The most profound art activism I've seen so far ...
Ep 32 of the podcast is live plus a ton of articles and some event invitations!
Here’s what’s included in this edition of the newsletter:
The launch of episode 32
Event Invite (Happening today at 5pm ET!)
Look who’s hiring
What I’m reading/listening to
What’s on tap
🎙 Episode 32 is live!
When we think about impact investing, art isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for most of us. Yet investors have used art to store and grow wealth for millennia. And few of us would deny the incredible power that art possesses to change hearts and minds and to motivate us into action. Who among us wasn’t touched deeply by Amanda Gorman’s spoken word poem, “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier this year?
But few of us, artists included, consider carefully how we might use our artistic talents to create, or our capital to finance, art as a force for social and environmental impact. In this episode of the podcast, I sit down with art activist and changemaker Benjamin Von Wong.
Von Wong's work lies at the intersection of fantasy and photography and combines everyday objects with shocking statistics. His work has attracted the attention of corporations, like Starbucks, Dell, and Nike and has generated over 100 million views for causes like ocean plastics, electronic waste, and fashion pollution. Most recently, he was named one of Adweek's 11 content-branded masterminds. He is also the host of the Impact Everywhere Podcast.
During the episode, we discuss how Benjamin chooses causes to tackle, how he conceives of his installations, the logistics that goes into creating them, how he finances his projects, and how he thinks about impact measurement. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end where Benjamin touches on how he thinks about the new world of NFTs which are changing the economics for artists the world over.
Resources from this episode:
Von Wong’s art installations that we discuss during the episode:
Benjamin’s Podcast: Impact Everywhere
🗓 Upcoming Events
(TODAY) Tuesday, July 6, 2021 starting at 5pm ET
Phoenix Fire - Angel Investing Training
From the organizers:
Women and BIPO founders have a far lower likelihood of receiving private or angel capital in the current state of the Canadian tech ecosystem. Phoenix Fire is building a network of investors who specifically articulate their willingness and interest to invest in early-stage women entrepreneurs.
Phoenix Fire's angel training empowers women to use their expertise as angel investors.
Learn the fundamentals of Angel Investing from a group of women in venture.
Learn how to select investments, how to conduct due diligence and how to read cap tables.
Develop financial expertise for investing as an Angel.
Access knowledge and in-depth analysis from the tech ecosystem.
Topics covered include best practices of angel investing, developing and gaining access to top sources of deal flow, investor networking, due diligence, and investment evaluation.
👀 Look who’s hiring
Upcoming podcast guest (her episode should go live in August), Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson of VC Include is hiring for two new roles. I love the work Bahiyah and VC Include are doing to help get more capital into the hands of underrepresented fund managers. Roles they are hiring for:
📰What I’m reading
REPORT: Expanding Access to Impact Investment in Canada (New Market Funds + Investment Readiness Program)
REPORT: Impatient Readiness: The State of Social Finance in Canada in 2021 (Table of Impact Investment Practitioners)
Webinar: What are the best practices for impact classification & verification? (SoPact & IMP+ACT Alliance)
Impact Investors need to share power, not just capital (Alyssa Ely & Denise Hearn, Stanford Social Innovation Review)
ESG funds often fail to vote their values, research shows (Betsy Vereckey, MIT Sloan School of Management)
Twelve universities join forces to launch impact investment fund (Private Equity Wire)
📆What’s on tap?
Here’s what is coming up on The Impact Investing Podcast:
🎙 Upcoming Podcast Episodes
Elizabeth Freele of Sympact (a think-tank and hands-on consultancy) joins me to discuss the opportunities for impact in the mining industry. This is an industry that many impact investors tend to opt out of entirely. But as Liz points out, the world can’t do without mining in the foreseeable future, so we need to engage these firms and direct capital to finding ways to mine more sustainably.
Farahnaz Karim of Insaan Group (a boutique impact investment entity that allocates philanthropic capital to tackle poverty in the Global South) to discuss their work in catalytic philanthropy. The organization does this by using donations to invest in early stage ventures that create employment and/or deliver a product or service relevant to the poor. It then re-invests all revenues from these investments in new ventures.
Jon Lukomnik of Sinclair Capital LLC (a boutique strategic consultancy focused on corporate governance and institutional investing issues) join me to discuss his new book Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory: Investing That Matters. In the book, the authors argue that Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) — a fundamental framework that underpins much of our current investment theory — is broken, or rather, was never completely cogent in the first place. They argue that while aspects of it are useful it is becoming increasingly clear that it is divorced from reality. The authors propose a new framework to adjust our thinking so that we can marry the useful aspects of MPT (diversification and risk-adjusted returns) in the context of the real economy and a focus on total returns (which includes social and environmental returns).
👋Upcoming Clubhouse Conversations
A series of conversations on financial feminism (part 4/6 happening Friday July 9th at 12pm ET). Visit www.kindwealth.club to learn more.
A discussion with Joy Anderson of the Criterion Institute’s new paper, Disrupting Fields: Addressing Power Dynamics in the Fields of Climate Finance and Gender Lens Investing (Date: TBD)