder of Recyclebank, moderates the 2013 Social Venture Pitch Competition, featuring three emerging social entrepreneurs: Abran Maldonado, co-founder of NuSkool; Tommy Mitchell, CEO of Green Barrel Energy; and Casey Santiago ’07, founder of Kangu. The competition was judged by Kesha Cash ’10, director of investments at Jalia Ventures, and Alberto Escarlate, venture partner at Collaborative Fund. Watch →
Social Venture Pitch Competition [Entrepreneurship]
Emerging for-profit social entrepreneurs Donnel Baird ’;13, founder of BlocPower; Alina Kohan ’12, director of finance at Powerhive; and Toure McCluskey, founder of OkCopay, compete for a $250,000--500,000 investment by Jalia Ventures/Serious Change, LP at the 2012 Social Venture Pitch Competition, moderated by adjunct professor Ron Gonen ’04, founder of RecycleBank, and judged by Lisa Williams ’11, associate of Investments at Imprint Capital; John Walker ’08, finance director at Echoing Green and adjunct professor at SIPA; and Yasmina Zaidman, director of communications and strategic partnerships at Acumen Fund. Watch →
Behaviorally Informed Anti-Poverty Programs
Professor Ray Fisman introduces Dean Karlan, professor of economics at Yale University and founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, and Justine Zinkin ’02, CEO of Neighborhood Trust, to discuss the economics and psychology of poverty, incentivizing good fiscal choices, and innovations to serve the unbanked. Watch →
Bold New Ventures: Visionary Philanthropists and Impact Investing at the Cutting Edge
Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, moderates a session featuring Doug Borchard, managing partner and COO of New Profit Inc.; Mike O'Brien, CEO of iMentor; Bonnie Oliva, director of the InVenture Foundation; and Michael Smith, senior vice president of social innovation at the Case Foundation, on investments in cutting-edge technology to advance environmental and social causes. Watch →
Impact Investors Spreading Social Innovation
Doug Bauer, executive director of the Clark Foundation and adjunct professor for Columbia Business School, leads a discussion with Charly and Lisa Kleissner, cofounders of the KL Felicitas Foundation, on evaluating impact investment opportunities. Watch →
Cheryl Dorsey, Matthew Klein, and Nancy Barry
Professors Ray Fisman and Bruce Usher introduce Cheryl Dorsey, president of Echoing Green; Matthew Klein, executive director of the Blue Ridge Foundation; and Nancy Barry, president of Nancy Barry Associates, Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, to discuss scaling social innovation. Watch →
Keynote With Raj Shah [International Development]
Raj Shah, administrator of USAID since January 2010, highlights the Development Innovation Ventures Fund for early-stage projects. Watch →
Consulting for Growth: Scaling Social Innovation
Jeff Chu, editor at Fast Company, examines the strategies innovative organizations use to scale up and how they are creating sustainable revenue models with panelists Sivan McLetchie, manager at Bridgespan; Saul Kornik, chief of Africa Health Placements; and Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator. Watch →
Innovative Financial Instruments
Alexander Friedman ’98, CFO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Clara Miller, president and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund; John Eric Nelson, managing partner of Wall Street Without Walls; Julie Sunderland, senior program investment officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Leah Pedersen Thomas, director of Net Guarantee/Malaria No More, discuss cutting-edge financing techniques in the social sector. Watch →
Competition and Strategy in the Social Sector
Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School; Jerry Hirsch, founder and chairman of the Lodestar Foundation; Jemina Bernard ’01, executive director at the Teach For America, New York Region; and Rick Surpin, president of the Independence Care System, answer this burning question: When is it helpful for social organizations to compete, and when is it hurtful? Watch →
Public-Private Partnerships in Education
Russell Carson ’67, general partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, moderates a panel discussion with Joel I. Klein, the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, and David Saltzman, the executive director of the Robin Hood Foundation, about public-private sector collaboration in education. Watch →


Income Equality in the United States: Pathways to Economic Mobility for Marginalized Communities
S. Mona Sinha ’93, board chair of Women Moving Millions and the ERA Coalition Fund for Women’s Equality, moderates a discussion with Abigail Disney, long-time philanthropist and social activist for women’s rights and poverty alleviation, about the current economic climate, pay equity reform, and the pursuit for economic mobility. Watch now →
Women and Philanthropy
Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, moderates a discussion with Elizabeth Carlock-Phillips, executive director of Phillips Foundation, and S. Mona Sinha ’93, chairwoman of Women Moving Millions, on philanthropic investments to empower women and girls. Watch now →
Character, Community, and Capital: Insights On Social Justice [Philanthropic Organizations]
Melanie Edwards, founder and board chair at Mobile Metrix, senior portfolio advisor at Echoing Green, and adjunct professor of social entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School and Stanford, speaks with Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood, on the fight against poverty, using data to drive decision-making, and how every tool that we have — from philanthropy to storytelling to media to advocacy — can be used to achieve fairness and justice for all people. Watch now →
Sports Philanthropy as a Solution to Create Positive Social Good
Lawrence Cann ’13, founder and CEO of Street Soccer USA, moderates a panel discussion with Eric DiMiceli, director of social responsibility at the National Basketball Association; Olga Harvey, vice president of community impact at Women’s Sports Foundation; Tom Purves, director of social responsibility at Major League Soccer; and Ben Schornack, program officer at Laureus Foundation, on sports as a force for educational and social empowerment, physical and mental health, peacekeeping in war torn countries, racial justice and gender equality, economic opportunity, poverty alleviation, and sustainability. Watch now →
Ford Foundation: Capitalism Must Produce More Prosperity for More People
Professor Damon Phillips moderates a discussion with Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation on impact investing, advocating for social justice, and evolving capitalist models to produce more prosperity for more people. Watch now →
Business for the Common Good [Corporate Social Responsibility]
Courtney King Murphy, director of CEO Leadership at CECP, hosts a dynamic fireside chat with Daryl Brewster, CEO of CECP, and Robert Forrester, president and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation and executive chairman of Newman’s Own, Inc., about the direction of philanthropy and social impact, coalition building, and why societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance. Watch now →
How Can Food Businesses be an Agent for Social and Environmental Change?
Derek Denckla, Iivestments and partnerships director of the National Young Farmers Coalition; Jennifer Dundas, founder and co-owner of Blue Marble Ice Cream; Peter Hoffman, chef at Back Forty; Hugh Hogan, executive director of North Star Fund and Community Food Fund; and David Rosenberg ’02, CEO and co-founder of AeroFarms, investigate how philanthropy helps develop new business models to attract venture capital, scale, and improve the triple bottom line of profits, human health, and environmental sensitivity. Watch now →
Be the Change — Grassroots Movements Mobilize! [Community Development]
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Professor Ray Horton speaks with Jake Beinecke, farm viability project analyst at the Open Space Institute; Diego Ibanez, organizer of Occupy Sandy; and Matt Pelak, director of strategic partnerships at Team Rubicon, about mobilizing people to make change when the wellbeing of their community is threatened. Watch now →
Keynote: Charles Best, Jeremy Heimans, and Rachel Sklar [Mobilizing Change]
Professors Ray Fisman and Bruce Usher reflect on inspiring others to create change — introducing moderator Rachel Sklar, co-founder of Change the Ratio and, and keynote speakers, Charles Best, founder and CEO of, and Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO of Purpose, to discuss building effective social movements. Watch now →
Keynote With Dr. Paul Farmer [International Development]
Professor Ray Fisman introduces keynote speaker Dr. Paul Farmer to discuss his time in Haiti with Partners in Health and the need for effective, collaborative partnerships among nonprofits, governments, social enterprises, and NGOs. Watch now →
The New Nonprofit
Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, moderates a discussion with Chuck Harris, portfolio manager and director of Capital Aggregation at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation; Nitzan Pelman, executive director of Citizen Schools; and Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, about funding models for nonprofits, impact measurement at nonprofits, and the role of social capital markets. Watch now →
More Than Good Intentions: How a New Economics Is Helping to Solve Global Poverty
Dean Karlan, Yale professor of economics, and Jacob Appel, ’06CC, discuss their new book, More than Good Intentions: How a New Economics is Helping to Solve Global Poverty, and break down how small changes in banking, insurance, health care, and other initiatives can drastically improve the wellbeing of those suffering from poverty everywhere. Watch now →
ROI in Education: Increasing Innovation and Choice
Professor Jonah Rockoff leads a discussion with Kristin Kearns Jordan, founder of Bronx Preparatory Charter School; Joel Rose, founder and CEO of the School of One at the NYC Department of Education; Jim Peyser, managing partner of the NewSchools Venture Fund; and Lane McBride, principal at the Boston Consulting Group, about raising capital to pursue innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions for education reform. Watch now →
Economist's Matthew Bishop: The Business of Philanthropy
Professor Ray Horton talks about the business of philanthropy with Matthew Bishop, US business editor and New York bureau chief at the Economist. Watch now →