The economy is rapidly changing. The public and private sectors, anchor institutions, and philanthropy play a vital role in strengthening local economies, and if knitted together, can serve as powerful drivers for building inclusive economic opportunities, ensuring further democratizing of philanthropy among the communities it is intended to serve. Set against a backdrop of often oppressed communities, philanthropy’s role can vary in fostering inclusive prosperity strategies. In this track, and we will showcase growing trends that are likely to present unfamiliar challenges to traditional community institutions, including artificial intelligence, automation, and economic development approaches such as innovation corridors and opportunity zones. Using tools like impact investing and program-related investments alongside traditional grantmaking, we want to showcase interesting ideas and theories of change that foundations are acting on to build resilient, productive, equitable, and sustainable communities that improve local economic outcomes for all residents.
Tuesday, April 30 — 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
The usual metrics used to assess the national economy hide an enormous variety of experiences for workers and communities—flattening America’s rich diversity to a single number. Families have detailed knowledge of their own economic situations that may not align with the narratives used in policy and funding conversations, leading to programs that do not match their actual needs. Join us to learn what workers and communities across the U.S. say can help improve their financial lives, what employers, municipalities, and others can do to support those needs, and how philanthropy and research can inform and shape programs to assist financially fragile workers. Panelists will share insights learned from their respective efforts and will engage with the audience to learn and share perspectives from their work.
Speakers: Sheida Elmi, Research Program Manager, Aspen Institute; Nisha G. Patel, MSW, Managing Director, Narrative Change & National Initiatives, Robin Hood; Travis Plunkett, Senior Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Moderator: Leigh Tivol, Vice President, Strategy and Engagement, Prosperity Now
Bite-Size, Right Size: How CDFIs Help Advance Place-Based Impact Investing in Rural and Urban America
Tuesday, April 30 — 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Investing in place is a tool that foundations are exploring as a means toward achieving more – and more equitable – local impact. In many cases, place-based investing does not require a complex foundation investment strategy; rather, some foundations are finding success by sticking a toe in impact investing waters and learning by doing. Often, these foundations turn to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) as the right partner to work alongside. CDFIs are mission-aligned, nonprofit partners who can help foundations scale their efforts to support affordable and workforce housing, fresh food financing and community facilities. Participants will hear from three place-based investing practitioners who are working alongside of local CDFIs to creatively deploy philanthropic assets to better address financing gaps and create impact in both rural and urban America – one step, one investment at a time.
Speakers: Beth Lipson, Treasurer and EVP, Strategic Initiatives, Opportunity Finance Network; Teri Lovelace, President, LOCUS Impact Investing; Stephanie Randolph, Program Officer, Cassiopeia Foundation/ Impact Appalachia
Tuesday, April 30 — 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Growing economic and racial inequality threaten the prosperity of metropolitan regions across the country. Addressing both issues is the defining challenge for philanthropy and its partners. In California’s Bay Area, uneven wage growth and a shortage of housing have converged to create a crisis that disproportionately affects communities of color. Join us for a discussion with multisector partners that are tackling the crisis. The San Francisco Foundation and a coalition of national and regional philanthropic, business, and community partners will share their plan to move investment capital to increase affordable housing and advance policies that center racial and economic inclusion.
Speakers: Georgette Bhathena, Director of the Regional Partnership for the Bay Area, San Francisco Foundation; Caitlyn Fox, Director, Justice & Opportunity Initiative, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Jennifer Martinez, PhD, Executive Director, PICO California; Maya Perkins, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Facebook
Moderator: Judith Bell, Vice President of Programs, San Francisco Foundation
Leveraging Philanthropy in Concert with Business Initiatives and Cross-Sector Partnerships to Promote Lifelong Learning
Wednesday, May 1— 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The nature of work is changing and there are many people struggling to garner the skills they need to advance in their careers and gain economic mobility. This amount of rapid change is galvanizing both companies and the public workforce system to come up with new solutions to equip people with the skills they need throughout their life. One solution is creating cities of lifelong learning where all people will have the access to relevant skills-development and training for their advancement. Innovative philanthropic initiatives and cross-sector partnerships are needed to rewire the workforce system and set it up for success in this changing economy. Walmart and Google.org, recognizing the importance of this issue, joined together philanthropically, to spur an innovation in South Bend, Indiana with the Drucker Institute. Come hear how two large companies are leveraging cross-sector collaboration to help create a resilient lifelong learning program with a trusted partner to accelerate economic mobility.
Speakers: Josh Frazier-Sparks, Senior Manager, Opportunity, Walmart; Mahmoud Ramadan, Program Manager, Google.org; Rick Wartzman, Director, KH Moon Center For A Functioning Society, Drucker Institute
Moderator: Lindsay Mason, Director of Corporate Philanthropy, Council on Foundations