Although the field of impact investing has grown significantly over the past decade, it is still only generating a fraction of the impact needed to make a measurable difference in addressing the challenges facing the global community, a report from the Global Impact Investing Network finds.
Funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation, the report, Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing (84 pages, PDF), argues that investors and consumers increasingly are driving the movement for change in global financial and economic systems. Due to the scale of the challenges, however, which include growing inequality, significant pressures on the environment, and the spread of populist political movements, the responsibility to address those challenges cannot fall on governments and philanthropy alone. With the goal of encouraging corporations and private investors to become more involved, the report outlines six areas in which immediate actions are needed to mobilize much-needed capital in support of solutions to critical social and environmental challenges, change the paradigm that governs investment behavior and expectations, and improve the choice and accessibility of impact investment products and services.
For each area, the report outlines specific actions that need to be taken by a diverse range of groups, including investors, wealth advisors, academics, governments, funders, and those dedicated to building the impact investing field. The report also includes a summary of some of the trends likely to affect the field in the years to come, including automation in the workplace, changes in the field of financial technology and the evolution of the investment profession, the democratization of data, crowdfunding, and a massive transfer of wealth to women and younger generations.
"This plan is ambitious and undeniably aspirational," Amit Bouri, co-founder and CEO of GIIN, writes in the introduction. "Advancing the actions will be challenging and we will undoubtedly face obstacles....[But] we must accelerate the trajectory of impact investing in order to achieve its full potential."