Large Workshop Format (*500+ Participants)

Crossing the (Recession) Chasm: The Future of Social Safety Nets and Social Mobility in a post-COVID world coming to terms with systemic racism

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Why is inequality a problem? How can impact investing help create the elusive transformative change we all seek? How have COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter created unique opportunities to strengthen the social safety net and boost social mobility? In 2007, ‘Impact investing’ was created to provide mission-driven entrepreneurs with access to capital for achieving social and environmental good. It assumes that markets effectively and fairly distribute the benefits to everyone. Yet, the private market has left almost 20% of Americans uninsured even during a public health emergency, grocery workers exposed to health risks and without the ability to supplement their income, and millions of independent workers stranded by the ‘flexibility’ of the gig economy. Even worse, over 2/3 of essential workers are people of color, compounding the decades of insecurity they have already faced. These facts suggest that our systems are failing.
However, we have the insights and tools for change among us. Social innovators and impact investors who created new markets and changed economic incentives in order to improve the world, and evaluators who studied their effects, hold the knowledge and conviction to re-shape our broken systems. This panel will hear from leaders across the public, private and people sectors who have not only seized these recent moments of change but also embraced new tools that address inequality and reimagine our system. We will examine the use of cash transfers, income share agreements for rapid up-skilling, employment protection mechanisms, new benefit regimes, hyper-local, place-based recovery efforts etc. Our speakers will discuss how they have tackled the ambiguity of 2020 head-on and forged ahead at all levels of impact as well as where the remaining areas of uncertainty are to work through together. Through their experiences, we will discover what a new inclusive economy emerging out of this crisis could look like.
The session will have multiple parts in an interactive, large workshop format with multiple polls, audience discussion etc., including:
  • An overview of why inequality is a problem
  • A discussion on dealing with ambiguity and driving systems change in an economic crisis, whether we’re tackling racial equity in cities, building an economy for digital jobs in Africa, transforming education in America, supporting social enterprises in Asia etc.
    • How the social safety net has evolved in 2020
    • How mechanisms for social mobility have evolved in 2020
  • A landscape of trends and tools shaping an emerging consensus of what and who drives economic value
  • Q&A with the audience
Ultimately, the session aims to offer attendees an opportunity to consider the powerful combination of narrative and movements with strategic investments that could unlock radical systems change.

Confirmed Panelists

  • Nancy MacPherson, Mastercard Foundation, Advisor and ex-Slumdwellers International Advisor and Rockefeller Foundation Managing Director of Evaluation
  • Eric Clement, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Managing Director and Senior Vice President
  • Carol Tan, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Assistant Vice President of Strategy

Unconfirmed Panelists

Supporting Materials

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