Dollars and Change Podcast

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How do impact investors measure impact? With Michael Brown, Head of Research at Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Michael Brown, Head of Research at Wharton Social Impact Initiative, joins host and Vice Dean Katherine Klein to discuss the complexities around impact measurement. Most impact investors report meeting or exceeding their impact performance metrics. But is this truly the case? Brown collaborated with Wharton PhD candidate Lauren Kaufmann on research that uncovers how it is common practice for impact investors to report impact metrics primarily to market, or publicize, their success – rather than to evaluate and understand where their impact may fall short. While the reality of impact measurement may not meet the rhetoric, Brown believes this is due to the challenges of measuring impact rigorously while simultaneously running an investment fund. He offers recommendations for measuring impact, and also explains why the field needs to get more comfortable with impact underperformance in order to learn and grow.



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