Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

Driving “Radical Change” Around the World by Enfranchising Social Investors in the Global South

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Although the Global South is unquestionably disadvantaged compared to the wealthier and more developed North, it is not without its own assets that are powerfully relevant to enhancing the wellbeing of its people – including increasing private capital and a growing supply of youthful, educated and ambitious citizens seeking to change their world.  However, efforts to address major challenges in the Global South have consistently been dominated by powerful players from the North – governments, development institutions and corporations – which have often allied with self-serving domestic governments or other major institutions with the result that only a fraction of the potential impact has been achieved.

Among the South’s major assets is a nascent but highly-motivated community of “social investors” – ie, people and organizations with financial, human and intellectual capital that they aspire to deploy for significant social impact.  A movement is now underway that promises to foster radical change by empowering and equipping these social investors to become active agents of impact – using their skills and resources to target major problems that they care about and to demonstrate and scale effective, sustainable solutions that improve lives.

In the past few years, three independent but affiliated networks serving social investors have been launched in key regions of the Global South – AVPN India, the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) and Latimpacto (serving Latin America) – with the missions of increasing the flow of capital into social investments and increasing its effective deployment for maximum impact.

This movement is distinguished by two key factors:

  • First, the three networks were created with the active support of two major networks already serving social investors largely in the Global North – the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) and the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) – which together have nearly 1,000 members in over fifty countries. As a result, these three networks will able to take full advantage of the technology, experience, connections and knowledge accumulated by EVPA and AVPN and their members over their combined twenty-plus years in operation.
  • Second, all five networks – bound by common roots and an ongoing affiliation with the International Venture Philanthropy Center (IVPC) – are now systematically collaborating in ways that will generate active, real-time value flowing IN BOTH DIRECTIONS to benefit social investors all over the world aiming to realize their full potential for impact. This could mean investors from the North bringing their capital and technical savvy to leverage partners in South who are deeply knowledgeable of local issues, players and practices. Or it could mean seasoned investors and entrepreneurs from the South sharing their knowledge of specific program solutions, tested and proven under the most arduous conditions, with needy communities in the North.

This session at SOCAP will utilize a moderated panel format.  It’s objectives will be to (a) describe the key components and workings of this “system” of five networks as channels of effective North-South and South-South cooperation; (b) share examples of success stories and key lessons learned about how these networks can best collaborate to create value; and (c) explore with the broader social investment community how these networks can be optimized to create significant, enduring social impact in the Global South – and the North as well.

The session will be moderated by Paul Carttar, the former Director of President Obama’s Social Innovation Fund and co-founder of the Bridgespan Group, who is now a partner with IVPC actively working to develop the AVPA.

The panel will comprise the four executives primarily responsible for designing and operating the individual networks and realizing the promised synergies of the “system” of five networks:

  • Frank Aswani: CEO, of the Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA)
  • Naina Subberwal Batra: CEO/Chair, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)
  • Steven Serneels: Chair, European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)
  • Carolina Suarez: CEO, Latimpacto

The session will be structured in three parts.  First, each panelist will make introductory remarks addressing a key aspect of the “system.”  Second, the panelists will engage in a moderated dialogue focused on major opportunities for North-South and South-South collaborations between social investors.  Third, a significant portion of time will be held for direct questions from the audience.

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  1. This session for me highlights the power of global networks in solving common social challenges by not only connecting social investors around a problem of mutual interest but also being able to move resources, information and lessons learnt across Geographies with speed and efficiency.

  2. Fully believe in this powerful idea to strengthen the south-South Network and Even Intro-South. That is where the network and know how lies about the true needs of the community. And these organizations are perfectly placed to drive this forward together.

  3. Very interesting to discuss how the social structure of these countries can be rebuilt to support solid, resistant growth based on a stronger civil society

  4. In South Africa we have been paying our mortgage loans for mire than 15 years and our balances are still more than the original mortgage amount. This must be looked into as many people are loosing their jobs which has a negative impact on their affordability

  5. Everyhing counts, we need to move urgently towards a regenerated economic, social & ecological model!

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