December 17, 2018


A November 15 event at the Rockefeller Foundation considered ESG and Impact Investing.
A November 15 event at the Rockefeller Foundation considered ESG and Impact Investing.
On November 15, the Columbia Impact Investing Initiative (CI3) organized a panel discussion and networking event with the Rockefeller Foundation about the Intersection of ESG and Impact Investing.

ESG, which stands for “environmental, social, and governance,” is often used as shorthand for sustainable or socially responsible investing.

More than 60 students and alumni braved a disruptive snowstorm to attend the event in midtown Manhattan. It was co-sponsored by the SIPA Alumni Association and the School’s Office of Alumni Affairs, Office of Career Services, and Management specialization.

The event began with a panel discussion, in which industry leaders and experts talked about identifying impact, measuring ESG, and pricing impact in ESG-focused portfolios, among other topics.

Panelists included practitioners from the private sector, research and academia, and the UN.:

  • Francesco Ambrogetti, Innovative Finance and Partnership Advisor, United Nations Capital Development Fund
  • Caleb Ballou MIA ’16, Investment Officer, Innovative Finance, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Bruce Kahn, Portfolio Manager, Sustainable Insight Capital Management
  • Ethan Powell, Founder and President, Impact Shares
  • Moderator: Adam Connaker, Senior Program Associate, Rockefeller Foundation

In the networking session that followed, participants considered additional topics like the barriers to acquiring small and mid-level financing for social enterprises in emerging markets, and the debate about how ESG and social impact metrics are integrated into market efficiency and pricing.

Leaders of CI3 said they look forward to further developing the group’s relationship with the Rockefeller Foundation, and broadening opportunities for students to enter the field of impact investing.

— Marc Tannous MPA ’19 and Kathy Xie MPA ’19