FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Contacts:

                                                                                                                  Laurie Lane-Zucker, Impact Entrepreneur, LLC

                                                                                                                  Heather Grady, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors


Impact Entrepreneur Center and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to host international leadership summit in the Berkshires from July 10-12, 2018.

Philanthropy Transforming Finance: Building an Impact Economy gathers 45 leaders from the philanthropy sector and impact economy systems thought leaders from North America, South America and Europe for a two-day conference. The summit focuses on how philanthropy can better support effective systems change that creates a sustainable and equitable economy.



SHEFFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS  Berkshires-based Impact Entrepreneur and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors are gathering several dozen of the leading figures in philanthropy, impact investing, and systems thinking in the Berkshires to grapple with major global challenges that are impacting communities in every part of the world. As outlined in the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were unanimously approved by the UN’s 193 member states, including the U.S., massive investment is necessary to address the cumulative effects of a growing global population, ecological degradation and rampant social inequities. The impact investing sector grew by 17% in 2017 to $114 billion, according to the Global Impact Investing Network. Yet, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, $5-$7 trillion is needed to achieve the SDGs.

Private foundations in the United States alone hold approximately $1 trillion in endowment assets, yet only spend approximately 5% of that figure each year on their grant-making and other charitable distributions. Contributions that this capital is making to anything more than incremental change is limited. Viewed and deployed using a wider, systemic perspective, with a more ambitious and courageous agenda, and with an emphasis on transformation, the sector’s resources can meaningfully contribute to building an impact economy. This would represent a proactive approach to solving complex social and environmental challenges, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, by putting economies and finance in service of the well-being of people and the planet.

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According to Heather Grady, vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the convening “will bring together funders and leaders in systems thinking who have a commitment to working collaboratively and proactively to move the impact economy agenda forward. We will explore the landscape, problems, gaps, opportunities, resources, and action steps, aiming to define approaches and build momentum that can be maintained both as a group, and through our respective networks.“

Laurie Lane-Zucker, founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, which has 18,800 members in 150+ countries in its global network of systems-minded entrepreneurs, investors and scholars, adds that “this gathering of major players in sustainable development and financing from three continents furthers our goal of establishing our Center and the Berkshires as a gathering place for the global thought leaders of impact, and assists our efforts to establish a regional impact economy in the Berkshires and the northeastern United States.”

Participating organizations include the Ford Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the world and a leader in impact investing; Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the global leader in circular economy advancement, based in the UK; The B Team, a global group of business leaders including co-founder Richard Branson that was formed to catalyze change for the well-being of people and planet; Impact Assets, the largest curator of impact-specific donor advised funds and notes; the Aspen Institute’s Network of Development Entrepreneurs; as well as Massachusetts-based Boston Impact Initiative and Solidago Foundation. View the full list of participating organizations here.


About the Sponsors

Impact Entrepreneur

The Impact Entrepreneur Center for Social and Environmental Innovation’s mission is "to create and support a global movement of impact entrepreneurs who are building an “impact economy” populated by triple bottom line businesses fueled by impact investments.” IEC is a regional & global epicenter for entrepreneurs, investors, scholars and students of social and environmental impact, as well as others passionate about creating, accelerating and scaling profitable enterprises that drive measurable, impactful change. IEC is active in education, incubation and the overall building of the social impact space — partnering with thought-leading companies, organizations and institutions in an effort to transform the business landscape so that it is more responsive to the epochal social and environmental challenges facing humanity. The Center's work is supported by the Impact Entrepreneur Network, a global network of systems-minded entrepreneurs, investors and scholars of social and environmental innovation (18,800 members), and Impact Entrepreneur, LLC, a consulting company that works with early and growth stage impact companies, impact investors and educational institutions.


Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving by individuals, families, corporations and major foundations. Continuing the Rockefeller family's legacy of thoughtful, effective philanthropy, RPA remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a diverse team led by experienced grantmakers with significant depth of knowledge across the spectrum of issue areas. Founded in 2002, RPA has grown into one of the world's largest philanthropic service organizations and, as a whole, has facilitated more than $3 billion in grantmaking to nearly 70 countries. RPA also serves as a fiscal sponsor for more than 50 projects, providing governance, management and operational infrastructure to support their charitable purposes. For more information, please visit