Work Streams

Accelerating impact and women in impact: 2020 - 2021

The High Water Women Impact Committee has been working to reconfigure and reimagine what role we can best play in supporting and forwarding the causes of impact investment. In response to a growing demand for practical, actionable information, HWW has undertaken a dramatic expansion of our work. We have organized our 2020 Impact Investing education and networking efforts around four impact work streams, focused on the central themes of:

Climate Change & Climate Justice Gender, Diversity & Inclusion Place Based Investing Portfolio Construction

Each work stream consists of four virtual events. Like our symposium, these smaller, more intimate, conversations will be highly curated to offer the highest value, synergy and networking amongst participants.

Climate Change and Climate Justice

Transitioning to a just, clean energy

In this work stream will review the state of the current investment landscape, including stranded asset risk and fossil fuel infrastructure and consider the economic impact of energy markets on the clean energy transition. We will identify investment opportunities using the project drawdown framework and explore how to achieve a profitable and just transition to a green economy. We will explore the new models of capital and investment that are helping enrich and empower poor and disenfranchised communities.

Stranded assets, carbon lock in and the clean energy transition

July 8, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm EST

How are investors tackling stranded asset risk in their portfolios?

Bob Litterman, Kepos Capital
Tracey Cameron, Ceres
Maria Garrahan, Massachusetts Pension Reserve Investment Management Board and Director of Research, Senior Investment Officer, Research Team
David Wood, Harvard Kennedy School, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and the Director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
and others

Gender, Diversity and Inclusion

Investing in the power of difference

Studies show that diverse teams and businesses outperform, yet investors and businesses still struggle to achieve diversity. We will feature case studies and discuss successful diversity solutions as well as investment strategies that see investment in women and underrepresented minorities as a source of alpha and differentiated returns and discuss the value of diversity in different businesses, and in technology and innovation. What steps can investors take to better address the pipeline problem? What effective strategies will help identify and promote diverse talent?

Gender, diversity lens investing

July 17, 2020 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm EST

Gender lens investing has been gaining traction among institutional investors, with a growing number of pathways for public investing, such as gender bonds and funds. In this session, we will examine the leadership challenges and solutions needed to bridge the funding gap and build resilience. What are the different investment approaches? How can we raise awareness and redeploy capital more efficiently?

Suzanne Beigel, GenderSmart
Heran Gettachew, Illumen Capital
and others

Place Based Investing

These work stream sessions will highlight the innovative developments and leadership happening in place-based investing. Issues will include: smart cities, the urban grid, manufacturing and job creation, sustainable development, affordable housing, community engagement, public policy, indigenous communities, measurement, infrastructure, health, job creation, and regenerative agriculture.

Energy markets and the renewable economy

September 22, 2020 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST

How is the shake up in energy markets impacting the renewable transition?

Amy Jaffee, Council on Foreign Relations
Rob Day, Spring Lane Capital
Michelle Levinson, The Cadmus Group
Kathleen Kelley, Queen Anne’s Gate Capital
Albert Lee, University of California

Impact Investment Portfolio Construction

Effective impact investment approaches across the entire portfolio. From program related investment to profit seeking public and private capital. Impact investment is investing, and the most successful approaches look not only at outcomes but the process and structure by which they are achieved. If impact investment is going to be successful in allocating capital to the areas of greatest need, it needs to insure that the entire investment portfolio is activated. All investments are impact investments.

Aligning mission and returns

August 5, 2020 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EST

In this session we will review methods of embedding impact across the entire portfolio. We will examine the impacts of COVID on alternative assets: How has asset allocation changed? What are the new challenges and solutions, across different investment and geographic markets? What are some of the headwinds if the crisis extends? We will also consider whether or not indexing is living up to the promise of being both a solution and a problem for impact investment? With the loosely defined criteria in many ESG indices, how can we resolve the widespread concern of greenwashing?

Betty T. Yee, California State Controller
Patience Marime-Ball, Women of the World Endowment
Ruth Shaber, M.D., Tara Health Foundation
Robert Boogard, PCG Investments
and others