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The mission of the Your Mark on the World Center is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.

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Devin D. Thorpe
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Impact Investing

This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.

Investor, Activist Seeks To ‘Transform Finance’ For Good

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Impact investment will be huge, but not necessarily good, says Transform Finance co-founder and Board Chair Morgan Simon, who is passionate about using money to create social justice. Investors controlling $550 million have signed on to her program, she says.

“Microfinance leading to huge debt cycles. Wind farms causing land grabs,” are signs of the problem, she says. “Impact investment is seen as a panacea to the challenges of aid and philanthropy, yet its promise is often unrealized, lacking engagement with and accountability to the people it is intended to serve, at times even harming its intended beneficiaries. Expected to eclipse aid by 10x with over $500B, the field needs principled course-correction to maximize its transformative potential for hundreds of millions of people.”

Transform Finance offers three programs designed to help impact investors course-correct:

  1. Converting impact investors into social justice advocates: We help investors (family offices, foundations etc.) managing $556 million integrate the TF approach through our Investor Network launched at the White House in 2014. We co-develop tools to deepen impact and ensure accountability, stronger, more relevant metrics, and shared-benefit deal structures.
  2. Working with accelerators worldwide to empower entrepreneurs to maximize community benefit: we “train the trainers” to ensure community accountability and shared ownership as common practice.
  3. Helping social justice leaders leverage the power of finance: to keep investments accountable as they flow into their communities, and to generate their own revenue-building activity. Our initial training of 65 leaders in U.S. serving over 5 million individuals are being replicated from Mexico to Haiti as the only of this kind.

Simon has a clear vision to go along with her passion for impact investing done according by her standard. “Transform Finance creates a world where impact investment lives up to its transformative potential. Our multi-stakeholder work ensures that investors deploy capital in the real interest of communities, and that communities can take advantage of finance as a critical tool for social change.”

On Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Simon will join me for a live discussion about Transform Finance and its work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Transform Finance:

Twitter: @transformfin

Transform Finance helps build a just world by making capital a force for real transformative change, bridging the spheres of finance and social justice. We help investors, communities, and entrepreneurs incorporate a social justice, community-centered approach to finance; train and support social change agents to harness finance as a highly effective tool for change; and leverage their collective power to realize the true promise of the $500 Billion impact investment ecosystem.

Simon’s bio:

Twitter: @MorganSimon1

Morgan has spent the last decade engaged in impact investment, emphasizing community accountability and ownership. She currently co-leads Pi Investments, building a 100% impact portfolio with an emphasis on community empowerment and environmental sufficiency. In that capacity, she evaluates investments across asset classes, including early stage investments, private equity and debt, and real assets.

Morgan is a co-founder of Toniic, where she served as founding CEO from 2010-2013. She is on the investment committee for The Working World, a fund for worker-owned cooperatives in the US, Argentina and Nicaragua, and co-chairs the board of ROC UNITE, organizing 10,000 restaurant workers nationwide. She is a Founding Board Member of CARE Enterprises Inc, a venture fund supporting quality job creation globally in partnership with CARE International. To complete her full calendar of volunteer activities, she is also a founder and chair of the Transform Finance, bridging impact investment and social justice (www.transformfinance.org).

Previously, as the founding Executive Director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition, Morgan brought together 100 colleges and universities, helping to move their $200 billion in endowment dollars towards impact investment. Morgan has also worked with grassroots organizations and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mexico, Honduras and Sierra Leone, and in domestic microfinance with Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. She received a B.A with High Honors in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College, and serves as an Adjunct Professor at Middlebury College’s graduate school program.

Addressing the Global “Missing Middle”

This is a guest post from Will Poole, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Capria.

The Problem: A Lack of Capital and Expertise

There has been enormous growth in both emerging market private equity and impact investing over the past five years. Global PE giants such as KKR have invested $200 million into sub-Saharan African enterprises and impact investors now manage over $50 billion in assets. However, despite these positive trends, there is still a financing gap for early stage opportunities described as the “missing middle”, “seed gap” or “pioneer gap”. The latest Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) annual survey found that of the $60 billion managed by impact investors, less than 10% is invested in early stage companies. Additionally, venture capitalists globally are shifting their attention to later stage investments according to a report from Ernst and Young. The global lack of early stage capital results in fewer opportunities for later stage investors, one of the top challenges of the impact-investing field mentioned in the GIIN annual survey. Furthermore, early stage risk funding is only part of the problem. Mentoring and other forms of ecosystem support are also required to help companies develop from the proof-of-concept to scale. The combined funding and ecosystem support gap for the global missing middle casts doubt on J.P. Morgan’s prediction that impact investing will be a $1 trillion opportunity by 2020.

A Solution: More Professional Investing Firms

Fortunately, there are organizations that are viewing this global funding gap as an opportunity. Investisseurs and Partenaires (I&P), an organization based in Paris created by a co-founder of the BC Partners, focuses primarily on small and medium enterprises in Francophone Africa. Fledge, a global impact business accelerator, uses a revenue based financing structure to address the challenge of finding exits for global impact businesses. Finally, the Unitus Group, which helped incubate the $23 million Unitus Seed Fund that I co-founded, supported the creation of three funds that invest in early stage opportunities on multiple continents. These organizations are all bridging the “seed gap”, providing critical financing, guidance, and support needed to prepare a company to raise sufficient investment to enable it to scale.

Will Poole

Will Poole

Scaling the Solution

Contrary to what some entrepreneurs believe, early stage investing is not easy! Convincing your investors to trust you with their capital, becoming the partner of choice for high quality entrepreneurs, and helping companies grow quickly and within their means take skills and experience that are rarely found in one person. My first fund, the Unitus Seed Fund, became the leading impact venture seed fund in India in less than two years because my partners and I:

  • Received very early risk capital and support from Unitus Labs
  • Rapidly assembled an incredible local team in Bangalore
  • Established the trust of high net worth individuals and family foundations

With my new venture, Capria, my partners and I will apply our experience investing in early stage entrepreneurs in India and the USA to seed the next generation of impact venture capitalists. Capria will partner with local fund managers who are experts in their respective geographies to launch at least 10 new venture funds over the next five years. We will leverage our experience as first time fund managers, the collective expertise of the Unitus network and a wealth of seasoned advisors to reduce the time it takes from launching a new fund to making a first capital call. We know that others have tried and failed to scale venture funds globally and understand what will and won’t work through conversations with industry veterans and over a year of background research. We have a plan that our investors believe in and are excited to run our first cohort in January 2016.

Quantifying our Impact

We know that it will not be easy to address the global missing middle. However, we’ve spoken to enough talented fund managers around the world to see that it’s possible to start closing the seed gap by helping the entrepreneurs chart their paths to scale and profitability. The exciting thing for us is the leverage that the Capria network of seed funds will have. A simplified version of the math works like this:

  • Ten $10M seed funds invest in an average of 10 companies each, catalyzing additional capital support from other investors
  • The most successful of those 100 companies advance to Series A rounds and raise an average of $5M

Depending on what you use for a survival rate and how fast the companies grow, you can see a path to $500M in impact capital being raised and deployed. And that’s only with the first funds: the second and third funds raised by Capria Accelerator participants will be 2-3 times as large!This model, along with the support of I&P and a couple of others, could turn the missing middle a thing of the past.

About Will Poole

Will Poole is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor, focused on improving ecosystems that bring opportunity to low-income populations.

 

Gate Global Impact Seeks To Disrupt Impact Investing Sector

Your Mark on the World sponsor Gate Global Impact is trying to change the way impact investing is done, giving ready access to deals and investment opportunities to more people than ever before.

Joseph Latona, Managing Director for GGI, says, “GGI is working to centralize the fragmented Impact investing sector. Many people have heard about Impact investing, but then do not know where to find these investments or even a place to find information on what an impact company or fund looks like.”

“GGI mission is to provide a centralized regulatory compliant market place that allows investors to source Impact investments and providing Companies the ability to connect with like minded investors to raise capital,” Joseph concludes.

On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Joseph will join me for a live discussion about the progress GGI is making toward is goal of fundamentally disrupting the impact investing space. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Constellation Fin Tech:

Twitter: @gateimpact

CFT is a disruptive Financial services company that applies its core technology infrastructure to facilitate private and unregistered securities transactions in a regulatory compliant manor. Two main subsidiaries are GATE Global Impact, and ShareNett. GGI is our impact investing solution, allowing Investors to source both primary and secondary investments that in addition to the possibility of a financial rate of return they also provide a social or environmental rate of return. GGI provides companies and for profit social organizations a utility to raise capital and connect with cause focused investors. ShareNett is our Family office and High Net Worth invitation only platform. Built by a family office (Raptor our majority owner) for family offices that allows members the ability to connect and co-invest in member originated deal flow.

Joseph Latona

Joseph Latona

Joseph’s bio:

Mr. Latona has spent the past 15 years in the financial services industry with a background in trading Fixed income, derivative securities and architecting technology systems. Mr. Latona is a Managing Partner and oversees the day to day operations of Constellation Fin Tech LLC, that operates the subsidiaries Gate Global Impact Inc, ShareNett LLC and Vision Quest Securities ( Member FINRA, SIPC) In 2010 Mr. Latona and his partner Vincent Molinari Co-founded Gate Global Impact Inc, (GGI) leveraging there collective industry experience and personal passions to bring visibility to the emerging socially responsibly and environmental investing sector.

Acumen Investee Brings Solar Power To Masses In India

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Damian Miller wants to transform emerging market economies from fossil-fuel dependent to self-reliant on clean solar energy.

Miller isn’t just a dreamer; he’s making it happen. As the founder and CEO of Orb Energy he’s quickly scaling up his business in India and recently launched in Kenya. He is also a recent recipient of the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in collaboration with Acumen.

He explains Orb’s mission as follows:

Our company’s mission is to make solar energy affordable, accessible, and hassle-free to millions of customers looking for a better energy alternative. To do this, we first design and manufacture our own products for superior quality and cost. Then to deliver and install them to our customers in the right way, we have set up our own branch network – which is totally unique in the the solar market in India. This network is key to gaining customer trust, and effectively providing after-sales service. Finally we team up with banks for financing, but we are now looking at ways of bring this critical activity in-house to make it more streamlined.

Miller is also looking for help, he notes, “We are looking for investors, who believe in and share our mission for emerging market economies. Emerging markets are where the bulk of future greenhouse gas emissions will come from, and where there is an enormous opportunity – based on the prevailing solar resource and still emerging infrastructure – for solar to gain an early foothold. We hope that others will join us, so that we can strengthen and accelerate our activities.”

On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at noon Eastern, Miller will join me live from India for a live discussion here about his work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Orb Energy:

Orb Energy is a leading provider of solar energy solutions in India. We sell, install, and service solar systems for electricity and hot water, and we are vertically integrated with our own R&D and manufacturing plant in India. We have 140 branches in 8 states of India, of which about 50% are franchised. We have also recently entered Kenya with a new subsidiary there.

More about the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in collaboration with Acumen:

Twitter: @acumen

Acumen and SAP, global business software leader, have collaborated to create the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship to accelerate the growth of social enterprises serving the poor in East Africa and India. Leveraging Acumen’s 14 years of investing in early-stage social enterprises and SAP’s global business and innovation expertise, this unique collaboration will bring together emerging and established CEOs committed to building sustainable, socially driven businesses, creating a more inclusive global economy, and expanding opportunities for the poor to lead lives of dignity and possibility.

Miller’s bio:

Damian Miller is the CEO of Orb Energy, and a leading expert on solar energy in emerging markets. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College), where he was based at the Judge Business School. His dissertation addressed the role of entrepreneurs in the diffusion of solar photovoltaic technology when solar markets were still in their infancy. After finishing his Ph.D. in 1998, he put his research findings into practice, joining Shell Solar and becoming its Director of Rural Operations. Here he established solar subsidiaries in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Indonesia. He also implemented a large-scale solar project in China, and managed joint ventures in Morocco and South Africa. During this time he worked closely with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and emerging market governments to help grow local solar markets, overseeing the connection of more than 125,000 solar homes. At the end of 2006, he set-up Orb Energy in India with his co-founder NP Ramesh. In 8 years, Orb has become one of India’s leading providers of solar energy solutions, selling, installing, and servicing solar systems across multiple states in India, with ambitious plans for further expansion. He has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, and currently resides in Bangalore, India.

Impact Investor Credits ‘Faith In God’ For Success

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Joe Sanberg is an investor in a few of the social I’ve profiled recently (Aspiration and Bright Funds) and so I wanted to learn more about him.

Sanberg told me about the start to his career, “I grew up in a middle class family and by the time I was leaving for college at Harvard, the house I had grown up in was being foreclosed. I’m sobered by the staggering amount of luck and chance that came together in my life. I never could have imagined it.”

This experience guided his philosophy on life and business. “I don’t think we should leave to luck and chance the kinds of opportunities in life that people get to enjoy. I’m determined to build companies and champion public policies that systematically create more opportunity for people because I can’t bear thinking that I didn’t do everything I could to ensure that the kid today who is like I was does not have to rely on luck and chance to have a full life.”

The challenges of his early life helped frame Sanberg’s thinking as well. “Like so many others in my generation, I was raised by my mother. The absence of an active father when I was a kid affected me like it has affected many others. You have to become more self-reliant at a younger age as you figure out how to be a responsible adult. Fortunately, my maternal grandfather was a very active presence in my life and was a great male role model.”

When I asked Sanberg the secret of his success, he responded, “I think success comes from being authentic so my answer involves revealing what constitutes my core as a person. My faith in God is the biggest factor in how I live my life and who I am. Tikkun Olam is a Hebrew phrase that means to heal the world. I think we all have a responsibility to find our part in healing the world. Like all of us, I’ve often fallen short of my responsibility but my aspiration is to do my best to live up to Tikkun Olam.”

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Sanberg will join me for a live discussion about his work investing in social ventures. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

JoeSanberg-1940x1940

Sandberg’s bio:

Twitter: @josephnsanberg

Joe Sanberg is a public and private-sector entrepreneur. He is Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Advisors of Aspiration — a digital financial services company for everyday Americans. He is also an active venture investor in a variety of fast growing companies that combine profit and purpose, such as Bright Funds and Blue Apron. Joe is a leader with several public sector initiatives, including the Jefferson Awards Foundation (Chair of its Board of Governors), the UC Riverside School of Public Policy (member of its Board of Advisors) and Co-Founder, Economic Innovation Group. Joe s also leading a public affairs campaign around the new California Earned Income Tax Credit to expand economic opportunity among working Californians.

Gate Global Impact Looks Forward With New Partner, Raptor Group

Controlling interest in Gate Global Impact, a Your Mark on the World Center sponsor and an investment platform for impact investments and creating new market infrastructure, was recently acquired by Raptor Group via the formation of Constellation Fin Tech.

I’ve been following Gate Global Impact for years now and have had founder Vince Molinari on my show several times. Last year, we talked with Daniella Foster of the U.S. State Department about the role that crowdfunding is playing in international development. We had previously talked about the same topic, Vince’s passion.

Gate Global Impact is destined to become a major player in impact investing.

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Vince will join me for a live discussion about Gate Global Impact and Constellation Fin Tech, and their relationship to Raptor Group.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Constellation Fin Tech:

Twitter: @GateImpact

Constellation Fin Tech is an innovative and disruptive financial technology software platform company with focus platform launches on impact investing and family offices.

Vince Molinari

Vince Molinari

Vince’s bio:

Twitter: @VinceMolinari

Vincent Molinari is the co-founder and CEO of GATE Global Impact, a leading electronic marketplace platform that’s helping the world’s leading organizations standardize and accelerate impact investing.

Vincent is an active speaker on issues related to capital markets and early-stage companies, and he regularly speaks at events around the world. He’s been invited to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services and the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. Vincent has also testified before the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies regarding secondary market liquidity. He regularly consults with members of Congress and regulatory agencies on these issues.

Vincent is a managing partner at Constellation Fin Tech and a founding board member and former co-chair of the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates, a self-regulating association that works with governmental and quasi-governmental entities to establish crowdfunding industry standards and best practices. Vincent is also a co-founder of the Crowdfunding Professional Association, a leading trade organization for the crowdfunding industry, and sits on the board of CF50, a global think tank of 50 of the leading minds from academia, policy, and industry.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

Impact Investor Leads Charge For ‘Clean Money’ To Create Change

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Joel Solomon of Renewal Funds is not only a leading impact investor but also a leading voice for the impact investing movement. Based in Vancouver, British Colombia, his impact fund approaches $100 million.

Solomon says, “All of us, particularly those involved in the world of investment and finance, have something to offer. Together we have the resources to achieve what may be the greatest ethical and economic shift in human history.”

“The call right now is a big one: we need to reinvent capitalism,” he says with no hint of doubt.

Solomon notes that traditional capitalism needs to be changed, “We need to enable and encourage private enterprise to build the new businesses, technologies and industries that will replace our current methods— many of which are unsustainable at best and wantonly destructive at worst.”

Observing that government can’t or won’t solve big social problems, Solomon calls on financiers to lead the way. “It’s hard to overemphasize the critical role that those who move in the world of finance and investment can play right now. Those who provide capital and incentives for innovation have a crucial part to play in addressing climate justice, species extinction and man-made environmental disasters.”

“Severely diminished government regulation in most jurisdictions means that the shift towards what I’ve come to call ‘clean money’—impact investing, socially responsible investing (SRI), and mission-based activation of investment portfolios— represents the single most potent force for restoring the planet and delivering social equity to billions of people,” he adds.

Given demographic trends, Solomon sees younger investors as a catalyst for change. “Millennial and ‘Gen Y’ investors are demanding that their portfolios—whether self-generated or inherited— be dedicated to mission-based or ethical, sustainable and socially just investments. The Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, already outnumber Boomers at about 85 million in North America.”

“This is a pivotal time for the rise of clean money— a conscious and pragmatic movement that is still near the fringes but moving very rapidly towards the center,” he concludes.

On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Solomon will join me for a live discussion about clean money and impact investing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Renewal Funds:

Renewal Funds is Canada’s largest social venture capital firm, with $98 million assets under management. We invest in organic food, green products, and environmental and social innovations. Our investors are individuals, families, foundations, and wealth managers, seeking to align their values with marking money.

Joel Solomon

Joel Solomon

Solomon’s bio:

Twitter: @joelsolomon

Joel Solomon is Chair of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest mission venture capital firm. With Renewal Partners co-founder Carol Newell, Joel spent eighteen years using integrated capital for social change as an activist family office. He is a Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance, founding member of Social Venture Network, Business for Social Responsibility, the Tides Canada Foundation, and is Board Chair of Hollyhock. Joel was a founding member of the Vision Vancouver Municipal political party, now running for its third term majority with close friend, SVN member and Tides Canada founding board member Mayor Gregor Robertson. With a Lifetime Achievement Award from SVN, Joel was inducted with Carol Newell into the SVN Hall of Fame in 2012. His 2015 commentary on fossil fuel divestment appeared in The Globe And Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper.

Solomon is a member of the Social Venture Network.

Would Your Financial Advisor Trust You Enough To Let You Decide How Much To Pay?

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Andrei Cherny, CEO and co-founder of Aspiration, is creating a whole new model for financial services in America. The idea is to provide the sorts of investment strategies employed by the wealthy to ordinary, working Americans. The strategies include impact investing.

Cherny explains the companies philosophy, “We think of ourselves as a financial firm with a conscience. And there is no reason that needs to be a contradiction in terms.”

“At Aspiration, we are first and foremost in the opportunity business. We want our customers to be able to get economic opportunity for themselves and give it to others at the same time. And that’s what they want too,” Cherny adds.

“Every financial firm out there keeps yelling ‘Trust us!’ We’re the only one that actually trusts them [the customer],” he concludes.

Aspiration allows its clients to choose how much to pay Aspiration for its services, offering that as a sign of trust. Other interesting features of the new model include devoting a portion of profits to charity and giving their clients the opportunity to do the same.

On Thursday, August 13 at 1:00 Eastern, Cherny will join me for a live discussion about his plans for the novel financial services firm. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Aspiration:

Twitter: @aspirationtweet

One of the fastest growing online investment platforms, Aspiration offers everyone the type of investment strategies that were once limited to only the wealthiest Americans. Using cutting-edge technology, Aspiration is revolutionizing how financial services are delivered to Americans by successfully pioneering a democratized and purpose-driven investment firm with a conscience and building an unprecedented level of trust with its customers.  Aspiration:

  • Democratizes access to wealth creation by creating financial and investment products for the middle class, not millionaires. We bring these products directly to the consumer on Aspiration.com, bypassing traditional intermediaries. These products include:
  • The “Aspiration Flagship Fund” which guards against the roller coaster of the stock market,
  • The Aspiration Summit Account which is a 1% interest, no monthly or ATM fee, FDIC insured checking account, and
  • The upcoming Aspiration Redwood Fund which will be a best-in-class sustainable product investing in companies that see better financial returns because of their smart environmental, employee, and governance policies.
  • Features a radically pro-investor “Pay What Is Fair” fee structure that trusts customers to pay us what they think is fair — even if it is zero.
  • Brings the Toms/Warby Parker approach of getting/giving to financial services by donating 10% of revenue to charitable giving around microloans and mentoring for low-income Americans to start businesses — and serving as a platform for easy giving by customers as well.
Andre Cherny

Andre Cherny

Cherny’s bio:

Twitter: @AndreiCherny

Andrei Cherny is co-founder and CEO of Aspiration, a new trust-based investment community that launched in 2014. Aspiration is dedicated to democratizing the financial world by bringing elite investments to everyday investors in a way that marries profit with philanthropic purpose. Andrei brings to this role nearly twenty years of experience as an advisor to some of America’s top companies, the co-founder and president of a media start-up, a financial fraud prosecutor, a bestselling author, a senior White House aide, and a nationally-recognized economic policy expert.

For more than a decade, Andrei provided strategic advice for companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Bank of America, and American Express both at his own firm and as a Managing Director at Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest communications firms.

Andrei is the co-founder and president of Democracy, a print and online public policy journal launched in 2006 to bring new thinking on the major issues facing America and the world. Today, Democracy has over 300,000 unique visitors a year. Under Andrei’s leadership, Democracy worked with then-law professor Elizabeth Warren to develop the idea of and strategy for launching the push for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which now promotes fairness for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services.

As a former Assistant Arizona Attorney General, Andrei prosecuted complex financial fraud and corporate crime with a 100% conviction record.

Working in the Clinton White House, Andrei was the youngest White House speechwriter in American history. President Clinton has called him a “critical part of the team” which brought about the economic successes of the 1990s.

Andrei has served as a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at the Center for American Progress. He has written frequently on economic, technology, and business issues for publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Investors’ Business Daily, and the Financial Times and has appeared on television programs including ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight, CBS’s The Early Show, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Colbert Report.

Andrei’s first book, The Next Deal: The Future of Public Life in the Information Age (2000) examined how business, government, and community life will change to meet the challenges of the 21st century New Economy. The Los Angeles Times called the book “visionary in scope” and the Financial Times reported that The Next Deal had “become required reading” in British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government. He is also the author of the bestselling The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour (2008) on the intersection between the end of World War II, the beginning of the Cold War, the 1948 presidential election, and the Berlin Airlift. It was called like “Stephen Ambrose at his best” by historian Douglas Brinkley and is one of the top 50 highest rated 20th century American histories on Amazon.

Andrei served eight years as an officer in the United States Navy reserve. He graduated with honors from Harvard College and from the University of California Berkeley Law School.

To Cure A Problem, ‘Harness Market Forces,’ Impact Investor Says

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

“For the vast majority of my career I have been both a capitalist and a philanthropist, and I’ve struggled at both. I struggled to make my change meaningful, and struggled at making meaningful change,” Bobby Turner told me in preparation for this piece. His response: create one of the largest firms in the impact investing space.

He founded Turner Impact Capital just 18 months ago to acquire and operate affordable residential housing projects and fund construction of charter schools in high-need communities.

“Our investment strategy is based on recognizing that making money making and making positive societal change need not be mutually exclusive,” He adds. “In fact, it’s the interdependency between profits and purpose that enable us to drive significant risk-adjusted returns with very little correlation to the broader market indices.”

“We have one mission: to create sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems by developing and investing in community-enriching real estate in densely-populated, underserved communities. We are trying to tackle some of society’s most daunting challenges— not through government or philanthropy, but by using market forces to create sustainable solutions,” he continues.

Turner has a genuine passion for using capitalism for good. He explains it this way, “If one wants to treat a problem in society, then government and philanthropy are fine. If one wants to cure, really cure a problem then one needs to harness market forces to create a sustainable solution. And that means making money for investors.”

On Thursday, July 30, 2015 at noon Eastern, Turner will join me here for a live discussion about the work he’s doing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Turner Impact Capital:

Twitter: @turnerimpact

One of the nation’s largest social impact investment firms, Turner Impact Capital is on course to surpass $1.5 billion in investment potential to create sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems. Based in Los Angeles, the firm helps to address some of the country’s most pervasive social issues by developing and investing in community-enriching real estate in densely-populated, underserved communities, and seeks to generate superior risk-adjusted financial returns by investing in markets with large existing supply/demand mismatches of relevant community infrastructure (i.e. workforce housing, public schools and preventative care facilities) and a lack of institutional capital. The firm seeks “profits with a purpose,” recognizing the interdependence between the two and the central role that improving property and the lives of people can play in achieving strong returns. The Turner Impact Capital leadership team has over 100 years of relevant experience in facilitating more than $6 billion of socially impactful and environmentally responsible real estate investments over the past two decades.

Turner’s bio:

Bobby Turner is the CEO of Turner Impact Capital, a real estate investment management firm based in Los Angeles and focused on creating sustainable solutions for many of today’s societal problems through the development of impactful infrastructure. The firm is on course to surpass $1.5 billion in investment potential, making it one of the national’s largest social impact firms.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Turner has established himself as a pioneer in the area of social impact investing. As former Chairman, CEO and Co-Founding Partner of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC, he oversaw a commercial real estate and mortgage asset portfolio totaling over $12 billion, and was responsible for launching several groundbreaking funds facilitating more than $6 billion in real estate investments that have helped define the “triple bottom line” investment movement.

Mr. Turner is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S., Finance) where he serves on the University’s Undergraduate Executive Board of Advisors and where he has endowed a number of initiatives focused on social impact and triple bottom line investing. Today, these programs have grown to include student, faculty and institutional programs in such areas as social impact management and business ethics, financial scholarships for minority students and the creation of the Turner Social Impact Society and the Lauren and Bobby Turner Executive Speaker Series for Social Impact.

Mr. Turner is involved in many civic ventures, having served on the advisory boards of the Virginia Avenue Project, the Pacific Charter School Development Corporation, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (“ICIC”) and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He has also been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Live Huddle: Hall Of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Talks Charity

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Private equity investor and Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young’s charity the Forever Young Foundation launched Sophie’s Place, an organization that provides music therapy.

In a promotional video, Young explains that in contrast to many of the charities supported by his foundation that are run by great partners, “This one’s kind of organic from our foundation. It’s really my wife’s vision for music therapy.”

Young’s foundation is using a new tool for crowdsourcing engagement, one little act at a time. The new tool, an iPhone app called Time Machine, encourages people to do and record acts of service. Users of the app earn points to qualify them for unique experiences, like a meet and greet with band at the Imagine Dragons concert in Salt Lake City on July 28.

Time Machine cofounder Lindsay Hadley explains, “Time is our most precious resource, but most of us just follow people instead of having our own meaningful experiences. We want people to do inspiring things and support causes, online and beyond the screen.”

“We built Time Machine to be a place where brands, organizations and people can come together to rally other around causes or movements they’re passionate about,” she adds.

The app supports a variety of charities in addition to Sophie’s Place, including The Tyler Robinson Foundation and The Progeria Research Foundation,

“We have $75,000 of prizes to give. There are hundreds of tickets for the sold out Imagine Dragons concert and thousands of other chances to win, including meals from Costa Vida. Users’ chances of winning are very good,” she concludes.

On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Young and Hadley will join me for a live discussion about Sophie’s Place and Time Machine. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Sophie’s Place:

Twitter: @4sophiesplace

Sophie’s Place is a dedicated Music Therapy space built in children’s hospitals for the youth being treated. These special rooms provide therapists a wonderful place to offer children non-invasive, evidence based medical treatment to their young hospital patients suffering from pain, chronic illness, and serious injuries.

Sophie Barton was a dear friend of Barb and Steve Young’s who unexpectedly passed away at a very young age. Sophie often sang in hospitals because she understood music’s power to heal. The Young family branded these rooms they are building in her name in her honor. While most people know music has an extraordinary power to bring comfort and peace to the soul, clinical studies continue to prove that music therapy.

SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 10: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young speaks during a public memorial for former 49ers coach Bill Walsh August 10, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California. NFL Hall of Famer Bill Walsh. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 10: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young speaks during a public memorial for former 49ers coach Bill Walsh August 10, 2007 at Monster Park in San Francisco, California. NFL Hall of Famer Bill Walsh. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Young’s bio:

Mr. Young is a Managing Partner and Co-founder of HGGC. He is also a member of HGGC’s Policy and Investment Committee and Executive Committees.

Prior to his inception of HGGC, Mr. Young was a co-founder and Managing Director of Sorenson Capital, a private equity fund which focused on middle market leveraged buyouts in the Western United States. Previously, Mr. Young was a member in Northgate Capital, LLC, the general partner of Northgate Capital Partners, L.P., a fund of funds.

Mr. Young’s professional football career spanned more than fifteen years in the NFL, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers, where he received numerous accolades, including Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXIX, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News’ Player of the Year from 1992 – 1994, and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for 1992 and 1994. In 2005, Mr. Young was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first left-handed quarterback to be so honored. Mr. Young is also the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history and has the distinction of being the only signal caller in league annals to win four consecutive NFL passing titles.

He founded and chairs the Forever Young Foundation which is actively involved in children’s charities worldwide and is currently the broadcast host as well as the former International Spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network which has raised over one billion dollars world-wide to benefit children’s hospitals.

Mr. Young has also served as the corporate spokesperson for companies such as Nike, Visa, Sun Microsystems, Sprint, PowerBar and ICON Health & Fitness, and has recently been profiled in a variety of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Worth Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, Inside Sports and GQ.

Mr. Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he earned a J.D. from the College of Law as well as a B.S. in Finance and Political Science.

More about Time Machine:

Twitter: @dotimemachine

Time Machine is an app that helps people discover what their favorite brands, causes and people are up to, learn how they can get involved and share their experiences on social media. By completing actions, users support causes and qualify to earn rewards, VIP experiences and products. Businesses and charities can use Time Machine to engage their audiences in projects and movements online and beyond the screen. Time Machine is available on iOS and coming soon to Android. For more information, visit timemachine.do.

Lindsay Hadley, Time Machine

Lindsay Hadley, Time Machine

Hadley’s bio:

Lindsay Hadley is a social entrepreneur and professional do-gooder. Early in her career, she facilitated dozens of international humanitarian projects in Kenya, Peru, Mexico, and Thailand. Since then, she has raised more than $24M for social causes. 

Lindsay executive produced The End of Polio Concert in Perth, Australia, and the Global Citizen Festival in 2012 and 2013 in Central Park, which – with a live audience of 60,000 and a worldwide media reach of more than 3 billion — is the largest charity event syndication to date. The mother of two small boys and the wife of a loving and supportive husband, Lindsay knows that relationships are most important in this life.

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