Guest Blog Post written by Julie Tran during TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015. Views and opinions are that of the writer and are not the official views of TBLI CONFERENCE™. 

When looking at the state of our world concerning climate change, poverty, war and financial crisis, most people would agree with me that it’s time to change. Change in our mentalities, consumer habits, the way we work, connect and collaborate with each other. But is it enough? Or do we need to take bolder steps, especially those who manage the flow of monetary system?

During the past 5-10 years impact investment has grown fast where institutional investors like pension funds are playing a big role driving the movement forward. But there is no growth without challenges. From my attendance of the TBLI CONFERENCE™ NORDIC 2015 in Copenhagen, I had a chance to talk with Philippe Desfossés, CEO of the French public pension fund ERAFP, about the development of impact investment and the implications that it contains.

We started the conversation by talking about the challenges that institutional investors are facing at the moment.

Philippe told me that the first challenge is to survive the low return environment that many pension funds are facing. But despite the low return, he believed that the biggest challenge is to find the right balance between financing the transition of our economy to a more sustainable one, and investing in people who can speed up the transition. It’s also about daring to think out of the box and finding new ventures that have the potential to be disruptors. As incremental steps won’t be enough if we truly want to reach for a more sustainable future.

While I was listening to Philippe, I couldn’t help but think back to the “good old days” where I studied innovation from Copenhagen Business School, learning about disruptive versus incremental innovation. Some would argue that incremental innovations are the most effective, as not all disruptive innovations ended up revolutionising the targeted industry. I wondered; could Tesla’s new home-based battery disrupt the electricity market, decentralise the power and bring out the changes that we need? And preferably not only in wealthy developed countries but also in small remote villages in Africa, Latin America or Asia? If we look at this from a very long timespan, perhaps the most interesting questions are; how will Tesla’s innovation bring out a shift in other renewable energy industries? How would that influence the choices of impact investors who are making the decisions right now concerning which renewable industries to invest in?

Published in Conferences

“Providing value to both the rural farmers as well as the consumers is the platform we base our business on”

Discover a bit more about Arvind Narula through the interview he gave to Food and Beverage Journal. He shares his point of view on the food market of today and its trends and evolutions. He presents the position of his company, Simply Rice, and the particularity of the management model he implemented. He explains to what extent this made his company so successful and a global leader in the field of organic food.

Read the full interview

We are looking forward to hear Arvind Narula’s talk at the upcoming TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2014 in Amsterdam next week!

Published in Conferences
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 11:26

Feeding Nine Billion

7,233,093,545 people on the planet - but that was last week. By 2040, the challenge will be to provide nutrition for 9 billion. Cracking the nut on reliable and sustainable food production, the role impact investing plays, and current headaches and success stories will be the topic for Loic de Canniere, from Incofin, specializing in financial inclusion and agriculture finance in emerging markets, Lucian Peppelenbos from the Amsterdam based International Trade Initiative and Bruce Kahn from Sustainable Insight Capital Management during Workshop 7 - Feeding Nine Billion; Impact Investing for Sustainable Food Production and Agriculture at TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014 (May 29/30).

On the same topic, but focusing on investment opportunities in organic farming in the US, Kevin Egolf presents his case study: "The model of Iroquois Valley Farms is a foundational piece of the puzzle, enabling the growth of autonomous, decentralized, multi-generational organic farm production."

Published in Actuals