SOCAP- A Bounty of Resources for Blending Mission & Money

“Over the coming decade, millennials will inherit trillions of dollars in assets from the baby boomer generation. Today women control 75% of disposable income. We know that these two demographics invest and consume differently [from past patterns]- 76% of women say they want to invest in organizations that promote social well-being and 93% of millennials believe that a company’s social and environmental impact is key to their investing decisions….approximately 80% of global consumers say that business must play a role in societal issues and nearly 70% of businesses worldwide are [already] working to incorporate sustainability into their overall mission and values.” Robert J. Caruso, Chairman, Intentional Media

Last week I attended SOCAP18, an annual gathering of those who want to “join the market at the intersection of money and meaning”. When I attended the first SOCAP in 2008, we were thrilled that nearly 500 people (mostly white men) were looking for ways to promote “Social Capital Markets” through social entrepreneurship and impact investing. This year’s conference, held on the banks of the San Francisco Bay at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, was attended by nearly 3200 folks representing many countries, ethnicities and all ages. (and women might have outnumbered men.)

Since there were hundreds of sessions organized around over a dozen themes, no one person could begin to summarize all there is to learn there. What follows are some of my most valuable discoveries and inspirations: