The U.S. and global economy does not work for everyone. It was never meant to. We know the failings: climate change, racial injustice, gender inequities, extremes of poverty and food insecurity, and more. The innovation and scalability at the heart of capitalism should serve as a wellspring of solutions to these challenges. Some companies, like B Corps, use their business as a force for good can and are actively reducing inequality, lowering levels of poverty, building a healthier environment, strengthening communities, and creating high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. But B Corps are still the exception.
There are billions of impact investment dollars - and millions of Black, Indigenous, People Of Color and women-led ventures and entrepreneurs with highly fundABLE business ideas - and yet very little of the available investment capital makes it to them. Why? What can we do to close the gap?
Join leaders from East Bay Community Foundation, Common Future (formerly BALLE), Rising Tide Capital, and B Lab for this dynamic discussion exploring what we can do as business leaders, entrepreneurs, systems change agents, and investors to make sure our capital flows and societal structures are lining up to support the kinds of communities and businesses that will lead us to the just, equitable, and regenerative future our children deserve.
Native American Entrepreneur, CFO, East Bay Community Foundation
Of Cherokee ancestry, Valerie is the CFO of East Bay Community Foundation which works to eliminate structural barriers, advance racial equity/racial justice, and transform political, social, and economic outcomes. She is also the owner/founder of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc., a film and television production company primarily focused on bringing important documentaries to the screen for which Red-Horse Mohl directs, produces, and writes, and owner/founder of Red-Horse Financial Group, Inc. Red-Horse Mohl has more than 30 years of in-depth experience in the financial services and investment banking industry with a unique expertise in the Native American tribal government sector. She is also the former Executive Director and CEO of Social Venture Circle, a non-profit leading the way in the field of social impact; building and galvanizing the business world to create social, economic, and environmental change. Red-Horse Mohl has raised, structured and managed over $3 billion in capital for tribal nations and holds seven FINRA registrations.
Red-Horse Mohl was inducted into the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Hall of Fame in 2008. She is an Advisory Board Member of Stanford University's Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and teaches an undergraduate course on Entrepreneurship for Social Impact and Racial Equity at Stanford. She also serves as a Board Member for the Northern California Chapter of the International Women's Forum and the National Boys and Girls Clubs Native American Division. Red-Horse Mohl earned a B.A. with Cum Laude honors from UCLA and has founded several nonprofit ministries on reservations nationwide.
Red-Horse Mohl has been married since 1982 to former NFL professional Curt Mohl and they have three children, Courtney-Stanford University '07; Derek-California Lutheran University '12; and Chelsea-Stanford University '20.
Executive Director, Common Future (formerly known as BALLE)
A nonprofit leader and social entrepreneur, Rodney Foxworth is CEO of Common Future, formerly known as BALLE, a network of entrepreneurial leaders working to advance equitable economic opportunities through entrepreneurship and local business ownership in marginalized communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Notably, Rodney has shared the stage with field leaders and spoken at the AEO Conference, Conscious Company Global Leaders Forum, Mission Investing Institute, Social Finance Forum, Confluence Philanthropy Convening, Open Markets Institute, Skoll World Forum, and Global Philanthropy Forum.
Previously, he was CEO and Founder of Invested Impact, a consulting firm focused on economic development, philanthropy, and social innovation, and co-founder and Strategy Advisor of Impact Hub Baltimore. Prior to founding Invested Impact, Rodney was community manager at BMe, a national network of black male leaders and entrepreneurs. Rodney has also served as program manager at Job Opportunities Task Force, a policy advocacy and workforce development organization. Additionally, he has been a consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Calvert Impact Capital, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, among others.
Rodney is a BALLE Fellow, Next City Vanguard, and Baltimore Business Journal “40 under 40” honoree. He is featured in the Washington Post bestseller, “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding.” Rodney serves on the board of Justice Funders, SOCAP, and NFF.
CEO/Co-founder, Rising Tide Capital
Alfa Melesse Demmellash was born and raised in Ethiopia. She came to the United States at the age of twelve with a keen interest in poverty alleviation and conflict resolution. Alfa graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 2003, where she majored in Government. During her time at Harvard, her interest in conflict resolution brought her to Rwanda. Recognizing the role economic poverty played in fueling conflicts, Alfa turned her focus to economic empowerment as a strategy to achieve peaceful societies.
Named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2015, Alfa co-founded Rising Tide Capital in 2004 to empower underserved urban entrepreneurs in northern New Jersey to start and grow successful businesses. RTC’s signature program is the nationally-recognized Community Business Academy – an intensive business training program coupled with year-round consulting and management support, which equips entrepreneurs to better operate their small businesses.
Entrepreneur and Global Ambassador, B Lab
Kim is a passionate entrepreneur and change agent who is advancing B Lab’s mission around the world by engaging CEOs and other key leaders to mobilize for collective action on some of the most pressing issues of our time. From 2014 to 2018, Kim led a collaborative effort to grow and engage the community of responsible businesses in Colorado with the goal of making Colorado a shining example of an innovation- and impact-based economy. Prior to B Lab, Kim co-founded and served as CEO of GoLite, an outdoor products brand that was beloved by customers around the world and was one of the earliest Certified B Corps. Kim is past Chairman of the Board of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the trade association representing the $887 billion+ active outdoor recreation industry. She co-founded and served as founding Chairman of the Outdoor Industry Political Action Committee (OIAPAC) and helped launch and lead the OIA Sustainability Working Group, a collaboration of hundreds of companies that created the groundbreaking Higg Index. She has served on the alumni board of Harvard Business School, Princeton Women in Leadership, Outward Bound, and numerous other boards of directors. Kim spends her free time with her family, doing martial arts and yoga, trail running, singing, and climbing big mountains. Kim and her husband have climbed four of the Seven Summits, many Colorado 14ers, and the highest mountain or molehill in all 50 United States.
More details coming soon!
Past Shift Conversations
In 2015, the United Nations issued a call to action to all the countries of the world when they ratified The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, which are intended to serve as a blueprint for global peace and prosperity, call for the end of poverty and hunger and the rise of climate action, clean energy solutions, and equality.
The social impact business movement has grown exponentially in the five years since the SDGs were ratified. ESG and impact investments have become some of the most popular investments in global financial markets. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs are targeting one or more of the SDGs in their growing businesses.
So how much progress has been made? Last year, the UN released The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 which assesses the impact of efforts to achieve the SDGs over the last five years. They report that "some gains were visible: the share of children and youth out of school had fallen; the incidence of many communicable diseases was in decline; access to safely managed drinking water had improved; and women’s representation in leadership roles was increasing.” Yet, despite these notable successes, the report also found that “the number of people suffering from food insecurity was on the rise, the natural environment continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate, and dramatic levels of inequality persisted in all regions. Change was still not happening at the speed or scale required.”
Progress toward the Global Goals has been far from sufficient. The U.N. has declared “A Decade of Action,” where we must “advance a shared vision and accelerate responses to the world's gravest challenges – from eliminating poverty and hunger to reversing climate change.”
In this session, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker moderates a discussion about the state of social impact and how impact investing and entrepreneurship can step up and meet the challenges of the Decade of Action with the Global Impact Investing Network’s CEO Amit Bouri, Echoing Green’s Cheryl Dorsey, Blended Value’s Jed Emerson and the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance’s Fran Seegull.
A virtual conference April 14-16, 2021. Learn, engage and connect.