At the U.S. State Department, we seek to support the work of innovators that are contributing to an Impact Economy by developing and deploying cutting-edge business and financial models that generate financial returns and positive social and environmental change. These innovators constitute a diverse group of investors including pension and sovereign wealth funds, corporations, foundations, banks, international financial institutions, and retail investors and cut across asset classes to include cash deposits to fixed income, public equity, private equity, real assets, and alternatives. Today, this emerging class of investors is generating business opportunities that analysts estimate could reach between US$500 billion and several trillion dollars over the next decade.
Promoting the development of the Impact Economy is at the center of U.S. foreign policy objectives. At the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, the State Department announced a shift in U.S. development assistance from donor-driven aid to catalytic investment. Further, the Secretary’s 21st Century Statecraft calls for us to reach beyond traditional state-to-state interactions and harness the assets and tools of business to strengthen our diplomatic efforts.
To support the development of an Impact Economy, the Secretary's Global Impact Economy Forum gathered 350 high-level investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, and policymakers to discuss how to create greater coordination, collaboration, and efficiency in this emerging industry. The action-oriented Forum included two days of interactive panels, workshops, inspirational keynotes, networking breaks and announcements of public and private sector deliverables that will be implemented post-Forum.
Objectives of the Forum:
The Forum aimed to improve collaboration between investors, businesses, entrepreneurs, governments and civil society and create opportunities to enhance and expand the Impact Economy. Key themes included: