Debate (*With Moderator)

Systemic Change: Is Impact Investing the Solution for Addressing the SDGs?

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With less than 10 years to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), actors across all sectors are collaborating in new and unique ways, claiming that by partnering and creating collective action programs, their commitments to the SDGs will be achievable in less time and more effectively. Among those getting engaged in making SDG commitments include impact investors, as well as traditional civil society actors looking for more of a long-term social and/or financial investment in their SDG efforts. Thus a new bond is formed between traditional investors, impact investors and the newly minted nonprofit venture funds. Are these impact makers partnering for the right reasons? Is their partnership model working? Are we closer to achieving the SDGs because of their efforts? Or is it all just another way of contributing to systems that miss the mark on true impact? Are these models truly solving problems and benefiting the communities they set out to serve? Is the very notion of impact investing only about capitalism? Or is there societal benefit imbedded in these programs?In this debate we’ll pair a traditional nonprofit service provider, working on issues of critical importance to communities in developing countries, with some of the more formidable actors in the new impact investment/venture fund space and have them debate on which model of partnership truly makes the greatest impact: funder/nonprofit implementing projects that have societal benefit or investment vehicles designed to create long-term market-based social impact and sustainability. Is the answer one or the other, or both? Through this debate we aim to create a clearer understanding of the impact investing”system” and its intended approach to tackle some of our world’s toughest problems.

Confirmed Panelists

Moderator: Zach Weismann, Founder of MAG Impact Collective


  • Joanne Sonenshine, Founder + CEO of Connective Impact
  • Katie Hallaran, Manager of Social Investment and Alternative Finance, Pact


Unconfirmed Panelists


  • TBD at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation
  • TBD Impact Investment Company

Supporting Materials

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