I was honoured to present at Grameen’s Social Business Day in Bangalore on “Corporates in Social Business”. This was an amazing gathering of over 1000 people from 40 countries. We launched our innovative Women and Girls Fund alongside one of our trusted partners Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus who has changed the lives of millions of people around the world through innovative social business practices. We are also excited to partner with FHI Foundation, UN and the Malala Fund. When I started on this journey of self-discovery many years ago, the book that made me think differently was Professor Yunus’ books of “Social Business” and “Banker to the Poor”. I was able to test my thesis and theories at the University of Oxford with an amazing cohort of talented people and a wonderful mentor in Prof Lalit Johri MSc MBA Ph.D who has been a constant source of inspiration alongside Amin Rajan. Professor Yunus has a long and distinguished history of building and backing disruptive business models. I look forward to continuing our work of using investment capital for social good through the Impact Investing strategies we are launching over the coming months…
One in every five dollars invested professionally in the US is now invested sustainably. And while investment in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions are rising globally, the market for energy efficiency remains under-satisfied compared to its potential and the market for renewable energy investment. Here’s why.
Giles is the Founder and CEO of Global Impact Initiative (GII). GII works with a variety of organisations to create impact investments, seeking both a positive financial return and positive social or environmental impact. The business creates bespoke investment solutions that map the UN Sustainable Development goals. Giles has over 20 years of experience building and developing teams, businesses and distribution strategies for global enterprises. Giles has a unique blend of leadership and business skills gained in the corporate environment married with financial and governance skills gained in the Not for Profit sector. Giles holds numerous Volunteer Not-for-Profit Directorships ranging from Human Rights, Disabilities, Arts and Sports.
At the 2018 Cayman Alternative Investment Summit Giles spoke on the “Philanthropy & Impact: A New Model for A New Age” panel. We sat down with him during the event to learn more about the Global Impact Initiative and the evolving impact investing industry.
It was an inspirational end to an amazing week in the US and the Cayman Islands. A man who does it all…. Will Smith – Actor, Musician, Film Producer, Businessman, Investor and Philanthropist. He spoke candidly about his failures, successes, family and his dreams. He did so with authenticity, enthusiasm, humility and humour. A true superstar! The week started at a UN-organised event where I was invited to be part of an Innovations in Finance Working Group which is looking at large scale, financial innovations to solve the UN SDGs. The second half of the week saw me presenting at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit on the spectacular Grand Cayman Island. I was truly honoured to be on a panel talking about creating an Impact with Michael Hastings, Dipender Saluja and Kwami Williams – brilliant men with big hearts who are making a difference. Well done to KPMG in the Cayman Islands, DART, Amin Rajan and Anthony Cowell who did a phenomenal job of orchestrating a diverse program. It was great hearing and talking to CEO’s, CIO’s, Portfolio Managers, Navy Seal’s, Nascar Driver’s, Professors, Lord’s and of course Will Smith. Cayman Alternative Investment Summit#CAIS2018 #WillSmith @UN @UNSIF
Impact investing has an estimated worth of over US $77 billion globally and growing. There is an increasing focus and influence in the Australian market with super funds taking a leadership position. Listen to Giles Gunesekera of the Global Impact Initiative as he shares:A case study on a successful Impact Investing strategy
Why Australia is lagging in this space
How funds can start to develop their own Impact Investing strategy and framework
It was exciting to end UN General Assembly (UNGA) week in New York as a panellist on the SDG Impact Finance group at UNHQ talking about how we can accelerate the pipeline for impact investing. We discussed blended finance models and using capital markets more efficiently to mobilise the SDGs.
The UN Social Impact fund (UNSIF) has been a positive force for engaging the ecosystem to work together and we look forward to continuing our great relationship. The most positive aspect of the week has been seeing diversity in action – by gender, age, geography, culture, sector and religion all united by a desire to do good.
At GII, we believe that investment capital can and should be used to mobilise the SDGs and this week further showed that there is the desire, willingness and more importantly action. I look forward to continuing our work with friends at the UN, Government, NGOs, Social Enterprises, Family Offices, Foundations, Pension Plans and Corporates to continue to create bespoke impact investing strategies that solve social problems now.
I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead when people take the time to listen and understand each other.
Giles Gunesekera was recently named one of eleven Outstanding Alumnus by the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford. This prestigious award was in recognition for the work he is doing at Global Impact Initiative on creating bespoke impact investing strategies with high social impact.