Alliances Could Not Just Save But Revive Social Innovators

Alliances Could Not Just Save But Revive Social Innovators
Business Collaboration Event
Social Economy stakeholders are joining forces to build alliances
Bronagh Loughlin

Bronagh Loughlin Author

Journalist and columnist

Social innovators are coming together for four days to become more resilient at the virtual annual conference of The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), running from the 21st to the 24th of September 2020.

Jorgos Papadakis, Marketing and Communications Director for the EVPA details his decision for choosing the theme ‘Building Alliance for Impact’.

He says, “We felt that Building Alliances for Impact was the right theme at the right time. It reflects not only the ever-growing need of all impact investing shareholders to join forces in order to maximize real societal change, but it also corresponds to the specifics of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dealing with the virus places a lot of these stakeholders, primarily social purpose organizations, under tremendous pressure. And while this annual conference won’t be a pandemic-oriented event, we will have extensive discussions and also showcase specific examples of how such challenges can be tackled in the most effective way”.

Jorgos Papadakis, Marketing and Communications Director, EVPA

The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) is a lively network of organisations sharing the same vision and a common goal: creating positive societal impact through venture philanthropy. Its membership covers a full range of organisations within the impact ecosystem, including venture philanthropy funds, social investors, grant-making foundations, impact investing funds, private equity firms, professional service firms, philanthropy advisers, banks and business schools.

The conference’s aim is to bring hundreds of professionals together via 60+ interactive and creative sessions where they will learn, engage, network and get visibility. The interactivity of this virtual event will enable collaboration by facilitating open discussions to explore the alliances which tackle global concerns.

EVPA annual conference brings together stakeholders from the #Investing4Impact networks

These open discussions will not only address the ‘why’ but also the ‘how’ which is essential when it comes to tackling global issues.

Although the conference will have a focus on Europe, collaboration truly knows no borders. Whether the discussion is about investing in Latin America, gaining insights into new platforms such as the Deal Share Platform for Africa or gathering information from Asia as a whole, collaboration is absolutely essential to credibly address the major challenges of our time.

To explore concrete ways of closer cooperation with affiliate #Investing4Impact networks and stakeholders, participants will have a unique opportunity to deep dive into various topics such as ‘just transition’, climate change and socially sustainable development.

Jorgos is passionate about the mission of EVPA and says, “Businesses can usually be investors with impact rather than for impact and this is understandable. On the other hand, they are an integral part of the ecosystem, as standalones or through their corporate foundations.

As such, we feel that they have a lot to contribute and a lot to learn by attending our annual conference as

we will showcase concrete examples of how meaningful investments can be conducted in a very difficult environment.

The conference’s 2nd day for instance is the perfect example on how to build a resilient ecosystem that can correspond to the post-Covid 19 landscape in the best possible way”.

The conference is divided into four main themes across the four days.

Day one is about building alliances. Beginning from the public sector and institutional investors, the effectiveness of venture philanthropy will be put to the test and the amount of risk investors for impact are willing to undertake to achieve societal change assessed.

Day two is under the theme of resilience where they will discuss how to prepare for the future with European business leaders, deal with systemic change, and build trust between social investors and public authorities while also learning from COVID-19 response examples in high impact ventures.

The theme for day three is social enterprises. Social entrepreneurship will be discussed along the whole investing for impact spectrum.

Day four will discuss scaling for impact. The conversation will surround what needs to be done in order to maximise impact exactly where it is needed and with the movement of all players.

Jorgos highlights some of the key points of the conference. He says,

“We’ve decided to split the conference into 4 main subthemes, Building Alliances, Resilience, Social Enterprises and Scaling For Impact.

We plan to showcase how to reach these strategic goals through dedicated sessions and workshops as well as design sprints with networks, social entrepreneurs, institutional investors and initiatives that have contributed to achieve real, tangible, impactful change.

I believe it is a unique, very diverse and very rewarding programme and we would like to invite all purpose-driven innovator, investor and other stakeholders to join us and co-shape the future. Because I firmly believe that investing for impact is the future”.

The EVPA Annual Conference is organised with the support of Impact Capital, DOEN Participaties, EIB Institute, Blueplanet Investments, Grupo Ageas Portugal, Erste Bank Group, Fondazione CRT, Demeter and Fundo Inovacao Social.

Bronagh Loughlin

Bronagh Loughlin Author

Journalist and columnist