Dollars and Change Podcast
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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Why Employee-owned Companies Are Better at Building Worker Wealth30:50Wharton’s Katherine Klein talks to Corey Rosen, founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership, about how employee ownership plans are structured and why they yield great financial benefits for companies and workers alike.
Investing in Refugee Entrepreneurs in East Africa30:59Wharton’s Katherine Klein talks to Julienne Oyler, co-founder and CEO of the African Entrepreneur Collective, which helps micro, small, and medium businesses across East Africa.
How Companies and Capital Can Be Forces for Good, with Jean Case, Founder of For What It’s Worth29:02Jean Case is a business leader, philanthropist, and author who served as a senior executive at AOL before launching The Case Foundation in 1997. She is also creator of “For What It's Worth,” a weekly newsletter to demystify impact investing, and the author of Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose. On this Dollars and Change episode, Jean talks with Wharton’s Katherine Klein about finding purpose and reaching beyond your bubble.
The Hard Work Ahead to Realize the Promise of ESG Investing, with Vit Henisz, Wharton Professor and Founder of the Wharton ESG Analytics Lab32:22Vit Henisz, the Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses ESG investing today – the increasingly popular practice of considering companies’ environmental, social, and governance performance and practices when deciding whether and where to invest. Measuring ESG well is difficult and many ESG investment products don’t live up to the hype. What will it take for investors to realize the financial benefits and impact of ESG investing?
On Theater, Impact Investing, and Wealth Taxes with Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative34:52Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, joins host and Vice Dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative Katherine Klein to discuss the work and strategy of her single-family office that focuses on impact investing and ESG. She also talks about why theater is the best major for a career in business, and dives into why she advocates for a wealth tax.Transcript.
How Clif Bar Delivers Impact with Roma McCaig, Senior Vice President of Impact & Communications at Clif Bar30:47Roma McCaig, Senior Vice President of Impact & Communications at Clif Bar, joins host and Vice Dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative Katherine Klein to discuss how Clif Bar’s business model produces a virtuous cycle where productive growth delivers positive impact. McCaig outlines the company’s plans to cut carbon emissions, discusses their support of organic food science research, and talks about ways to create a restorative food system. Compostable packaging and plant-based pet treats are just a few of the company’s upcoming sustainability innovations.Transcript.
Investing in Transformational Social Innovators with Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green28:58Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, joins host and Vice Dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative Katherine Klein to discuss Echoing Green’s work as an early-stage funder of emerging social entrepreneurs. Supporting these extraordinary leaders is Echoing Green’s core strategy to drive positive social change across the globe. Dorsey also discusses racial and gender disparities in funding entrepreneurs and their ventures. Through a new partnership with Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women, Echoing Green will invest in Black women social entrepreneurs whose ventures are addressing critical needs in their communities, such as housing, education, healthcare, financial literacy, climate justice, and more.Transcript.
How Cotopaxi Integrates Impact in Every Aspect of the Business with Davis Smith, Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi31:00Davis Smith, Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, joins host and Vice Dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative Katherine Klein to discuss how the outdoor gear brand prioritizes impact in every aspect of the business—the supply chain, charitable giving, employment culture, and more. While many fashion-industry brands focus their impact efforts on the environment, Smith believes there’s “no way to save the planet if you're not saving humanity at the same time” and shares why the brand prioritizes a people-focused mission in addition to its sustainable practices. And what if your business doesn’t have an obvious connection to impact? Smith shares examples of how any business, regardless of industry or size, can “do good”—he’s even transforming a pool table company into an impact company. Transcript.